Seville, Andalusia, Spain
One of the most famous bell towers in the world, the Giralda was originally a minaret during the Almohad period in the late 12th century. The minaret was converted to a bell tower after the Christian reconquest and added on to when the immense Seville Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, was built during the Renaissance. Topped with a huge bronze weathervane representing Faith and called El Giraldillo, the structure plus the statue rises to a height of 343 feet. If you can see The Giralda from the narrow streets in Seville you can’t get lost – just head in that direction to the Cathedral square to get to the center of Seville. The trick is actually seeing The Giralda from deep in the labyrinth of the streets in Barrio Santa Cruz.
There were a few times in Seville where I wasn’t sure just where we were. Lost? Well… let’s just say I didn’t know where I was briefly, and for someone who always seems to know just what direction to go that was a little disconcerting. Our most lucky directionally challenged experience in Seville was on our self guided walking tour after visiting the Casa de Pilatos. We gave up for awhile and, seeing a local tapas bar on the corner, stopped in for a little fortification. The cool interior of the empty bar was not only a respite from the hot September day, the Pate de Pato tapas served on tiny toasts with orange marmalade on the side was simply the best…ever.
Our other directional challenges were at night in the maze of streets in the compact old town, looking for our flamenco destinations. Some wrong turns later and we made it in time for the show at Los Gallos Tablao Flamenco and another night for some local flamenco at La Carbonara.
Just when we got to know our way around the intricate twisting streets in the Barrio de Santa Cruz, it was time to pick up our rental car and head south to continue the next part of our 25 days in Spain.