Under the Andalusian sun by bicycle.
Seville is a gem. It is also noisy, lively and hot. It feels like a holiday.
My experience in Seville is a peculiar one. To celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary, my husband booked us a hotel for 3 nights in the stunning Andalusian city.
I cannot describe my excitement as it was cold in the UK and the promise of warm sunshine felt like a real treat.
Two weeks before our trip, my husband took part in a run and, you guessed it, lost his passport. So, to spare you reader from our marital crisis that followed, I invited my twenty five year old niece to join me instead. I am used to travel by myself, but Seville sounded very much like a party and I wanted company. And boy did we have a good time! (sorry, husband.)
Naturally, Seville is about the Flamenco, the cathedral, the nightlife, the Plaza de España, the simple but tasty tapas, and everyone knows about this. These landmarks and features of the Andalusian capital are indeed a must, but there is more to this Moorish place than it meets the eyes.
As it turned out, one of the best ways to see Seville is by bike. The colourful and chaotic capital has a surprising orderly and easy to follow bicycle route that covers a lot of the city. Lots of European capitals have free bikes for tourists and locals to get by, but this was my first experience and a very positive one too. There are bike tours for around 25 Euros, but I can, confidently suggest you do it your own way.
My niece and I rented our bikes from a shop in a road just off the cathedral. There are lots of these rental shops dotted around and any of them should be able to offer you hours of bicycle fun for a few euros.
The city has been massively redeveloped in 2003 and has been transformed into a cycling heaven with kilometres of safe path for a greener way of transport.
An attractive route will take you to the astonishingly beautiful Plaza de España. Pass the 500 year old University of Seville and follow the cycling path around urban parks. It is a very busy city with noisy cars, but you feel strangely safe in this chaos because the cycling route is so well marked and spacious.
Have a rest and catch some sun on one of the tiled benches built around the Plaza honouring every region in Spain. Once you are ready to get on the bike cycle back to the city centre and enjoy the delicious tapas and wine in very reasonably priced restaurants.
Seville is a party and I can't wait to be back, maybe with my husband this time.