Sevilla 2. – A bike tour plan, under the Andalusian sun – Vuelta a España, a Spanish tour. Part XI.

Dani:

Something I really like from Sevilla is to have breakfast outside under the sun. Coffee with milk and toasted bread with high-quality oil and ham. That is possible to get all-around Spain if you ask for, but in Sevilla, it is a very well-developed concept. Nice products and amazing shinny sun almost 300 hundred days per year.

Anna:

We have decided already in Jerez that we would not book any further accommodation during our road-trip with hotel breakfast. The continental, classic breakfast options are simply not comparable in terms of quality, freshness, creativity, and authenticity with what you can get in any random local bar around. So when we woke up, we couldn’t wait to explore the breakfast options around the area, and just right on the corner, we found Bar Casa Eme, that functions as a classic tapas bar during the day and night, but for the morning they open too and offer a couple of breakfast menus. This is a very common pattern among the tapas bars there. Usually, the offer is limited, 4 or 5 different options, toasted bread with local olive oil, fresh tomato, and based on the taste it can be accompanied by jamón, manchego cheese, coffee by your taste, and freshly squeezed sweet orange juice. And the portions are huge for very reasonable money. Even if we ordered the fullest menus we paid much-much less .vs we have paid for the breakfast at the hotel. And Bar Casa Eme, frankly speaking, it´s nothing special, but just a perfect place to try a local breakfast menu, so much that even the next morning we went back to enjoy our morning there.

After breakfast, we wanted to use the opportunity, and still before the crazy heat arrives to discover Sevilla further. We were walking into the direction of Plaza de España when we randomly discovered a bike rental shop on the street. We were like, why not to continue our day by bike, it´s faster, more efficient, and definitely bigger fun!

Dani:

In Sevilla, it is the same easy to rent a bike like in every European capital. You can open Google maps and for sure you will find many options, but we were just lucky to discover one rental right on our way.

They recommended locking the bikes every time we wanted to stop for a while. Coming from Barcelona I thought that anywhere I went, things couldn’t be worse in that sense but the guy there assured to me that Sevilla is the same level of insecurity for the bikes parked around. Keep that in mind then.

The plan was easy and sweet for beginners. A nice sightseeing round tour from our location reaching Plaza de España, Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza, Calle Sierpes, and coming back. It’s a short itinerary that everybody could do and it’s possible to spend time around the main points if you lock your bike properly.

Anna:     

We usually bike a lot, and wherever it’s possible to use this option as transportation for sure we would vote for that. We received two basic bikes without any gears, telescope, nothing, but they looked super romantic, classic city bike types with comfortable seats.

I love the feeling of freedom when sitting on a bike, suddenly you feel independent from your surroundings, you can just go with wind, your hair is waving, you feel the breeze on your face, no one can stop you and in the meantime you can visit and observe many-many place more effectively, faster, enjoying even the way there or coming back.

Dani:

Sevilla has a bike lane system enough good to move around on. It’s not getting into the downtown but you can arrive at the main spots by bike anyhow without any hassles. Here you can check the bike lane map and the related regulations.

Our first stopover was Plaza de España. It’s really amazing, it’s said, that when the Spanish king Alfonso XIII visited the already finished construction he was impressed and said: “Gentlemen, I knew this was nice…, but not that much“.

From there our recommendation is to catch again the bike and go to the river bank where you can spot Torre del Oro and from there going along the river path to Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Sevilla. This route is very beautiful because of the river views and Calle Betis from Triana on the other side. Once you arrive to the bullfighting ring you will be able to visit it. Even if you are not a fan of bullfights it’s worth to get inside as a cultural matter since this Plaza de Toros is one of the most famous ones in Spain and probably the most important still being active.  

Once the visitor is ready to get into the downtown again, it’s possible that need some patience. The centre is always crowded by tourists and locals that love the street life. Any path would be nice and full of places to stop and terraces to have coffee or drinks. If you miss some “cañas” (small glasses of draft beer) and tapas in Sevilla, you will regret it.

Our recommendation is to arrive to Calle Sierpes since it’s one of the most emblematic ones. It looks old-fashioned with old school shops combined with modern chains in a whole appearance that reminds of beginning of 20th century. But the origin is much older according to documentation. Its irregular shape, it’s quite straight but with different widths along its path, is due to right there used to run a secondary river course. In 16th Century the city council decided to construct a proper street, originally called Espaderos, using bricks and tiles. Its name changed to Sierpes afterwards. There is a nice legend that says that was because of a six meters long snake (Sierpes is a derivation of the Latin word for snake) that lived in the sewers and hunted kids. When that snake was killed locals decided to exhibit it and the name was bit by bit changed because people colloquially began to call it Snake Street. Calle Sierpes starts in Calle de la Campana and ends in Plaza de San Francisco, where the City Hall is located. It’s not possible to bike along there so it’s better to lock the bike and take a walk along and around.   

Anna:     

So this is exactly what we have done. We locked the bikes carefully and by feet we went to discover Calle Sierpes. It was already midday, the sun was beating us, and the air was extremely humid, close to 40 degrees even in the shadow, not to mention under the sun (por la sombra!). But as a very smart initiative, the city covered the majority of Calle Sierpes with white light shades, blowing cold water breeze on the street, almost from every bar and tourist stores, and thanks to the houses on both sides, there were some natural shadow too. It felt super refreshing to walk around there, suddenly we were able to breathe again, regardless of the crowd.

After visiting the neighbouring streets too, and some cañas later, we returned our bikes and decided to walk back to the hotel, to enjoy our rooftop pool a bit further on our last late afternoon in that amazing city.

Once we got hungry, and the temperature got better, we felt we deserve some nice, authentic, Andalusian tapas for dinner. Sevilla, especially the centre, is full with better and better tapas bars, so finally we chose based on our instincts, and the atmosphere that place provided and we didn’t regret it, at all.

 

Seville, Spain

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