Seville at Last!

Community Highlights Europe Seville at Last!

We thoroughly caffeinated up in the breakfast room at Hotel Mare the morning after our sleepless night and it was mercifully quiet out on the bike path once we followed the route out of town. It fairly quickly became a dirt track out in the countryside but was a really good surface for biking. Jim conferred with a walker to confirm his navigation. Another clear sunny day in the 20s. Destination Seville.


We paralleled a motorway for a bit, very thankful there was an alternate path and that we were not in one of those speeding vehicles. Just before the path took us through a tunnel under a motorway and along a funny canal on a very muddy track we had to carefully negotiate, we had to pause for a herd of cows, two men and a pack of 6 mixed breed dogs that very efficiently guided the cattle into a nearby field.


We then lost the path near a road intersection and for awhile milled about like the cows we had just encountered, wishing for dogs to herd us in the right direction. A little signage would have been so helpful! There was a vender on the side of the road selling big bags of oranges. We finally decided we needed to follow a narrow little track that paralleled a busy road and on the way encountered some other very curious animals. The cats just kept appearing; I think I counted 9.


We crossed the road not far along in behind a bit of a village and when we stopped to check directions, I noticed this jamón (dry cured ham) leg was sticking out of the garbage can behind Jim. Would be very weird in our part of the world but no one took any notice of this errant pig hind leg except us. The pig trotters are always left on the whole leg and the meat is sliced from the leg that is held in a stand with a clamp for the pig’s “ankle”. The colour of the trotter denotes the type of pig, black being from the apparently better breed of Black Iberian pigs. (More on jamón later.) And apologies to my vegetarian readers!


The road took us through quite a nice park, then back on a dirt track into an area that seemed to be used as a building material dump. It then became quite pretty again with wildflowers and palm trees and then lo and behold, there was a paved, marked bike path again that began close to a large abandoned building that had become a stork nesting site, both on the chimneys of the building and in the surrounding trees. You see lots of unexpected things and the landscape can change quickly on the bike path!


We were finally on the outskirts of Seville. It had been a flat and easy ride of 21 Km from Dos Hermanos. The wide Rio Guadalquivir that flows through Seville was on our left as we rode in on designated bike paths. It was a change to see a river with water in it, people rowing sculls and kayaks and tour boats. We rode along a huge park that we later visited, the Maria Luisa Parque and began to see beautiful old buildings and a series of bridges across the river. The river was lined with wide river and street level promenades and we tied up the ponies at a lovely café on the path overlooking the river to celebrate our milestone.


We discovered that Seville has a great network of paved designated bike paths all along the river on both sides and we used our bikes a lot while we were there to see as much as we could. The old town where we were staying for a week is too confined to have specific bike lanes but the one-way narrow cobbled streets felt very safe to ride in and out of as cars go slowly. We found our AirBNB a few blocks off the river on Plaza San Lorenzo with the Basiliqua de Jesus de Gran Poder on one side.


The company we were renting from is called Space Mansion and the old 4 story building with roof terrace had 6 units. We only connected with them online but they were very efficient and sent us the code for the keyed locks to the building. We were lucky enough to have the only unit on the ground floor and when we let them know about the bikes, they told us it was fine to bring them right into the apartment. I had been worried about finding places, especially apartments that would have a secure place for the bikes and the listing does not always say what floor the unit is on. So we let hosts or hotels know in advance that we will require this. So far we have only had one place say they could not accommodate bike storage and one very nice hotel put them right in their reception office with no sign of displeasure.

We loved this apartment and the location. It was actually a studio apartment, all one high-ceilinged room but very spacious. It was obviously an old building that had been renovated inside. It had a kitchen area at one end, with a Nespresso machine (yes!) and a good sized round dining table. A king-sized bed was at the other end and the other half of the room was all living room with a comfy sofa and chairs and plenty of space to put the bikes. We loved the high bookcases filled with books that spanned the length of the room and there were other decorative elements that made you feel you were in someone’s well-loved home (but without the clutter).


The two sets of big windows looked out onto a narrow pedestrian-only street just off the square. The square turned out to have several cafes and restaurants; the corner of our street was occupied by a Michelin restaurant (where we treated ourselves to the best dinner ever) and one of our windows was opposite their kitchen and we could see staff at work in there when they had their half door open. As we got to know Seville over the next week, we realized we could not have found a more perfect space and location to call home in this fascinating city.



This featured blog entry was written by Jenniferklm from the blog Cycling in Andalucia.
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By Jenniferklm

Posted Wed, Feb 14, 2024 | Spain | Comments