Seville captured my heart with its culture; it stole my mind through its history and sealed my love through its food. And that was before I ever got near to the capital of Andalucia. My first visit on a blustery wet April day was a wash out photographically but it was love at first sight that grew stronger and deeper.
There´s no other Spanish city that make me sing like Seville. It´s the weather, the people, the location, the history, that melting pot of balmy nights and wafting orange blossom, the unexpected twang of a guitar drifting through narrow alleys and the flamenco grit and finery.
Beautiful monuments from ages past woo the soul. Romance oozes from Flamenco posters, horse-drawn carriages, a twilight cruise on the river and the vestiges of Phoenicians and Carthaginians, Romans and Moors flanking river bank and skyline.
A flat city and Spain´s fourth largest it has distinct districts, which welcome and inspire further exploring: a tight corner, a tiny plaza, passages barely wide enough for umbrella´s and the lure of bars everywhere.
One of many wow moments for me and a don´t miss for you is the Moorish Giralda Tower, now the bell tower of Seville Cathedral. Buy your entrance to the cathedral and go up long sloping ramp to the tower for 360º views of the city, draw breath and plan your explorations from the walkway above.
Inhale the views and remember the history of the city and this Moorish Minaret for which construction began in 1184 and now holds the bell for one of the largest churches in the world.
The huge Guadalquivir River cuts through the south of the city, now mainly a pleasure boat river but once ocean-going galleons navigated here, a wealth of trade bringing riches from the New World saw Seville prosper.
In this city of romance a cruise on the river is the gold cup, hold hands with Seville, sail down river and be romanced yet again with a warm breeze in your hair, a light touch on your shoulder and whispered tales of long ago - you´ll be, as I was - charmed.
In a city with (it´s said) three thousand bars it shouldn´t be difficult to eat, but if you´re a fussy foodie or a tapas freak (read connoisseur) it´s a tricky choice. Eat in or eat out is the first obstacle, often weather dependant when summer temperatures reach into the high 40ºs or rain a not so common occurrence.
Choose well and your tapas lunch could be your longest ever, small morsels of varying delights kept me happy for hours and there´s no more delightful way to embrace the city than being wined and dined by your love, slowly and sensuously. Try it and see.
This is my submission for the '3 Things in the City' I Love contest by Velvet Escape, Traveldudes and Wimdu.