In love with Sevilla – at last!

In love with Sevilla – at last!

With travelling around restricted at the moment, because of Covid-19 lockdowns, our contributor Paul Whitelock has been reminiscing about trips taken in earlier years. Here, in an article written in 2011, he describes how he fell in love with Sevilla – at last!

May 2011

“How far’s Ronda from Seville? I’m calling in there on a cruise in May. Can we meet up?”

That was a message on my Christmas card from my Welsh cousin Roger.

So, months later and having made the arrangements by text, email and phone, off I drove to Seville last Sunday.

Now me and Seville don’t get on! I’d been there three times previously and the city never did it for me.

The first time was in the late 1990s in August with our two young kids in tow. The heat was unbearable and it was just a hassle, from parking to getting around, all the time fighting through the throngs of other tourists. We did the cathedral, the Giralda, the Plaza de España and the Torre del Oro, but it was a very disappointing experience because of the intense heat.

The second visit was in the early 2000s with the family and my elderly disabled mother. It was Easter and seemed just as hot! All three disabled parking spaces in the city were occupied by cars not displaying a blue badge, so we had to park a long way from the central sights. Once again we did the cathedral, the Giralda, the Plaza de España and the Torre del Oro, but all in all there was too much bother to enjoy them properly.

The third visit was last Spring [2009] with my then intended, Rita. It was hot (Seville isn’t called la sartén de España – the frying pan of Spain – for nothing!). We got lost wandering around and ended up walking miles out of our way! Again, it was an experience that didn’t match up to our expectations.

So, last Sunday, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the city either, especially as the forecast was for temperatures hitting 40 degrees! But, guess what, it turned out great, and I really enjoyed this undeniably magnificent city this time around.

Wandering around with Roger, chatting about old times, taking photos, checking out the odd bar, watching the Real Betis fans celebrating their promotion to La Liga, gained that afternoon. The city was a-buzz with a good-natured atmosphere and shimmered brightly in its beauty.

Even the two policías who booked me for parking illegally at the harbour let me off when I pleaded with them nicely!

It was a great day out, with plenty of photos to remind me, at last, what a great city Seville is!

Paul Whitelock

About Paul Whitelock

Paul Whitelock is a retired former languages teacher, school inspector and translator, who emigrated to the Serranía de Ronda in 2008, where he lives with his second wife, Rita, and his dog, Berti. He spends his time between Montejaque and Ronda doing DIY, gardening and writing.