In my Summer Travel Series we’ve visited Lisbon, the sunny beaches of Algarve and our next stop is the charming Seville, aka Sevilla, Spain. Scott and I booked a bus transport for this leg of our trip and found it to be a convenient way to travel the 4 hours east from Portugal to Spain.
In Seville we caught a taxi, and experienced an ultra wild ride, through the extremely narrow streets of the city center. I’m sure we could have reached out and touched the buildings on either side if we had only dared open the windows.
From the moment we entered the Fontecruz Sevilla we knew we had made the perfect choice with this sleek, modern hotel in the midst of Bario Santa Cruz. It’s located within a couple of winding blocks to cafe-lined streets, the Sevilla Cathedral, the Alcazar, the Plaza de Espana, and the river front. From this ‘wagon wheel’ of a city center we could pick a direction, head down a tiny street to explore, and it would take us to a new hidden gem.
Along with the excellent location, I liked the vibe of the Fontecruz Sevilla. Our suite was sleek, well-appointed and spacious. The common spaces, were luxurious and comfortable. There is even an outdoor pool for a dip on hot summer days.
When I was making reservations for the trip the photos of this hotel had me at “roof-top terrace overlooking the city”. The Fontecruz Sevilla is the perfect perch for capturing a brilliant sunset from the rooftop lounge.
We walked by this friendly fellow (with cap (center) who encouraged us to see the city, escorted by himself and his steed, in this colorful carriage. We politely declined, but a minute later changed our minds. Why not? We found the carriage to be a charming way to see the sights in Sevilla. We recommend a carriage ride in the mid-to-late morning, during the summer months, before the heat sets in.
I captured a moment during our carriage ride here:
Carriage ride [kad_youtube url=”http://youtu.be/tpfRJieGnVc” ]
The Seville Cathedral, also called ‘Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See’, is the third largest church in the world and adorns the ancient city center of Seville like an ornate stone wedding cake. We viewed the burial site of Christopher Columbus and the scope of that slice of history is awe-inspiring. This gothic cathedral is definitely worth a visit and we appreciated it’s ability to transport us to another place in time, even for just an hour, on a sunny Spanish afternoon.
One a completely different cultural note, one of our favorite aspects of travel is meeting fellow travelers and locals along our path. Just across the cobbled street from our hotel we spotted ‘Abbatia‘, an authentic tapas restaurant. We thought it would be an excellent first stop for our evening out. Little did we know that the warm, friendly owners, Pedro and Blanco, and their chef Andres, would capture our hearts. Our evening started with tasty tapas, lovely wines and lively conversation. We eventually made our way out on the town to discover more of Sevilla. As we ventured back to our hotel, late at night, our new friends waved us back in for a nightcap, an after-hours flamenco show/dance lesson and the hilarity ensued. We certainly felt the 3:30 am bedtime the next morning, but our adventure was more than worth it! In travel there are those memorable times, when a language barrier simply does not exist, and this was one of them. Thank you to our new friends in Sevilla!
A few more views of Sevilla (the street view taken from our tiny balcony).
We fell in love with the charms of Sevilla. Scott and I agreed that three days was not enough and next time we will plan to stay longer. Our plane reservation was already scheduled so we reluctantly boarded the plane to Bilbao, Spain. Join me on the next leg of our ‘Summer Travel to Portugal and Spain’ series for a glimpse of the sparkling seaside city of San Sebastián.