Uncategorized

Things to Do and See in Seville

I LOVE Seville. My first time visiting the Spanish mainland. I’ve been to the Balearic’s, and the Canaries, but never actually to Spain itself. Most people choose to go to Madrid or Barcelona for their first experience of mainland Spain.

Me? I choose to take three flights and go to Seville.

Living just north of Aberdeen, there’s not many direct flights. Pretty much the only direct flights are to Paris or Amsterdam – and there’s all the helicopters to the offshore oil platforms. To get to Seville, I had to fly to Heathrow, then Madrid, then Seville. Thankfully, all of my flights were on time, so the journey was actually quicker than a lot of the times where I’ve only had 2 flights.

Anyway, back to Seville.

It is just STUNNING. I adore Moorish architecture, and Seville has it in abundance. Just like any other popular city, it was quite busy, but because it’s so awkward to get to, it’s not as busy as, say, Paris or Venice, which was nice.

It was also ROASTING. Even in the middle of September, it was high thirties. Drink lots of water, folks!

I would go back to Seville in a heartbeat, if I had the money. There is a lot to see in Seville, and I didn’t manage to see everything. If any of you have any ideas of other places to see, please let me know! 🙂

Plaza de Espana
A trip to Seville is not complete without a trip to the Plaza de Espana. Situated in Parque de Maria Luisa, it is gorgeous. I was particularly taken with the bridges made of tiles. I also love the little alcoves showing all the provinces of Spain – it’s fun seeing how each of them has been portrayed.

Catedral de Sevilla
Seville Cathedral is the largest cathedral, and the third largest church, in the world. And you can tell. It is absolutely MASSIVE. The orange courtyard (a courtyard with orange trees, not a courtyard that is bright orange) is lovely – I have this weird thing where seeing fruit in trees really amuses me. Every time I go to Italy, I love seeing the lemon trees. And in Madeira, there is fruit growing everywhere!

No one is completely sure if Christopher Columbus is buried in the cathedral, or if it’s his son Diego, but there is a very fancy tomb dedicated to Columbus in the middle of the main room It is also opposite the most unflattering mirror in the world (it’s tilted at an angle, so that you can get a selfie with the ceiling, but any photos taken from below are baaaaaaad).

Metropol Parasol
The largest wooden structure in the world, this is the place to go for views. Being so high up in a city where the buildings aren’t that tall makes for a spectacular view. For 3 euros, you get a lift up to the top, and you can spend as long as you like up there. It’s not that busy either, so there’s no need to elbow people out of the way.

Alcazar of Seville
One of the most beautiful buildings I have ever been in. I love Moorish architecture, and this palace has it in abundance. The gardens are stunning, too, although I was unfortunately too tall for the maze.

Baths of Lady Maria de Padilla
Situated in the Alcazar, just below it, with access through the gardens, these were originally rainwater tanks, but they are worth a look.

The Alhambra
Yes, it’s a day trip, but it is SO WORTH IT. It’s about 2.5 hours on the bus to and from Granada (our trip picked us up at 7am, and we got there just after 9am). The palace is massive and is an excellent example of Moorish architecture (I don’t think I mentioned that I love Moorish architecture?). It’s so worth the early start. Our tour guide was lovely – he was so passionate about the palace. You could tell that he loved it.

Generalife
This was probably what I was looking forward to seeing the most. The pictures are all over the guide books, and they do not do this place justice. People on our tour were given the option of not doing this part, and just relaxing in the palace gardens, but I would recommend doing it.

Convent Sweets
This was an unusual experience, but I loved it. There are maybe half a dozen convents scattered throughout Seville where you can buy sweets from nuns. I happened to find the one where you don’t even see the nun – you put money on a metal turnstile, and they give you the sweets with an ‘Ave Maria’. Unfortunately, the day I visited, the turnstile wasn’t working, so I went into the church itself. There was a sweet old lady knitting behind a big grill. I paid her, and she squeezed a wooden box of sweets through the gap. They are literally made with egg yolks and sugar, but the money goes towards helping the nuns and the convent.

Tiles
There are tiles everywhere in Seville. I may have bought half a dozen as souvenirs.

If I have missed anything, please let me know. Any excuse to go back 🙂

Cake Number 14: Green Tea Roulade (Japan)

Green Tea Roulade1

Looks like I can’t make Swiss Roll!  I even did the thing where you’re supposed to roll it as soon as it comes out of the oven – and it held its shape then, letting me naively think that my cake was gonna turn out well for once!  And then, the cake cooled, I unrolled it, and it broke into three, even parts.  Gutted!

Green Tea Roulade3

So now, instead of a Swiss Roll, it’s a Swiss Tube (and it’s a bit burned because the thermostat on my oven is broken and everything burns, whether it’s covered in tin foil or not).

I couldn’t find any green tea powder, so I made do with green tea bags and steeped it for ages – it was really strong!  But there’s no green tea flavour at all, which is a bit disappointing.

This is a really dense cake – and it was so satisfying to make.  I had to whisk 8 eggs yolks and 6 egg whites (separately, obviously), and then add the whites to the yolks and then add the flour mixture – and it was so big!  All that air in the whisked eggs!  I loved it!

Green Tea Roulade6