Sevilla (or Seville) was one of the places we opted to visit on this Enrichment Voyage in which I had zero expectations. Sometimes that’s the way to travel: Expect nothing, be blown away. That’s what happened when we reached southern Spain.
Now, I’ve been to Spain several times. You may recall I wrote my first guidebook on Spain. I’ve even been to both Sevilla and Cadiz, the port town in which the ship was docked, en route to Morocco in 2005. But I hadn’t been to Sevilla and Cadiz—other than to sleep on the bus station floor and take a ferry, respectively.
For some reason, I remembered Cadiz as a dirty port town. Turns out it’s not in the slightest.
But because of this preconceived stereotype, I picked the nearest mid-sized city and decided our group would go there for the two days and one night we had back in Spain.
I found us a cute little four-star hotel for just over $100 a night off of one of the city’s many plazas. It was clean, modern and boasted this view from our balcony.
Best of all, the staff couldn’t have been nicer. What more could you want? Speaking of staff…it’s harder than it looks keeping track of seven little meandering ducklings in as crowded a place as Sevilla. Sometimes I felt like I needed some sort of order or baton, like this woman.
Something else exciting happened in Spain: This little gal joined us!
Only, she hadn’t shaved when she first arrived.
Because my sister is a first-year CPA, the most she could take off from work was six days, so she hopped over the pond and joined us for half of this leg of the cruise. We were pretty stoked to have her on board; after all, she brings the party.
We had planned to do what my mom always insists on doing anytime we have a short amount of time in a city and explore by “the big red bus” (aka the hop-on, hop-off city sightseeing tour). WELL. Let me tell you. The one in Sevilla sucks. We waited at the main stop for two hours and…it never showed up. Then one finally came, it went one stop and made us get off. At that point it was time to pick my sister up at the train station, so we bailed entirely. But I am done with that stupid City Sightseeing company for life. The local rep said I had to contact corporate to get us refunds (17 euro per person), only corporate doesn’t respond to calls, emails, Tweets or other forms of harassment.
Our one night there, we found ourselves eating delicious tapas (and drinking even more pitchers of sangria) on Calle Mateo Gagos near the Cathedral. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs as by the end of the meal, there were at least 35 plates on the table—and only nine of us!
Then, we wandered around the Cathedral en route to our nighttime Flamenco show. If the 16th-century structure was stunning by day, that had nothing on what it looked like by night.
We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside of the Flamenco show, but trust me in that it was awesome and you should go to a show when in Sevilla (but book tickets in advance as they are full nearly every night!).
The one thing we did not do was sample the local delicacy: LIVE SNAILS.
They were available in every restaurant (meaning I’ll have ample opportunity at some other point in my life, I’m sure).
But still, snails aside, with tapas, sangria, Flamenco and some cultural “stuff,” Sevilla as a whole was just good, old-fashioned family time at its finest.