Seville 14-16.5.17

I travelled to Seville from Madrid by Bla Bla Car with Francisco,

…and arrived rather later than anticipated. For a long time I had planned to start my next walk in Seville and posted on Facebook that I was looking for someone who would like Shiatsu in return for a bed. My kind friend, Gill, put me in touch with Pedro, a fellow Shiatsu practitioner, and he was more than welcoming with his excellent English.

With Pedro Fdez, Seville.

It was good sleeping amongst the healing Chi of his practice room and I was delighted to listen to Jesús’ Cuban guitar for breakfast.

With Jesus.

My tourist day in Seville began when I was dropped off at Plaza de Armas (where you can also find the bus station and super-market), and I started my walk along the River Guadalquivir towards the Mercado (market) Lonja del Barranco in Calle Arjona, next to Puente de Isabel II (one of the many bridges at regular intervals along the waterway).

Mercado (market).
The Isabel Bridge where I will start the Camino Via de la Plata tomorrow.
Beautiful Jacaranda trees
Strong purple flowers everywhere with bright spring green foliage.
Magenta bougainvillea contrasts with the surrounding trees and shrubs.
Guadalquivir River

I sauntered past shops with gleaming apricots and sombreros for sale.

Then continued along the Paseo de Cristóbal Colón with its glorious colours: yellow earth, orange flowers and jade-green river. The subtle-sweet aromas, the sounds of school children, rhythms improvised with plastic bottles and hands making steel pan drum sounds on metal table and chair, with grass cutters in the background reminding me of those along the Brittany coast two days before.

Coffee in the morning.
Monument, La Tolerancia by Eduardo Chillida.
The temperatures were to rise to near tropical within the week.

The architecture is quite different in this south-western corner of Spain. The yellow and white bullfighting stadium, deep pinks and orange of residential apartments are interspersed royal blue shuttered grandiosity. None of your Tobermory pale baby colours as on the Isle of Mull in Scotland.

Decorative tiles.
Rows of brightly coloured buildings on the other side of the river.

The Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla.
With plenty of statues of bullfighters.

Seville is a gay-friendly and open-minded place, extremely attractive, and full of tourists, artists and university students.

When I am in a city with so many famous sights, too many for a short visit, I have found a way to choose what to do: I get to a corner and I stand still and contemplate. If I like the look of the left-hand street I go there, if right then there. I have been practicing spontaneity and following my interest for many years in my Shiatsu sessions. Here my eyes draw me to a baroque exterior in the sunshine: a balustrade above oval windows, above decorated towers, beside naked torsos at the Instituto Geográfico y Estadístico in the Plaza Nueva next to the Plaza de San Francisco. There are plenty of other delights!

Trams in the main square.

The Antigua-Calle de Manteros (old street).

Between buildings I came across an ochre brown corner with orange brickwork and elaborate blue and white decorative tiling.  There were business men walking together: a professional in a dark jacket and pale trousers with a laptop-sized purse lightly balanced between thigh and hand, and another sporting a jaunty panama. They embraced with a good strong pat-pat with both hands on the other’s upper arms to ‘adios’ – not something you see much of in the UK.

Smart dressers.

It was the unexpected details which caught my eye: the Banco de España (Bank of Spain) has cuboid trees; horses and carts sport shiny yellow wheels; while a woman squatted to take photos.

Horses and carts were everywhere for tourists and romantics.

There was more English spoken around me than I had heard in weeks. It was swelteringly hot so that I was glad to get into the cool church.

The famous Puerta del Perdon .
Puerta de San Cristobal.
Parroquia de Sagrario.
The Cathedral where I got my credential and the first stamp for my walk from the guide at the door without having to queue.

If you get the chance to visit, check out the solid silver altar piece in the Cathedral, the flying angels holding lamps, pink marble, and, when I was there, spray after spray of white chrysanthemums and fragrant lillies. Outside, a young boy kindly put his arm around his brother and comforted him – there seemed to be good feeling everywhere.

I found myself back at the river: two men were lounging in a huge pedalo-type river craft made of white fibreglass;
a school girl on a bike was dressed in a burgundy and black kilt with matching socks; there were rows of municipal bicycles I had only previously seen in London; the green men on the road crossing signs walk! and three boys in swimming trunks took it in turns to jump off into the river. It was already 38 degrees. In fact for a moment I rather worried for myself for the walk tomorrow.

Big boats acting as restaurants line the opposite side along where I will walk when I start my Camino the next morning.

Wonderful river views and smart sights.

That evening we went to a concert in the Moroccan Pavillion, from the Expo in 1992.

It glows in the evening.
We waited outside in the warm dark listening to the melodies floating down from the roof.
Decorative walls inside.

There was tango, piano and singing (mostly in English from British stage shows – apparently very popular) in shorts and T-shirt, and we sipped free beer and ate peanuts. Later we drove through the gloriously illuminated city and enjoyed tapas in the slight breeze – welcome at midnight sitting outside!

Maybe I had had too many beers?

Without a guide book, I had had to locate the setting-off place for the next leg of my travels through Spain on my own. Happily I had found it by chance at the very beginning of the day, so after a few hours of sleep I knew where to start.


One thought on “Walking without a donkey, Travels in Spain – Seville

  1. Hola, Tamsin!
    I am impressed of all your travelling in Spain. It sounds as if you are enjoying life . Sad to hear that you are giving up the school and I am glad that I had you as my teacher in shiatsu. Anna had finished school this year . She is taking a year out before going to university. Maja and Katrina are in s3 now. We are going to the isle of Harris and camping near the summer isles in July. Take good care,
    Barbara x


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