Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sevilla through my eyes - The Life we have forgotten to live…..

2014 was a year for realising my dream. I managed bring my dream to reality; visit the land of Flamenco, Plaza de España, Plaza de Toros – Sevilla. After a good 2.5 hour travel by the Euro Rail, we reached the beautify city. The drive from the airport to our heritage hotel was wonderful.

Live is canoeing at leisure

Life is napping by the lake
We were told that Sevilla is over 2,200 years old and has a large and well preserved historic centre. The by lanes of Sevilla were bricked and narrow. Initially it just seemed like ‘wow’ its so clean! Neways we were so tired that we decided to take a quick shower and then take a stroll in the area. Thankfully our heritage hotel was just a new minutes away from Cathedral of St. Mary. 

Life is reading a book by the lake
Live is chatting with your friend by the lake
However, we could not make it the first day as we were close to day closing and decided we will not get much time to savour the beauty of this place. But I must say that the stroll was worth it. There were many musicians playing good music on the street and every few steps we took gave us a reason to look forward too. What I distinctly remember is that we kept walking and walking and our feet did not hurt a bit. The very fact that no one was on their cell phone or laptop amazed me.

Street actors in Sevilla
By the way there are three lanes in Spain, one for the car, one for the cyclists (green in colour) and one for the pedestrians which usually has rock tiles.  No one and I repeat no one would walk on the lane for cyclists. Well coming back! What we saw amazed us. We say fathers taking their kids on a cycling was difficult to judge who was completing against who for cuteness the father or son! On the other side, new moms were taking their babies on strolls in their strollers and boy they were super hot! So in a nutshell on a Wednesday evening, at 4.30 p.m. we saw what usually families should do, spend time with each other. I was told that they have a 30 hour week for working professionals therefore they can spend a lot of time with their families. A rare sight in India atleast!

Vicente Traver fountain 
Plaza de España located in the 
Parque de María Luisa

Plaza de España located 
in the Parque de María Luisa

Well our first day was the visit to the Plaza de España, also commonly referred to as the palace grounds.  Built in 1928, it is a plaza located in the Parque de María Luisa. We were told that it was a landmark example of the Renaissance Revival style in Spanish architecture. This was designed by Aníbal González. It looked like a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge and each building is connected by a bridge. Actually these buildings represented four ancient kingdoms of Spain. The Vicente Traver fountain at the center was breath taking. Every second we spent on the palace ground was simply superb. Some glimpses of Sevilla through my lens!
Plaza de España located in the Parque de María Luisa

Torre del Oro
Our second day began with a boat ride. We all assembled near the Torre del Oro (The Golden Tower) and the Guadalquivir River. I was amazed at the colour of the tower, the yellow of gold. What an apt name. We were told that this boat ride would help us cross seven bridges. Each a classic piece of construction. But I must confess, more than the bridges I was mesmerised by the banks and life along the banks. 
The Boat Ride
People running along the banks, canoing, strolling hand-in-hand, sitting with friends and chitt-chatting, sleeping under a tree reading a book and many more instances that I yearn to do most of the time but find it difficult as there is either ‘NO TIME’ and the places are ‘TOO CROWDED’. In all, the boat ride was refreshing. I managed to capture some moments which are priceless… The funniest part was our guide for the day. This lady would speak non-stop in Spanish explain the place and its history. Then she would translate this in English in just two sentences and say ‘FOLLOW ME’. I mean all I remember of her was ‘FOLLOW ME’. The rest was ‘god knows what!’

By Lanes in Sevilla

ByLanes in Sevilla

Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza
Following the boat ride, we headed to the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza i.e. the place where the bull-fights used to take place. I mean, it was so wonderful. The external appearance of the Baratillo bullring evokes a late-Baroque style of architecture, typical of the second half of the XVIIIth century, Sitting there on the stone benches of viewing the ring, I could actually picture the matador and bull in their act. Something I believe is difficult to explain through words. We were also shown the pictures of the youngest Matador, aged 13 (I think). She explained the story of how he was killed by a bull at the age of 44 years. But looking at their costumes and prizes i.e. the heads of the bulls I just thought ‘Wow’ this is really true. They showed us the area where the bulls were kept and also that historically there were very few instances when the bull has killed a matador. I decided to capture some moments here….

Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza

Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza

Cathedral by the Night

For this place, we went to the Seville Cathedral and Giralda. I must tell you for the first time in my life, I had to go back 700 years to image what I must have been like to construct this massive infrastructure. This is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. It is also the largest cathedral in the world, as the two larger churches, the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida and St Peter's Basilica, are not the seats of bishops. For the first time I realised that every wall, every tower, every brick has seen the rise and fall of their dynasties. Being taken over by different rulers with different religious faiths must have been quite a story to tell. The paintings and the artefact collection at the church were amazing. But as we moved towards the interior of the church, I just missed a heart-beat. I did some reading before visiting this place which stated that this church was built to demonstrate the city's wealth. After seeing the amount of gold and silver and other metals used to build the infrastructure, I will totally second that statement. Before the construction of this cathedral, apparently, the members of the cathedral said that - Let us build a church so beautiful and so grand that those who see it finished will think we are mad. 
Seville Cathedral 

Seville Cathedral

Seville Cathedral

Seville Cathedral

View from the top of the Seville Giralda

View from the top of the Seville Giralda

Indeed after viewing this massing infrastructure, I must say they were true to the last word of that statement. The construction that began in 1402 ended in 1505 phew! This cathedral also experienced massing damage due to the repetitive collapse of the domes. But in my view….it seemed like nothing had happened. There was a small orange ochard in the courtyard which apparently was a mosque years ago…the most noticeable features are the great boxlike choir loft. Therefore you must and I repeat must do some reading before you visit such places. I understand it is difficult to miss. But it makes you look at the piece of infrastructure in awe only if you know the history behind it! After mesmerising
 ourselves with this beautiful piece of infrastructure, we decided to head for the Giralda. The Giralda is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville. Its height is 343 feet (105 m), and its square base is 23 feet (7.0 m) above sea level and 44 feet (13 m) long per side. We walked up 33 floors YES 33 FLOORS. On reaching there, I was breathless and yes speechless as well. Have managed to catch some glimpses of the same….

Heritage Hotel where we stayed

Heritage Hotel where we stayed
Heritage Hotel where we stayed

Heritage Hotel where we stayed



  1. Lovely pics :)

  2. Lovely place and super pics :) great write-up too, you're making me add one more place to my already long list of places to see in this lifetime ;)
    Cheers, Archana -

    1. Thanks Archana...its a wonderful and romantic visit..cheers