Southern Seville’s Alkazar
We took Renfe’s speedy AVE train from Valencia Joaquin Sorolla station to Seville Santa Justa station, which took approximately 4 hours. It’s fun to keep an eye on the digital display showing the train’s speed as you feel it smoothly race full speed ahead, as we actually saw it hit 300km/hr. With our Eurail Passes and reservations in Renfe’s Turista Plus class, we relaxed in spacious leather seats and watched the views of rolling green hills pass us by.
After arriving in Seville we were ready for Southern Spain to bring on the heat! Seville in June is usually very hot, but not for our one night stay where it hovered around 18°C. Maybe that’s a good thing because then we couldn’t be tempted by our hotel’s – NH Central Convenciones – gorgeous pool and spa. Instead, after a picnic lunch and blue skies overhead, we walked to the city center to explore Seville.
Walking through narrow side streets, lined with white buildings with yellow trim, and bursts of orange, really gives Seville that Spanish warmth and flare. We arrived in the city square to find the cathedral and Alkazar across from each other. The cathedral is huge with multiple entrances as legend says they wanted to ‘construct a church so large, future generations will think we were mad’. In the midst of mass being held, the cathedral features many different rooms dedicated to important religious figures, with old tombs and paintings, gold galore, and the claim that Christopher Columbus’s remains are here.
Next we entered Alkazar, a World Heritage site, this palace is 11 centuries old and has lots to discover. From Alhambra-inspired tile and plasterwork, carved ceilings, open courtyards, gardens fit for a king, and a beautifully lit bath we discovered after following a nondescript passageway, these are palace grounds you’ll be happy to get lost in!
We ended our day in Seville by getting aquainted with some more quaint streets, with people enjoying the shops and terraces, before treating ourselves to some Spanish wine and a modern take on tapas; think squid ink pasta with scallops, tower of tomato, goat cheese and smoked salmon and grilled duck drizzled with a berry reduction. Next stop Granada!
By: Angela Guezen
Photos by: Jen Crane