I have been reading Cat’s blog, Sunshine and Siestas for a long time now. Now that I am in La Rioja in the north, sometimes I get twinges of homesickness for life back in Andalucía, where I was living in Córdoba. Whenever this feeling sneaks up on me, I head on over to Cat’s blog to get my southern Spain fix. After living in Spain for years, she not only captures the spirit in this traditional area of Spain but she is my go-to girl for all my Spain questions. Once again she has allowed me to pester her with questions and has agreed to be a part of my new project, the Expat Files! After reading about beautiful Sevilla, all I want to do now is to buy a traje de gitana and head down to Sevilla for feria one spring and dance sevillanas with a true sevillana.
1. Describe Spain in 3 words
Makes Me Alive
Seville doesn’t have as much food tradition as other places in Spain, but a sevillano’s favorite sandwich would be amontadíto de pringá. This finger-sized sandwich is synonomous with a carnivore’s dream, as all kinds of pig and chicken aprts go into it. The sandwich is then grilled and served with chips. It tastes like a dry pulled pork, and is perfect with a beer.
My favorite bar to have pringá is Las Columnas, an ancient bar where your tab is still calculated in chalk on the long, wooden bar. It’s on Mateos Gagos in the shadow of the Giralda Tower, and the bartenders are jovial and the food served quickly. It’ll run you about 2,50€, but the price is so worth it for the filling plate.
3. What do you think is the most beautiful spot in Sevilla? The best view?
My favorite spot in Seville is the neighborhood of Triana, across the river from the historic center. This is the old neighborhood of gypsies and fisherman, so the palce is steeped in history. There are small alleyways to explore, traditional food to sample and ceramic tiles line the underbellies of balconies and the hole-in-the-wall bars.
The view from Triana is breathtaking, especially at night when the whole city is lit up, but the best place for a great view is from above. By city decree, no building can be higher than the minaret tower of the cathedral, but a recent architectural addition comes close: the Metrosol, our controversial mushroom towers in Plaza de la Encarnación, is the world’s tallest wooden structure and provides a stunning view of the city. For non-EU members, it’s 1,50€ to take a ride up the elevators to the viewpoint.
4. How did you end up there? What made you decide to move to Spain? Why did you chose Sevilla?
5. Name one think you don’t like about Sevilla
My biggest complaints about Seville are that the beach is still an hour away, there aren’t many big-name acts that play down here (Madonna, U2 and The Boss have been here in the last few years, but at too high a price), and that the airport is dinky – I’ve been to nearly all of the desinations with connections!
6. Name one thing to do or see in Sevilla that is not in any guidebook
Guidebooks about Seville are extensive and list all of the wonderful things to do, see in eat in the city and beyond. My favorite place to go outside Seville is the tiny town of San Nicolás del Puerto, population 700, where my boyfriend’s family is from. Located along the Huéznar River, it’s the birthplace of San Diego de Alcalá, and their festivals to him and their patroness, Saint Barbara, are legendary. It’s a palce to enjoy the small-town feel, eat well and escape from city life. It’s best reached by car, or by taking the cercanías C-1 line from Seville and hiking the Vía Verde from the last stop (about 10 miles).
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Have you ever been to Sevilla? Are you an expat in Spain? Want to be featured on my Expat Files? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org