Travel: Slow, sunny day in Seville

Full set of photos

My apartment was so well-appointed that it even had a stationery bike in one corner, which made my morning MPC workout all the easier. It also had a handy beam to which I could easily affix my resistance band, so I was all set. Workout complete, I freshened up and headed out for the day’s adventures. I’d thought to try and see the famed Alcazar in the morning, but while waiting in the considerably long line, decided to purchase tickets online for the following morning instead. The other sight I was interested in checking out, which had actually not been on my list until Sara my tour guide mentioned it, was the Plaza de Espana. It was a bit farther from the main area in town, but it was a gorgeous day for a walk. I meandered my down the shaded, tree-lined streets until I came to the unobtrusive entrance to the Maria Luisa park. It was just a short walk before coming upon a breathtaking sight.
Plaza de España
Plaza de España
Set on a large square, Plaza de España, the massive red-bricked pavilion building was certainly a sight to behold. Apparently, it was built in 1928 and is a mix of Renaissance Revival, Art Deco and Moorish Revival styles. I couldn’t help just wandering around marvelling at it, and that it was relatively quiet. There were certainly a goodly number of tourists about, but not the crush of people like at Alcazar. I also couldn’t believe that it was free to see! You could go up to the second floor and look out over the square from the balcony. There were even paddle boats available if you wanted to paddle down the little river. The building was lined with beautifully-tiled alcoves, one for each province of Spain. It was a surprisingly peaceful, and I was reluctant to tear myself away.
provincial alcoves at Plaza de España
provincial alcoves at Plaza de España

But it was time for food, and I’d had my eye on one of the best places for tapas in town, Eslava. It would’ve been a considerable walk from where I was, so I figured I’d find a bus. After some confusion with Google maps/bus direction (including me getting off what turned out to be the right bus and waiting for another), I was on my way and soon wandering through the San Lorenzo neighbourhood in search of the restaurant. A quiet, residential area, I liked that it was off-the-beaten tourist path. I managed to snag a seat at the bar, and it wasn’t long before I was perusing the menu, glass of cava in hand. I ordered salmorejo (cold tomato soup), slow-cooked egg on boletus cake with caramelized wine reduction, foie-gras and pork tenderloin with cabrales cheese sauce. Everything was absolutely superb and artfully-arranged. I was surprised at how many tapas places I’d been to where such care was taken in the presentation, even though the item may only have been a couple Euro.

foie gras at Eslava
foie gras at Eslava
Full of deliciousness, I walked back to the AirBnB, through charming, colourful streets. The heat (40 C) mingled with a full belly was sapping my energy considerably, so I enjoyed the luxury of a siesta in the air conditioned confines of my apartment. After a few hours of blissful, cool sleep, I dragged myself out of bed and went in search of a place to eat for dinner. I ended up walking back to Plaza de la Encarnación, where I discovered you could actually go atop the giant mushroom structure for views of the city. It was a bizarre juxtaposition of new and old, looking out over the undulating wooden structure  out at cathedrals and buildings centuries old. The price of admission included a glass of wine (gotta love this country), so I lingered over my wine whilst searching for a dinner spot.
atop the Metropol Parasol
atop the Metropol Parasol
La Brunilda looked to be highly recommended and only a few minutes from my apartment, so I headed back in that direction. I ended up getting there just a few minutes before it opened and waited in the queue of people already lining up for it (a good sign). I grabbed myself a high top table, as I wanted to actually have a back to my chair after all the meals I’d eaten on backless bar stools. Because I seem physically incapable of not ordering them, I grabbed croquetas, as well as mushroom risotto and their roasted chicken with mushrooms and polenta. It was divinely good–especially the risotto, so creamy! That’s what I love about tapas: because the portions are small enough you can sample a variety of things. This is particularly important as a solo traveler, where sharing a couple of things is not an option.   Yet another delicious day in Seville!
mushroom risotto at La Brunilda
mushroom risotto at La Brunilda

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