Monday 13 April 2015

I think I love Seville!

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I think love Seville. I've thought it might be so for a while, but when I think about the city and having to leave tomorrow, I'm starting to realise how much its true.

It's those laughably beautiful landmarks and picturesque winding streets. The colourful sunsets, the buildings that seem to almost glitter under blue Spanish skies. I love the drama of flamenco, the vivacity of Sevillian locals who will work all day and spend all night sharing beers and tapas with friends. I love tapas. Deep fried aubergines with sticky honey sauce, grilled goats cheese sprinkled with almonds, freshly fried fish, grated tomatoes, and all manner of croquettes.

I love this city that has been drenched in history. Where authentic Moorish tiles creep up the sides of Catholic churches. Where Hercules lived. This city that has seen prosperity, violence and cruelty. Where Columbus set sail for "India". Where Jews and Moors were forcibly expelled by the catholic "reconquistadores" - communities who were kicked out from the homes and left beautiful and lasting marks behind them.

I love the heady smell of orange blossom floating through the streets in mysterious whiffs, creeping up on you when you least expect it. The glamour of the Plaza de España. The creepy other-worldliness of Cartuja island.

I love the Alcazar. And I love the palm trees! Tropical birds tweeting above you and stray cats lurking behind railings. I love showing visitors around the city and when they say "I think this is the most beautiful place I've ever been", I think, yeah, you're probably right.

When I walk through the streets I love to spy the Giralda peeking through the rooftops: the minaret-turned-bell tower that has become the symbol of Seville. I love the river that winds past parties of Sevillians drinking wine on Sunday afternoons. Cocktails on rooftops, bike rides on the riverside. The friendly man who sells me fruit. Cobbled streets, decadent courtyards and tiled balconies.

I love the bustle of the Macarena where children play out in the street til midnight. The conservative traditions and alternative cafés. I love the people I've met. I even love the virgens of Semana Santa!

So it is quite clear that I love Seville. And when you have to leave something you love - even to go somewhere else, to people you adore, to go home - your heart breaks. So it is with excitement and trepidation that I prepare to travel home tomorrow. But it's going to be okay because in Seville, when you leave somewhere or someone - work, a shop, a taxi, a lift, the hairdressers, when you go home after being with friends, when the plumber leaves after fixing the toilet - you never say "goodbye". You say "hasta luego".

So I say... Hasta luego Sevilla, nos vemos, ¿eh? 😘😘😘

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