European Escapades

Seville is Not Just Oranges




parque de maría luisa
Parque de María Luisa.

For our foray into Seville we stayed in Camping Villsom in the small town of Dos Hermanas. It was the nearest we could get to Seville and be able to obtain a bus into the town centre. We arrived early and parked right near reception to take advantage of the free WiFi in the campsite. One of upgrades that we will be investing in for the van, will be a high gain directional antenna. This will mean that we will have more choice on pitch locations and still gain use of the local free WiFi when it’s there. I will keep you updated on that as we progress. The campsite was just off of the busy main road heading to Seville and to get to it from the south we had to come off the dual carriageway, around a roundabout and use a nice overpass. It felt like the magic roundabout going around in so many circles, but at least in doing so we passed the busstop and so knew where to catch the bus into town the next morning.

plaza de espana
Plaza de España.

As campsites go it was the usual affair with a closed swimming pool. We are still not sure how hot it needs to be for some of these sites to open their pools, but where they have been open, I have certainly used the pool facilities. It had a small shop with the basics which we used and a small onsite cafe restaurant which we did not. We had obviously got to the site just in time, as an avalanche of campervans descended onto the site after we had parked and set up. As we were so close to the entrance we could sit outside in the cool shade and enjoy watching the coming and goings of both people and traffic. A predefined time seemed to hit in the late afternoon as a mass of campers started trekking into the site from an unknown destination. It was the same the next morning as a mass migration occurred out of the site at around nine thirty. Seemed that they knew something we didn’t and we assumed it was the bus times into and out of Seville. We were almost ready to leave and hastened out preparations before wandering over to the reception to find out the bus time. We were to be told the bus was at ten o’clock and we would have to rush if we were to catch it or the next one was at eleven thirty. It was too hot for rushing, so we took a slow wander across the flyover and onto the bus stop. Of course it was devoid of people so we had missed the bus…

walking outside the alcazar
Walking Outside The Alcazar.

We needed some water, so thought we would check out the Carrefour we had seen earlier and see if it had a taxi rank as we didn’t want to wait for the hour and a half for the next bus. We also thought that maybe if we walked into town our options may open up for us. That decided we started the half kilometre walk to the supermarket only to have the bus we were supposed to have missed come round the corner and motor straight passed a very annoyed couple, US! It’s always seems the way with busses. The Carrefour was a non starter with taxis and the walk into Dos Hermanas was the only option left. It was a bit of a trek but we found a number of busses leaving for Seville and after the thirty minute walk we had only to wait for another ten minutes for our ride to arrive. With that result we arrived in the centre of Seville with plenty of time to wander around and enjoy the scenery. The trip via the bus once we had reached the city, was thoroughly enjoyable as the fine broad avenues were tidy and well kept and gave a pleasant first impression of this famous city. We looked in wonderment at an old derelict building which had a row of large brick chimneys the length of its frontage. As atop of each was a large birds nest and usually a big bird sitting in it. They were either storks or cormorants at the time we had no idea, we only know they were an amusing sight along our bus journey. The centre of Seville has to be experienced as it showed a city of history and magic and would match any of the fine cities of Europe for splendour.

wandering the magical gardens of alcazar
Wandering The Magical Gardens of Alcazar.

The row of horse draw coaches lined up along the entrance to the nearby Parque de María Luisa waiting to give eager tourists the finest views of the city from the comfort of their carriages. The beautiful minaret of the Giralda Tower, peaking above the skyline and the Imposing and majestic Plaza de España, built for the 1929 world’s fair, this building is simply amazing to walk around. The canals and fountains were under renovation when we were there but you can still see why this is a pull for tourists. We walked from the park and up the Calle San Fernando, passed the University of Seville and into the main centre and on upto the Cathedral de Seville. Views from the outside were stunning and this is meant to be the third biggest of its kind in the world. At €8 a person to go and see and the large crowd that queued to get in, we debated the choice on our limited budget and decided that we would visit the Alcazar instead. It may have been the wrong choice but with the fortress, palace and the large gardens to see we felt it was going to be better value. We were not to be disappointed as we explored what was a smaller and more intimate Alhambra. The place seems to be still alive and I suppose as parts of the Alcazar are still used by the royal family when in town, it should be. We passed newlyweds mingled with the tourists posing for their own photos in the gardens and it made the place somewhat more of the now, as opposed to an ancient monument frozen at a point in time, preserved for the masses to come view. It was a living and relevant building in both history and the heart of a magnificent city. That’s not to say it was small, l it still took us nearly three leisurely hours to really see the Alcazar and savour the beauty.

queues for seville cathedral
Queues for Seville Cathedral.

But for now our history fix sated, it was a slow walk back through the narrow streets and busy squares, enjoying the fun and frivolity that seemed to spill out of every bar we walked past. An impromptu singing session in the middle of the street, to hell with the one or two cars trying to navigate the though fare at the time, they can wait while the crowd parties. Aromas of Tapas wafting through the air, tempting a hungry pair to look for a seat and a well deserved drink. We find an empty pew and order and then sit quietly, simply soaking up the sights and sounds of this fair city around us. As afternoon turns into evening we wander back from where we had come and take a last look at the Plaza de España. Sitting in yet another park cafe as we wait for the return bus home, we talk and agree that this is probably another Spanish city we will go back to at some point to see again and I guess on that trip the Cathedral will get its deserved visit and write up.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 10th, 2010 at 3:18 pm and is filed under Travel Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Seville is Not Just Oranges”

  1. TeamSlinky Says:

    June 16th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    “We are still not sure how hot it needs to be for some of these sites to open their pools”

    They are obviously not used to the british take on outdoor swimming pools whereby if the sun is remotely visible it’s warm enough.

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