Spain
La Giralda

Here you’ll find travel reports about La Giralda. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

13 travelers at this place:

  • Day1

    Arrived in Sevilla

    January 27 in Spain

    Our flight from Dublin took about two and a half hours, so we arrived in the city around lunchtime. We had a coffee stop and a little wander before dropping our bags in the hotel.

    After that we took another little stroll, this time to check out Elizabeth and Kevin’s tapas recommendation - Lola por Dios. A great little place, with a very lively atmosphere and super tapas.

    We decided to do an open top bus tour to get a sense of the scale of the city and where everything is located. Not one of our smartest ideas! A waste of money, to be honest - but c’est la vie.

    We were very tired and cold by that point, so we went back to the hotel for a siesta. Dinner was at Casa Robles (thanks Laurie for the recommendation) followed by another wander to soak up the Saturday night atmosphere. Life is good!

    Why did I think that Seville would be warm in January? It’s really cold 😊
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  • Day2

    Day 2

    January 28 in Spain

    Another day of wandering and eating, in slightly warmer temperatures than yesterday.

    Damian opted for a walking tour around the city, which was much more enjoyable and informative than yesterday’s open top bus. My marathon training plan had a 10 mile run for today, so I did my own version of a city tour. I ended up running alongside the Sevilla half marathon for a few miles, which added some much needed motivation. I felt a little guilty when spectators started cheering, though!

    We met up again around one and strolled along the first few hundred metres of the Via de la Plata, before crossing the bridge to Triana, We struck it lucky again with food, thanks to another food recommendation. A huge lunch of delicious tapas at Casa Remesal.

    We’re resting now in our hotel - Palacio Pinello in the old town. It’s very nice. A restored old building with lovely staff.
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  • Day2

    Day 2: South to Seville

    February 17, 2017 in Spain

    Restless night due to jetlag and Schnitzel barking at lots of sounds from the corridor. We couldn't hear anyone else in other rooms, so hopefully he didn't disturb anyone else. Awake fairly early, particularly by Spanish standards, so after taking the dog out for his business we went looking fairly unsuccessfully for some breakfast. Only place open was Starbucks, so a pair of pastries would have to do.

    Did a bit more wandering and watching the city wake up, marvelling at the sight of my own breath in the chilly morning air as it's something I haven't seen for a long time! Temperature was somewhere under 5 degrees - not frigid, but definitely the coldest we've been in a long time. Madrid is fairly cold by Spain standards since it's in the middle of the arid plains, a long way from the ocean, and about 1800 feet above sea level.

    Wandering completed, we headed back to the hotel around 10am and packed everything up, ready for our train trip south to Seville where we'd be staying for the next week. Caught a metro train to the main train station; was a little difficult considering I had a heavy backpack, lighter day-pack, plus I was lugging Schnitzel in his large crate but we managed OK. People stare a bit at the bright yellow crate, but most take no notice. He behaved himself very well in the crate on the metro, no barking or anything! Probably a bit scary for him, even though we're right there.

    We'd arrived an hour early for our midday train (deliberately), so I found some seats and waited with our luggage while Shandos searched for packed lunches. Heavy security at the station as well, and a memorial plaque reminded me that this was the location of the Madrid train bombings in 2004 which I'd forgotten about entirely (though it was obviously big news at the time). Schnitzel got a bit restless with sitting around in his crate, and took a dislike to wheely suitcases bumping over those visual-aid strips on the ground and creating a racket, so he did a bit more barking.

    Finally we got on the train which was fairly crowded, but thankfully with reserved seats. My large backpack and Schnitzel sat in the luggage rack at the carriage entrance, while our smaller bags went in the overhead lockers. Unfortunately for Schnitzel he had to stay in his crate for the journey, so I left him out there while we sat inside. He was a good boy and didn't bark at all, though I imagine again he was probably quite scared.

    The train trip itself was quite nice - comfortable seats and a great view of the Spanish countryside. Lots of arid semi-farmland, rolling hills, small villages, classic villa style houses with white stucco paint and orange terracotta roofs, and even a couple of old stone castles. Not sure what speed we got up to, but the journey was all over in 2 1/2 hours so I imagine we spent most of that at around 200km/h!

    Arrived in Seville on schedule at 2:30pm, and had a little difficulty finding our way to the hotel. Shandos thought there was light rail but we couldn't see any evidence of it, plus there was no wifi in the building and neither of us had data available on our phones yet. So we settled for an old-fashioned way - asking a local for help in broken Spanish. It turns out the light rail doesn't go to the train station, so we were better off getting a taxi, which we did!

    We met our host Pedro outside the apartment, and he showed us the ropes. Apartment is a good size, with a separate lounge-room, dining table, kitchen and bathroom as well as the bedroom. And it's ideally situated just a minute or so's walk from Seville Cathedral and all of the other sights in the Old Town.

    We did a bit of relaxing for an hour or so before heading out for a wander. Most things here are walking distance for us, so after a brief look at the outside of the cathedral we wandered past the Real Alcazar (old royal palace, as featured on Game of Thrones), down to the Plaza de Espana and the large park nearby. The park turned out to be a hidden gem! A huge size, with lots of different areas, landscaping, fountains and other water features, sculpture, and of course lots of orange trees that the city is famous for. We spent a good few hours just wandering around, and sitting to enjoy the ambience and warm weather (it was about 23 degrees in the sun - still a little crisp but much warmer than Madrid).

    Schnitzel was enjoying himself and mostly behaving, though there were lots of horse & carts around which upset him - he's never encountered them before so he barked quite a bit at first before gradually calming down. It's the loud clip-clop of the hoofs that he doesn't like.

    Went back to the Plaza de Espana for another look around, but decided to wait for later in the week to have a proper look as we were all feeling a bit tired. Stopped at a bodega (bar) just near our apartment and had a couple of small tapas plates (spiced potatoes, and Iberian ham), plus a drink each. Schnitzel spent most of it asleep on our laps! It felt quite strange, since we were in the middle of the bar and restaurant area, but everywhere seemed closed! Very odd for a Friday night.

    Back to our apartment where we both crashed pretty quickly, despite purchasing a bottle of red and a baguette to have with the olive oil Pedro had left us (he works for an olive oil company apparently). We only had a glass each and the bread before falling asleep on the lounge! Schnitzel woke us up around 11:30pm with a few barks; I realised he hadn't been out for his business so I took him out. While waiting, I noticed that all of the bars and restaurants were open again and doing brisk trade! I knew they liked to eat late here, but I'd forgotten just how late!
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  • Day3

    Day 3: Unwinding and Settling In

    February 18, 2017 in Spain

    After yesterday's big move, we decided that we'd have a relaxed day today and just explore things at our own pace. We've got a week here in Seville so we're not in a major hurry to see the main tourist sights just yet. First order of the day was waiting for the supermarket to open so that we could buy some supplies - eventually it opened at 9am and we wandered over. Spent about 20 euros on a couple of baguettes, some beers, a bottle of wine, pasta and sauce, milk, spiced ham and a 2L coke. All the key food groups. Also grabbed some breakfast pastries as the city was starting to wake up.

    After breakfast we went out for a walk with Schnitzel, with no real destination in mind. We just wandered around, marvelling at the buildings and the ambience. There are a lot of tourists here but it doesn't feel particularly touristy, if that makes sense, it still feels reasonably like a functioning city. And although we're staying in the older area of the city, they don't seem to be super strict about preserving it. There aren't any garish modern buildings, thankfully, but the newer buildings are built to match the style of existing ones. So it's difficult to tell if a building is several hundred years old, or just several years old!

    Had lunch at a tapas place we'd been recommended by a friend of Shandos's - excellent food! I had pork cheek in gravy topped with a bit of cheese sauce, while Shandos had pork ribs. We both ordered the "media" size which is medium, but had plenty to eat! And of course the obligatory glass of sangria on the side. Schnitzel was a bit bored by now and started to bark (though it was a very difficult environment for him - wheely suitcases on cobblestones, horses, and dogs walking past), so we beat a hasty retreat.

    I stopped by a Vodafone outlet and picked up a Spanish SIM card so that I can keep using my phone while out and about, then we headed back to the apartment. Shandos took the opportunity to have a siesta, while I did some writing, played a few games and listened to music.

    By the time Shandos resurfaced it was 8pm, so we freshened up and headed back out. A little more wandering before we settled on a cervezeria (pub) a block or so away from our hotel. I had a red wine and Shandos a white, and we shared a tapas plate of stewed meatballs while sitting outside next to a fireplace and watching the locals go about their Saturday nights. Once you get used to eating later, it's a pretty comfortable way of existing!
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  • Day6

    Day 6: Relaxing & Metropol Parasol

    February 21, 2017 in Spain

    Not a whole lot to report today. After a few reasonably full days of sight-seeing, we decided to take it easy for a day and just relax. Spent a bit of the day planning out our next moves, as today's Tuesday and we need to vacate this apartment on Friday for a few days before heading to our house-sit. After researching a few different options, we decided we'll get the train to Cordoba (another classic city about an hour to the north-east), stay there in an apartment for a few days then rent a car for our house-sit and drive down there.

    I wandered over to the Vodafone store as my SIM card had stopped working and I couldn't diagnose the problem. After a 10 minute wait, it turned out the card hadn't been activated properly. I guess it comes preloaded with 10MB of data or something, hence why it worked when I left the shop but stopped working not long after. Oh well, working again at least.

    Bought some delicious pastries on the way back, and also had a brief stickybeak at a protest happening in front of the town hall. Not a whole lot happening, just guys in hi-viz outfits with flags surrounded by police, but it seemed pretty civil thankfully. Not sure what it was about, though I'd guess the guys were unionists of some sort or another.

    Late in the day we went for a walk north to the Metropol Parasol, a strange wooden mushroom-shaped building. I'm a bit hazy as to why it was constructed, and our AirBNB host Pedro didn't recommend it since it was just a tourist gimmick, but we thought we'd check it out anyway. He was kind of right, though there was a nice view of the city from the top! It's apparently the world's largest wooden structure, go figure. And our 3 euro entry came with a free drink, so it was basically a drink for going up to the top which we were happy to do.

    Had dinner on the way back at a burger restaurant called The Good Burger, not sure why it was named in English rather than Spanish! Great burgers and we shared a side of wedges, again very tasty. Entertained ourselves watching the music video channel which played "none of the new stuff, just classics", and was having a "guess the year" competition for each song. We did surprisingly well!
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  • Day7

    Day 7: Walking & Flamenco

    February 22, 2017 in Spain

    Another relaxed day today. Didn't do anything in the morning beyond a brief walk with Schnitzel, and some home-made pasta for lunch. Nicer weather today so in the afternoon we decided to walk back down to Plaza de Espana, since we'd only briefly checked it out earlier in the week.

    It was originally built for a World's Fair-type exposition in 1929, and the facade of the building has a mural+map+heraldry done in mosaic tiles for every single province in Spain. We wandered around the giant courtyard and admired the artistry, discovering along the way some of the provinces we'd never heard about before. Nice to look at, though it was quite warm in the sun.

    Afterwards we wandered into the Jewish quarter and found a tiny little bar down an alleyway, shaded by orange trees and whitewashed houses. Sat here and had a couple of local wines as we watched people clatter over the cobblestones - lovely environment!

    Back to the apartment for another rest before heading out around 7pm. Dinner at one of the restaurants we'd been to earlier in the week with fantastic tapas, one of the best rated in Seville apparently! This time I had oxtail meatballs with cauliflower and carrot cream, while Shandos had the pork cheeks in red wine sauce that I'd had earlier. The city was quite noisy at the moment, as a lot of English football fans were in town for a game - Leicester City were playing Sevilla FC in the Champions League knockout stages (the game ended 2-1 to Sevilla).

    After dinner we wandered down another maze of narrow streets to the Flamenco Museum, the only one of its kind in the world! We had tickets for a flamenco show at 8:45 which had been recommended to us by our AirBnB host as one of the most authentic in the city. Happy to report that the performance was brilliant!

    Despite my impression of flamenco being focused on female dancers, the male lead stole the show with a ridiculously energetic performance, though the lady was also quite good. Fantastic guitar work as well, though I wasn't hugely fussed about the singer. The vocal style is very different from what we're used to in western culture, and it's also in Spanish which doesn't help - my rudimentary Spanish can't keep up until she sings "te amor" 10 times in a row! Still very talented though, and we stumbled out into the chilly night both impressed and buzzed from the performance.

    Long walk back to the apartment, broken up slightly by the purchase of a delicious gelato - tarte queso (cheesecake) and Mars for me, dulce de leche for Shandos.
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  • Day7

    Fahrt nach Sevilla

    September 16, 2016 in Spain

    Traumhaftes Wetter hier... Um die 30 Grad, blauer Himmel und Sonnenschein. Wir haben eine Stadtrundfahrt mit dem Bus gemacht, weil wir einen Eindruck von der Stadt bekommen wollten. Hier gibt es viele Grünanlagen und sehr schöne Gebäude im arabischen Stil. Wir sind nach der Bustour mal zur Kathedrale gegangen und laufen jetzt noch ein bißchen durch die Altstadt. Im Moment machen wir ein Päuschen an einem schattigen Fleckchen.Read more

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La Giralda

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