We arrived at the train station in Seville (Sevilla in Spanish) and took a bus across the city to our rental apartment. We stayed in the older, more historic part of town and we were able to do all of our touring on foot. It's a beautiful city and, like Granada, very clean. It turned out to be our favorite city of the trip. I'm very thankful for digital photography because I would have gone through WAY too many rolls of film in this city. We stayed here for 4 days and put some pretty good mileage on our sneakers. Here are some miscellaneous scenes from around the city:
One of the major attractions we visited was the Plaza de España. This magnificent plaza was built in 1928 for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition World's Fair. The plaza is built as a huge semicircle, with continuous buildings around the outside. The buildings are separated from the central court by a moat and are accessible by a number of bridges. It has been used as a filming location for many movies, including Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Dictator (2012) and even, believe it or not, one of the Stars Wars movies (Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, 2002).
Another highlight of our Seville sightseeing was a church. Not just any church. The Gothic style Cathedral of Seville is the largest cathedral in the world and the 3rd largest church in the world. I'm certainly not overstating when I say this place is awe inspiring. Look at the size of the people in the pictures and it will give you an idea of the scale of this place. The cathedral took 104 years to build and construction finished in 1506. It includes a bell tower, known as The Giralda, which is 343 feet tall. We climbed the 35 floors to the top (all ramps; no steps) and the view was stunning. The cathedral has 80 chapels and in 1896 it was reported that 500 masses a day were held in the Cathedral. Christopher Columbus is buried here, along with a number of other dignitaries. Yes, it is available for weddings but you'd better have an impressive name or title and very deep pockets.
No trip to Spain would be complete without experiencing two things: eating tapas (small portions of appetizers or entrees, typically served at a bar or cafe) and seeing a flamenco show. We ate tapas in all the cities in which we stayed and we wanted to see a flamenco show in Seville. Tina did some research and found a show that was highly rated. We made reservations.
The flamenco theater itself is fairly small, so everyone has a good view of the action. Our show featured a guitar player, a vocalist, and 2 dancers (one male, one female). A flamenco performance includes guitar playing, singing, dancing, vocalizations (hoots, hollers, yips, etc.), hand clapping, and finger snapping. The speed of some of the footwork is truly impressive. All aspects of the performance are done with great passion and emotion. Flamenco actually originated in the Andalusia region of Spain (which is where we were) and performances are improvised - they make it up as they go along.
There were signs in the theater that probably said you can't take pictures or videos. However, my Spanish isn't that good yet, so I couldn't be sure. I managed to take just a couple, short video clips of the action. This will give you a bit of an idea. Sorry, but the video is pretty dark. I thought it best not to use the light on my camera phone...
We had a great time in Seville. When our time here was up, we headed back to Málaga, on the Mediterranean coast.