It is better to travel well than to arrive


Our second day in Seville was just a short half-day and in an attempt to use every available moment of it, we tried to fit the Plaza de España, Parque de Maria Luisa, and the Seville Cathedral and Giralda into a span of four hours. I don’t recommend that, especially if you think you might want to eat somewhere in that time. From the time we woke up at 8am until we arrived in Ronda around 6pm, all I had time to eat was two churros and a mini bag of crisps. Yay, nutrition! But hey – our priority on this trip was not food, although we did enjoy our fair share of tapas, but to see things, so my growling stomach had to take one for the team. And I’m glad it did, because the Seville Cathedral and Giralda was the last thing on our list and we just barely had enough time for it.

La Catedral de Seville is located right next to the Alcázar in the Plaza del Triunfo. It’s surrounded on all sides by other buildings and structures, making it nearly impossible to photograph as a whole from down below. Broken up into pieces in these photos, it’s hard to tell just how big this cathedral is, but it’s huge. The third largest church in the world, actually. While Cory held our place in line to get in, Lexie and I decided to walk the perimeter of the whole church – it took us almost half an hour. No joke. Of course, you’ve got to factor in all the stops we made for photo ops, but still, this place is enormous. And if it appears large on the outside, just wait until you go in.

We’ve seen quite a few cathedrals since moving to Europe, so many that I can’t even name them all off the top of my head anymore, and while each has been different from the next, they’ve all had one thing in common – the general layout. But not this one. The Seville Cathedral is a maze of multiple naves and chapels and other holy places. We didn’t separate to explore on our own like we usually do, because it was a definite possibility we might never find each other again. And it’s also very, very dark inside. I actually ran into someone/something two separate times because I literally couldn’t see two feet in front of me in parts of the cathedral. {Sorry for the kind of tacky-looking photos of the inside. I needed a tripod in here, big time, but those aren’t allowed. Neither is using your flash, in case you were wondering.}

This is a place where, if you’re into this kind of thing, you could quite possibly spend hours wandering around into the separate chapels and checking out all the little details, but because we had spent more time than expected in the Plaza earlier and then, unexpectedly, had to wait in line outside for an hour to get in, we only had about thirty minutes to spend walking around the cathedral and for going up in the Giralda. For Lexie, who is so over cathedrals, this was like divine intervention, but for me – someone who hates being rushed or feeling like I missed something – this was the worst possible way to see somewhere new.

For the first time, I was that annoying tourist rushing around from place to place, snapping photos and not really taking anything in. Next time, I will either plan our days out better or just skip something if I don’t have enough time for it because this was crazy. The only thing that really registered was when I spotted the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. It’s in that last photo above, his tomb suspended on the shoulders of four figures representing the kingdoms of Spain during Columbus’ life. Seeing that was pretty cool, but everything else is a blur.

And then there was attempting to race up the 350-foot tall Giralda in under five minutes. Yeah, that was actually kind of fun. I like a challenge, what can I say?

The Giralda is the bell tower of the Seville Cathedral, and thankfully, the route to the top is made up of a series of ramps instead of stairs. Because those were so much easier to run up. And the views from here, at the highest point in the city, were so worth nearly bursting our lungs on the way up. From the top we caught a glimpse of the Plaza de Toros, Seville’s bull ring that we didn’t get a chance to visit, as well as views stretching all the way to where we stayed along the Guadalquivir River. And just look at all that color – Sevillanos know how to keep their city from looking dull, that’s for sure.

After making our way down the Giralda, we raced back to our hotel to grab our bags before jumping in a taxi to the bus station. Our next stop was to be Ronda, a city that outshone even Seville, and after an amazing two days in Andalusia’s capital, that’s definitely saying something. Following a short break next week to share about some things we’ve been doing in London, Ronda is where we’ll pick up next on our tour of southern Spain!

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