History’s effect on the present fascinates me. Especially in the area where we went after Morocco: Seville, Spain.
This city was prominent in battling back Muslims to reclaim their lands lost after Roman times, and also at the height of Spain’s initial conquests in the New World. It all lays the foundation for its eventual fall from global significance and into a small historic city today that attracts tourists for its cathedral, castle, tower, river from which Christopher Columbus set sail. (Reminds me of another empire falling from its greatness, but I’ll move on, before I digress.)
I’m actually a bit tardy writing this post about Seville. I was going to skip it because we were only there for three nights – not the usual week to four weeks or more that we spend in most locations. But Seville was an amazing city and so I decided to write a quick post on it.
I feel three days was enough for us in Seville, although I certainly liked the city enough that I would have been good with a longer stay. We did a lot of walking. It’s not that big of a city, and it’s possible to hit all of the big sites in just a few days. Modern tourism draws include the castle in the center of the city used for Game of Thrones, and also the Plaza of Spain, which was used in Star Wars.
There are some amazing churches, including the breathtaking Cathedral with Moorish roots, the river from which Christopher Columbus and other explorers launched their expeditions to the New World, trendy neighborhoods with many cafes, restaurants, and shops, and more to see.
We took the City Sightseeing bus tour in Seville, and I cannot recommend this. We’ve used this company in other cities, including London, England, and Marrakesh, Morocco, and we had a great time in those places. But, it seems each city is run by an independent operator, and the Seville bus tour was a total let down. There was hardly any information about the city and there would be long periods of time where the announcer said nothing. Surely there is something to say about a city as historic as Seville! To add to the boredom, there was no music during the times when the announcer said nothing. Overall, this experience was waste of money – especially when compared to our great hop-on/hop-off rides in other cities.
A tour that was excellent, in my opinion, was the Free Walking Tour. Since Seville is not huge, you easily can get the lay of the land and great history points through the mind of a local guide who speaks fluent English. Our guide gave us insider tips on when to best visit the hot spots like the castle and cathedral without having to wait in long lines. While this is technically free, I strongly recommend a tip for the guide at the conclusion of the tour. More information, including registration, for this free walking tour can be found here.
We took a BlaBlaCar from Seville to Lisbon, Portugal, where we’ve been for more than a week now. I previously wrote about the BlaBla experience here.
We came to Seville from Tarifa and Algercias, Spain, by way of ferry from Tangier, Morocco. The ferry was expensive at $94 USD for two people for a 45 minute ride across the Strait of Gibraltar. (My biggest point of advice on that ferry ride – buy your ticket from the official office at the dock. Otherwise, the other ‘stores’ selling tickets add on a percentage for your convenience of buying the ticket.)
Southern Spain was an interesting region. We will visit the northern part of that country after our stay in Lisbon.