After my initial visit to Madrid, I found myself in the Andalusia region of Spain in a city called Sevilla. The best way to describe this city is that it is one of the most photogenic I’ve seen in my life. I felt like stopping to take a picture almost every time I turned the corner. The weather was also really nice and sunny for the most part, something like 70F (21C) at its best. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a warmer December in my life. Despite the beauty of the city and the warm weather, I didn’t actually have that great of a time in Sevilla, unfortunately. For one, I had a chest cold and really bad sore throat for my first couple days. I think because of this, and the fact it was low season, I didn’t meet too many people to hangout with and explore as I might normally. I went out one night with some of the staff from the hostel, and then on another I found a couchsurfing meetup at a cool little restaurant. I really wish I was fluent in Spanish because I felt like I couldn’t engage too many people at the meetup. Everyone else spoke Spanish and I felt bad anytime someone had to speak English to involve me in the conversation. I also didn’t do any research on Sevilla or even go on a walking tour for my time there, so I can’t say much about it. Fortunately, I had a photogenic city to keep me company and took plenty of photos 🙂
I got lost so many times just walking around taking photos. None of the streets in the old town seem to be very wide or run straight. It’s like this beautiful maze someone constructed to keep you content while not knowing where you are.
Once I started to feel better, I went to visit the most popular attraction in Sevilla. It’s a place called the Royal Alcazar. In this part of Spain, the “z” is pronounced like “th” in English, and the last letter of the word is usually dropped. So the pronunciation of the place is more like Alcatha. It was originally a medieval Muslim fortress and then a palace. The city was under Moorish control for centuries, so a lot of the architecture has an Islamic influence.
Sevilla is on just about everyone’s list when backpacking through Spain. It’s so beautiful, and perhaps if I had been feeling better and meeting more people, I would have stayed longer. I felt after five days I had a feel for the place and wanted to move on. In hindsight, I realize the city is much bigger than I thought it was at the time. According to Wikipedia, the population is over 700,000. I definitely didn’t get that sense when I was there, so I must have missed extensive parts of the city. It happens. I’m traveling for a long time. I’m going to get sick. Things won’t always go well. There will be down days or even down weeks. I did really enjoy the warm weather, and it made me feel like it was late September or early October again. The food was good, and the maze of beautiful streets never annoyed me or got tiring. If you’re in Andalusia, don’t miss it.