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It is incredibly easy to get to the city of Sevilla (Seville) from the Algarve, and with no border controls on the roads it is strange and exciting when you cross a large bridge and all the road signs are different when you reach the other side!
As I mentioned last week we took a short holiday in Sevilla for my birthday. I won’t go into a huge amount of detail about Seville as this is a blog about moving to Portugal, but suffice to say we adored the place.
There are surprises and stunning buildings, seemingly around every corner, and the Santa Cruz quarter with its narrow streets and alleys is a foodie paradise and dream location for a tapas crawl.
We greatly enjoyed wandering in Maria Luisa park. It was interesting to discover that there was something else we missed about London –huge, green, city parks! We hadn’t really noticed their absence, but while we have beaches, dunes and big decked swimming pool areas, there are very few green parks here in the Algarve.
The park was full of sculptures and fountains and many people were flaked out on the grass in the shade, avoiding the afternoon heat.
Yes, did I mention that Seville is HOT?! Too hot to walk too far or get very much done at all. 33 degrees here on the Algarve coast and 33 degrees in Seville is very different. Here you have the sea breeze to temper the heat – in a built up city you don’t. I would NOT recommend visiting Seville in July and August!
We have visited many cities and this one is true gem. We feel very lucky to have Seville just a couple of hours drive away. From the architecture to the tapas, it is a treat to spend a few days here. Next time, we will do it in spring or autumn so we have cooler weather to explore in more detail!
Most significant to us after our little break was that we were also both pleased to get back home to Portugal. This was a new feeling as when we lived in England we were always rather miserable to return after a holiday.
It was also pleasing to realise just how much Portuguese we have learned in the grand scheme of things, especially when compared to how little Spanish we are capable of. In every
situation we found ourselves in where we didn’t know the Spanish for something, we DID know the Portuguese (not that this was any help at the time – speaking Portuguese at a Spanish person is NOT the way to win friends!)
So, we are back in the Algarve and suitably reinspired by everything as you are supposed to be after a break.
We have come back with a few renewed good intentions – kind of like new year’s resolutions but without the pressure! Firstly we have decided to accelerate our learning of Portuguese by having weekly private lessons. Secondly, I intend to once again attempt to manage to stick to a walking and swimming regime for more than three days.
Finally, I plan to put more time into this and my other blog. I am aiming from now on to post three times per week, mixing up the “diary” posts with some informative posts I am working on to help those readers still in the process of moving to Portugal. The first of these will be coming very soon. Stay tuned!
PS. On the way back from Seville we went hypermarket-shopping in Huelva. What we found may be of interest to people who live in Portugal but close to the Spanish border. Read about it at www.foodandwineportugal.com