Seville Snapshots: Summer Nights at Plaza del Salvador

There was already a chill in the air this morning. I dragged the blanket from the end of the bed up to my chin, falling comfortably into the dreamy-morning doze again after a packed weekend.

Saturday was another one of those perfect sevillano days – my morning café con leche stretched into a stroll around the shops became a pre-lunch beer followed by tapas and copas and ending the night at Carlos Kiss, 17 hours after I left my house. Unwilling to let go of the summer time and its long, sunny days, it seemed like the entire city took to the streets.

As the song says, el sol duerme in Triana, y nace en Santa Cruz, and the salmon-colored church of San Salvador acts as Seville’s solar clock. According to the time of day, the temple is lit in a different color, but none as lovely as the setting sun over Triana. Since the facade faces west, it catches the last bit of sunshine every day.

On this last warm weekend before Autumn hits, I brought a scarf and cardigan, but didn’t need it midday as we toasted to the end of summer in Salvador and a day with no rain. Soon, the rain will hit, my ganas to be in the street will fade, and we’ll stop making gazpacho every other day. But for one afternoon, the streets were ours.

Seville Snapshots: Verano de San Miguel

The streets hummed – literally, I mean: on one end of San Jacinto, a religious procession was led by a brass band playing melancholical music while a cover band rocked the steps at Capote. We could barely skirt around the throngs of people enjoying the early evening breeze near the Guadalquivir during Seville’s Golden Hour, though I was enamored with the colors and the sky (I have not touched this photo, save to put a border and a water mark!)

This is what the Spaniards call Verano de San Miguel: coinciding with the feast day of San Miguel, the summer makes one more valiant push before the days in Seville turn crisp and cool. Just when I thought I could sleep soundly at night, we were surprised by a heat wave and had to turn on the air again. But there are vegetable cream soups and comfy sweaters to look forward to (and hopefully some rain so that I can stop washing my car every damn week!).

Are you looking forward to welcoming fall? I’m already longing for next summer – the World Cup, a trip home and fried sardines!

Spain Snapshots: The Lonja de la Sede, Valencia

The Llotja de Sede was once the Valencia’s major trading post, leaving behind a legacy as a great merchant city on the Mediterranean. Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the late 1990s for its late gothic architecture and impact on commerce, the museum was crowned with gargoyles and inlaid iron and gold work.

Thanks to the wealth that Valencia once enjoyed as an important port and commercial city, the entire structure was built with no expense spared with the purpose of not only housing trade and tribunals, but also to show off the money the city brought in.

Having already been to Valencia several times each, Kelly and I beelined straight from our apartment near the Quart Towers to the Lonja, as it’s known in Castillian Spanish. After seeing where merchants once bartered and traded, we did a little but of our own shopping through Carmen’s boutiques and whimsical shops. Valencia had never really done it for me on my two previous visits – it seemed too brash with its nightlife and as if the Arts and Sciences complex had taken all the fun out of exploring the old city.

Being able to explore the grandiose halls and chapel of the Llotja and realize its impact on the city’s wealth and history made Valencia a little more humanized for me.

If you go: The Lonja de Sede is located in front of the Mercat Central in the Barrio del Carmen. The cost for non-students and non-residents is 2€, and you can visit between 1oam – 2pm and 4:30 – 8:30pm Tuesday – Saturday and from 10am – 3pm on Sundays. Plan about three-quarters of an hour to see the Great Trading Chamber, courtyard and tower.

Seville Snapshots: Calle Pureza, the heart of Triana

Soy Ana, de la Calle Pureza

Kelly never fails to let people believe she’s trianera, a resident of the Triana neighborhood of Seville. When I called this barrio home for three years, we’d often wax poetic about just how special it felt, that it was more a feeling than monuments or a glossy exterior. Triana is the old fisherman’s barrio, where squat houses crumble next to soaring church spires, where a tapa is bigger and cheaper than in the center. I had all of my people here – the man around the corner who made my coffee, the woman at the laundromat who would re-wash a garment – for free – if she wasn’t satisfied.

Even the natives – those who have grown up and attended school in the neighborhood – swell with pride when describing a neighborhood where gypsies sing flamenco on the streets every now and again and azulejo tiles line the hole-in-the-wall bars.

While walking down Calle Pureza, a street that snakes through the heart of Triana, I heard a hoarse “cuidaaaaaao” as I was fumbling with Camarón’s settings. I was on the way to shoot the wedding of a guiri friend and her sevillano boyfriend, nervously changing between auto and manual. An abuelo weidling a shopping cart wizzed by me, dodging oncoming traffic as he carried nearly a dozen long septres towards the pristine basilica. I raised Camarón to my face and shot.

 Olé mi Triana.

I had a great time shooting Andrea and Carlos’s wedding in early June, and I’m as happy as they are with the results. If you’re looking for someone to shoot an event, engagement pictures, etc. in Seville, get in touch! Alternately, I’m looking for guest bloggers for the upcoming months. Send your stories and photos to sunshineandsiestas [at] gmail [dot] com.

Seville Snapshots: Reflection of the San Fernando Statue of Plaza Nueva

I hastily jumped out of bed, cursing myself for forgetting to set my second alarm. I’d made early morning plans with Katie which included a hot coffee on a cold day and a bit of shopping for Feria dresses (her) and accessories (me). I pulled on dirty jeans, pulished a post and ran full speed out the door, hating to be late for our 9:30 a.m. breakfast date.

In the biting cold of an Andalusian winter morning, I raced towards the city center, dodging a bit of traffic on a long weekend where most where probably still in bed. I arrived and parked my bike right at 9:30 on the dot and had Plaza Nueva to myself. A pilgrim on his way to Santiago ambled slowly on, and I wished him Buen Camino, eager to start my own Camino in August.

I never quite understood why the streets in the city center get washed overnight, though I’d assume it’s from careless sevillanos who let their dogs crap all over the place without thinking to clean it up. Whatever the reason, the last bit of water that hadn’t been evaporated by the penetrating sun cast an eerie glimpse of Rey San Fernando on the marble ground of the Plaza.

Have photos of Seville or Spain to share? I gladly accept them and run them as part of my weekly photo feature! Send me an email to sunshineandsiestas @, or upload to my Facebook page.

Seville Snapshots: Laid Back at Puerta Jerez

As an adopted Sevillana, I have my haunts: from La Grande’s red awning to the little corner of Las Golondrinas, tucked beneath the squares, within earshot of Pepe who shouts, Niiiiiiñaaaa, tu champiiii!  And despite tracing and retracing my steps all over Sevilla, they’re places I can’t tire of. Puerta Jerez is another, an old city plaza that’s usually my gateway into the city center. Apart from its beauty, it’s lively and romantic.

Alexis of Never Leave Here writes:

Though I was only in Sevilla for a couple of days, I already felt like I got a sense for the lifestyle there. I live in Madrid now and life can be hectic sometimes with people rushing around ready to get down to business. I was impressed by Sevilla’s vibe: laid back and joyful.

I spent over an hour here behind the Fuente de la Puerta de Jerez as the sun went down, just watching families take an ice cream break (even in December!) and street musicians set up, play and leave as the sun started to set. In the last few months of living in Spain, I’ve been to quite a few cities and Sevilla is the only one I really want to get back to. I loved the pace of life there – not to mention the food and music were among the best I’ve experienced yet in the country. I can’t wait to return!

Have photos of Seville or Spain to share? I gladly accept them! Send me an email to sunshineandsiestas @, or upload to my Facebook page.

Alexis lives in Madrid where she teaches English to pay the bills and writes about travel, food, photography and her love for all things vintage on her blog, Never Leave Here. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...