Today we woke up with a mission to see us some Seville. We got going right away, put on our sunscreen, grabbed our morning café con leché and headed through the narrow streets for Plaza de Espana. Wikipedia tells us it was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. Usually we are all about the guided tours but the few we have tried this trip have just not worked out, trying to get infants to slug along for 2 + hours tends not to be a great idea. So we try to make the visits quick and learn a little more about them before or after the fact. To get to Plaza de Espana we walked through Paseo de Catalina, which is a park beside the Real Alcázar de Sevilla (Europe’s oldest Palace still in use). Many different types of trees and flowers line the park and the massive trees provide a great source of shade for the walk. We saw some Flamenco dancers along the way and stopped to watch for a bit.
When we finally arrived we were blown away, Plaza Espana is absolutely beautiful. There is a small ‘river’ running around the plaza where you can rent a paddle boat for the 10 minute ride or you can walk through the semi circle pavilion and see some museums. Each major Spanish city has its own intricate tiled space along the pavilion (no pics unfortunately). We walked and stopped in the military museum which our son enjoyed. As we exited the hoard of horse and carriage drivers attacked us to give us a lift, at 45 Euros for 20 minutes we skipped it this time around but it did look like fun, they are everywhere here so gives us something to negotiate down while we are here. For 25 Euros we are taking a ride on a carriage.
We were pretty hungry after this so we hopped in a taxi and headed to Mercado de Triana, one of Sevilles more famous markets. It was close to 2 so we had to rush through to get back to put the kids down for a nap. We had a quick café with what resembled an apple strudel, walked by a few stalls and stopped for some quick tapas and then headed back home. The market was nice and we wish we had a little more time there so we might venture back tomorrow or Monday. You can see the tiles that are used for each stand in one of the pics below, each stand has them and the amount of work that goes into it is very nice. We were out of time so we skipped Mercado Lonja del Barranca 🙁
Our siestas are getting later which is fine since this part of Spain really comes alive after 7/8 so giving the kids a few naps instead of one is working well. We head out to see Torre del Oro, a 13th century tower ‘used to control access to Seville via the Guadalquivir river’. It was closed so we stopped by the shade, took some crappy pics and made our way to Plaza del Toros de la Maenstranza, Seville’s bullfighting ring. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on the side of the argument you stand, there were no fights that day so we settled for a tour to try and understand this sport a little better. Coming out of the back area where the Matadors would come out of really made us feel like we were Russel Crowe in Gladiator without the poison stab wound from whats his face. This is one of the tours we tried to do with the kids and while it was only 45 minutes, dad spent most of the time roaming the other rooms to try and keep the kids occupied while mom enjoyed the tour. It was worthwhile to feel a little like a Gladiator at the end of the day.
We capped the night off at Las Setas de Sevilla aka Metropol Parasol which is a massive structure made of wood. It reminded us a bit of Singapore’s Super Tree Grove but a little less awesome. There was a few performances going on for kids and the place was packed (think professional buskers meet Cirque De Soleil) so we grabbed a few chairs and watched for a bit. The show was pretty good but it was getting late and the kiddies were getting restless, so we awkwardly ducked out of our front row seats and made our way home. Great day with a lot of walking. Our route without stops and side missions was over 2 hours long but we really covered some ground today so we would say mission accomplished!
Kid updates – Our son is loving the challenge of going up and down the stairs and navigating through the cobblestone streets and our daughter is already building her palate by tasting and, seemingly, liking almost everything we are eating.