The last palace of Seville

For our last day in Seville, we wanted to visit the Alcazar. But we hadn’t bought tickets beforehand (though everyone had recommended it) and the line was ridiculous. We decided against it, and moved on to another palace. We made our way north, seeing parts of the city we hadn’t seen before. We stopped to buy a fan, which is a traditional souvenir that’s now hanging on our wall, next to a mask we bought in Venice.

We came across some churches we hadn’t seen before, and the Metropol Parasol, a sculpture that claims to be the largest wooden sculpture in the world. It was built in 2011 and remains one of Seville’s highlights, though it’s a bit overrated, if you ask me.

Palacio de las Duenas

Instead of visiting the Real Alcazar, we choose to go to Palacio de las Duenas. There was no line here, so we bought our tickets and went in. We started off in the palace gardens, which were quiet and peaceful. Only a handful other people were inside, and we could hear the birds. We took some pictures, enjoyed the sun and just generally relaxed in the lush gardens.

We had some fun taking pictures here. The palace gardens had all these little corridors and a patio in the middle. I was sitting on the left bench when boyfriend decided to take a panorama picture. He started at the left side of the picture and when I was on it, I stood up and run along some of the corridors, so I could sit down on the right side of the patio before the camera was there. It was hilarious 🙂

After walking through the gardens for a bit, we came into the palace. It was really gorgeous, again with the mudejar elements we had seen at other palaces. It was still lush and green and there were colorful flowers everywhere.

There was so much to see! Lots of beautiful flowerspots, statues and tapestries, all with the yellow walls in the back, that gave everything a very warm feeling.

There were lots of rooms we could peek into in this palace, which I really loved. We had seen a lot of gorgeous palaces but it’s the insides that tell the story, which makes them unique, for you can see how people lived there, back in the day. Their was a sitting room, a library and a chapel. The rooms were full with paintings, tapestries and trinkets and they gave a totally different vibe than the outside of the palace we had already seen.

Most rooms were just… too much, if you ask me, but I loved this one! I could totally see myself getting cozy on that couch, with a good book and a cat on my lap.

It was a lovely place to spend some time. I think it’s a good alternative to Real Alcazar, though I can’t be too sure, since we hadn’t actually been inside. But it was so quiet around here, and you could just take your time walking around and seeing things, whereas the Alcazar must have been super crowded, since there was such a line in front.

We had such a lovely time in this city. I haven’t seen any other cities in Spain yet, but I will definitely be back in Seville. It’s all so romantic and beautifully decorated and I absolutely loved it.

Casa de Pilatos and the Quest for Paella

There are so many beautiful palaces in Seville that it’s hard to choose which one to visit first. The most highlighted one is the Real Alcazar, but you know what, let’s be original and discover another one. I’d recommend visiting Casa de Pilatos, which is absolutely stunning and way less crowded.

The palace is divided in both a summer and a winter palace. It beautifully combines Italian renaissance and the mudejar elements you see on so many buildings in this lovely city. Walls, floors and ceilings are all decorated beautifully and a statue of Athena is looking over you when you come into the palace.

The summer palace is colorful, bright and open to the patio and lovely lush gardens that are filled with olive trees. There were birds singing and butterflies fluttering around. It was all so lovely. And it was perfectly calm. There weren’t too many people inside, so you could just take your time, walk at your own pace and take it all in, enjoying the sun and the beautiful building.

The ticket we bought included an audiotour and a guided tour of the winter palace, upstairs. Up here, you could see the same architecture, but the rooms were furnished with thick tapestries, paintings, and lush carpets. Everything was filled with trinkets and it felt very homey, though a little foreign due to the mudejar style that was very prominent.

After the palace, it was time for icecream! I could really get used to the weather in Spain, though I wouldn’t say no to some icecream now and then! We found this cute little icecream parlor that sold these lovely rose icecreams. It was called Amorino, and apparently, it’s all over Europe, though I’ve never seen it before. Anyway, this was so pretty that I took so many pictures that eventually, my macaron fell off… Nevertheless, the icecream was really good, even without it! We took our icecreams to a little market nearby on Plaza del Duque de la Victoria.

We hadn’t visited a museum yet, so it was about time. The Museo des bellas artes was close so we hopped in for a bit. The museum was free for European tourists (and only a few euros for non-European tourists) so that was nice!

The museum had a lovely patio and the corridors surrounding it were filled with beautiful art. Most if it was religious, which isn’t really my thing, but wat I did love were the ceilings! Whole scenes were depicted on them and they looked beautiful. If you decide to visit the Museo des bellas artes, make sure to look up in each and every room!
After wandering around a bit, I was getting really tired and the siësta had already started, so we headed back to our hotel to get some rest. We slept a bit, had some buns we bought the day before and decided to go for a swim.

It was a lovely afternoon. We stayed there longer than we firstly intended to, but we didn’t care. It was nice to just be able to relax a bit and we lounged and swimmed and read until it was time for dinner!

The previous night we had had tapas so today we wanted to try another Spanish dish, namely Paella! I had never tried it and sometimes I can be squirmy with food, so I wanted to know beforehand what I was going to eat. We walked and walked, past restaurants that just said: ‘Paella with meat or Paella with fish’, but didn’t specify what kind of meat or fish, so we went on. We came across restaurant with menus that had little pictures of the food. Some looked disgusting, so we went on. There was one restaurant that served paella with rabbit, but no. Boyfriend wanted to eat fish, so all the places that didn’t have fish were out of the question as well. Tired and frustrated, we decided to find something else and then we came across l’Oca Giuliva, which was a cute little Italian place and we decided to settle. I’m so glad we did because this food was amazing ♥

I really loved this place. The ambience was lovely, the staff was really nice and the food. I had the lasagne and it was the best I ever had (apart from the one I had in Venice, but that’s Italy so that doesn’t count) and boyfriend had the four cheese gnocchi which was really good too. I couldn’t stop stealing food off his plate!
For dessert, we shared a cherry cheesecake which was really delicious too. If you love Italian food and you’re visiting Seville, make sure to have dinner at l’Oca Giuliva, you won’t regret it!

Highlights, Tapas and Sevilla by night

After having churros and slushies for lunch, it was getting hotter but we wanted to see a bit more of the city before we went for siësta. We decided to go to the city center where we found some lovely stores, the largest gothic cathedral in the world, the Giralda and an awesome pink church.

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Wandering through Seville

When traveling to a new city I’ve never been to, I usally make a list of a couple of things I want to see. But instead of checking off items on a list, I’d rather get the feel of a city. So for our second day in Seville, we decided to just wander around a bit, taking in the scenery.

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Must-Visit: Plaza d’Espana

In a corner of the Maria Luisa Park, we found the Plaza d’Espana, which was also high on my list of things to see in Seville. This plaza has everything you can wish for. An awesome palace, gorgeous bridges over a canal, and an amazing fountain. The place is super romantic and rich with details that are begging to be seen.

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A quiet highlight of Sevilla: Parque Maria Luisa

Last week, it was finally time for our summer vacation, that we were gonna spend in Seville, Spain. I fell in love with this city with its amazing architecture, beautiful palaces and amazing summer weather. On our first day, we visited what would become one of the highlights of our trip, namely Parque Maria Luisa.

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Slow Travel

We were sitting on a bench, overlooking a line of people that wanted to visit the Real Alcazar. The line looped here and there, went behind a building and we couldn’t tell how far it would go. This was our last day in Seville and I had wanted to visit the Alcazar, since it’s one of the city’s highlights. The other days, we hadn’t been able to make it. On Monday, we were tired from our trip so we decided to have a quiet day in the Maria Luisa park. Later, we discovered the Alcazar was crowded in the morning, so then we wanted to go on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon, but it turned out we were too tired or rather wanted to spend an afternoon chilling at the pool. So, we set out Friday morning to visit it. But then we saw the line…

We were contemplating if we wanted to stand in it. The time we sat there, it didn’t move an inch. Was it worth it? It would probably be super crowded inside as well. We decided we could come back another time, and see a different palace this time. We ended up visiting Palacio de las Duenas. There wasn’t a line there, and only a handful of people were inside. And it was truly gorgeous, and quiet. I’m glad we made this decision.

We ended up not visiting the Alcazar on this trip, though I had really wanted to. But the line just wasn’t worth it.

I read an article about slow travel in Flow Magazine when we were sitting at the pool on Wednesday. About not running from highlight to highlight, but actually taking time to see the things you want to see. Not walking past painting after painting in a museum, but taking the time to closely study one you really like.

We always have the feeling we have to rush to tick off everything that’s on our list, instead of enjoying everything that is around us. On this trip, I know I will remember wandering through the park with my boyfriend, since it was so lovely and romantic. I’ll remember being happy, just relaxing and swimming a bit and I’ll remember the amazing quiet palace. But I probably won’t remember walking past a pretty building, taking a picture before moving over to the next. Traveling is about making memories and having new experiences, not about seeing what everybody wants to see and taking  a quick picture.