Postcards from Spain: Day Cinco

By / Magazine / September 27th, 2010 / 1

The best way to see any city is to walk its streets, so I did that for four hours in the old part of Seville. I bounced around like a marble in a pin ball machine and deliberately chose small streets over large ones, and older architecture over new. It was a great way to explore.

There are little plazas at every turn with people sitting at scattered tables enjoying coffee and plates of food as kids run around on the cobblestones. Scooters and motorcycles zoom by and sidewalks are sometimes mere suggestions; ironwork adorns almost every building. Balconies, gates, security doors and security windows are all covered in decorative iron. Building colours range from white to sienna and ocre with a surprise around every bend. Window shapes also vary and are often arched showing the influence of the Moors. Today I saw a church that was once a Moorish Mosque. The distinctive windows had been bricked up, but the evidence was still apparent.

As I hadn’t eaten paella since arriving and had a hunger for it, I kept my eyes open for a shady table and a menu board offering the dish. I found one just before I collapsed from starvation (no comment on how long I could live on my Spanish-food induced belly fat). The paella was rich with saffron, chunks of tender chicken, pork and octopus, and enough stock and olive oil to make it moist but not runny. It went really well with the glass of casa white wine (from Rioja, I’d say). With a beer for my fellow eater, the bill came to 6.7Euros.

I also stopped to photograph bits of Roman architecture. Parts of an aqueduct still stand as does a length of old wall bordering a park. As the Romans, Moors, and Christians all had occupancy of the region at one time or another, there is a mix of styles as often one group just moved in to the vacated premises of the other and made updates. Sometimes a lot of demolition happened, but oftimes, as in the case of the Mosque-turned-church, there were a few updates made and life carried on under new rule.

Seville is a wonderful city full of life, art, architecture, food and wine. I’m sorry to be leaving as I have only just started my exploration. I’ll be back, my pretty.

See photographs on my blog.


Brenda McMillan is thrilled by new sights, sounds, aromas and flavours, and old buildings, barrels and friends. She travels at the drop of a corkscrew and is always "just back" from somewhere.

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