Every six weeks, the French school system gives students (and teachers!) two full weeks of vacation. For the my first vacation, the Vacances de Toussaint, I wanted to check out some new parts of Spain with friends and practice the Spanish I learned in my last couple of years of college. The adventure began in the gorgeous and charming city of Sevilla!
Well, the adventure didn’t *quite* begin in Sevilla… Check out my recent post about my 17 Hours in Amsterdam for the full story!
On Sunday morning, Riana and I arrived at the airport in Sevilla, Spain. Immediately, the Spanish surrounding me was a bit of a shock, but it was also pretty exhilarating. We found the one bus heading toward the city and made our way to the direction of our Airbnb.
After definitely missing closer stops, we got off the bus and hauled our bags around in search of food. It turns out that “Spain time” is even more delayed that “France time,” so we ended up deciding to check into our apartment before finding food. Thankfully, we had stroopwafels from the Amsterdam airport to hold us over!
We eventually got everything settled with the accommodation and met up with Catherine for lunch at Lobo López. We were told that there were no tables open (definitely make a reservation!), but they did in fact move us to a table after a bit of a wait. Croquetas, tempura veggies, pork, bread, and cocktails, oh my! Such a delicious welcome from Spain!
In an effort to prolong this arrival celebration, we decided to follow lunch with churros, we found some churros and hot chocolate at Kukuchurro, which was obviously delicious, but I will say that I generally prefer the dark chocolate to dip in.
In preparation for sunset and ~golden hour,~ we made our way to the Plaza de España. For a such small and walkable city, we definitely got lost an impressive amount, but once we made it there, it was worth the wait for sure.
The Plaza de España appeared to be glowing against a clear blue sky, complete with streams and ponds near the main structure, as well as bridges and railings made from a blue and white tile material that is often found in the area. After plenty of photos, “oohs,” and “aahs,” we even found some live music and flamenco dancing in the area.
When in Spain, there are so many good foods to try (sorry, Amsterdam), so we were ready to cross some off of our list. Riana, Catherine, and I went to Taberna del Arenal for our first dinner in Sevilla. We got plenty of the foods our friends had recommended to us, including the papas bravas, croquetas de jamón, solomillo al whiskey, solomillo al carbonara, and canelón de carrillada. Plus, we shared some desserts and enjoyed a fruity and tart Spanish red wine with our meal. Delicioso!
Before we went home for a great night’s sleep, we made a point to see the golden tower and check out the area a bit. On to the next day!
Most of Monday was actually spent not in Sevilla, but in Córdoba, where we spent most of the morning and afternoon exploring the Mesquita-Catédral, various plazas, and cute neighborhoods lined with flower pots. Learn more about how we spent our time there from my recent Day Trip to Córdoba post.
When we returned to Sevilla in the early evening, we grabbed some ingredients at Aldi and I made everyone a nice dinner. We spent the evening planning the rest of our trip, reflecting and recording some of our thoughts from the journey thus far, and, of course, enjoying some Spanish music.
Tuesday was our last day in Sevilla, so we wanted to hit all of our final must-see spots. Most important were the palace and the cathedral.
Riana and I enjoyed a breakfast at home, got packed, checked out, and found a tourism office where we could store our bags for the day. Then, we did some postcard shopping and met Catherine at the cathedral.
The Catedral de Sevilla, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, had a pretty long line, but we were able to avoid this through purchasing tickets online. We wandered around the interior for quite a while, marveling at the chapels, decor, and the official certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records recognizing it as the largest cathedral in the world by square meters. I even saw the tomb of Christopher Columbus without even realizing it!
The price of our ticket also included entrance to the Giralda tower, and obviously we decided to make the hike, because who doesn’t love great views?! We saw the whole city, from all angles, while in the tower, so be sure to include this on your Sevilla itinerary.
Lunchtime! We saw a ham shop near the cathedral and decided to get a few cones to share. We chose the Iberian ham, chorizo, smoked cheese, and potato chips. It was the perfect combo and gave us plenty of energy for the next adventure of the day!
Next up was the Royal Alcazar Palace. Considering how many cathedrals and palaces I have seen around Europe over the years, I was looking forward to this attraction but had no idea just how impressed I would be. We wandered around multiple floors of gorgeous tiles, gardens, and colors everywhere. This little piece of paradise is tucked away in a corner of Sevilla that you simply cannot miss during your visit.
We had some extra time left before needing to eat dinner and head to the train station, but we were exhausted from all of the walking and exploring, so we decided to find an outdoor table and sip on some tinto de verano, my new favorite warm-weather drink that’s basically just a sparkling sangria. Our authentic Spanish dinner consisted of the one restaurant in the area that was open before 8 PM, Taco Bell. It wasn’t quite Parisian Chipotle, but it did the job and gave us plenty of fuel to get to the train station.
Just like that, our time in Sevilla was over, but a new adventure was just about to begin in Madrid! Stay tuned for updates on how our trip to Madrid went as well!
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