As the ship finished its docking manoeuvres on the Guadalquivir at 11pm, our sensible thoughts of going to bed after dinner were swiftly changed by the mass of bright lights and the muffled sounds of music and jollity we could see and hear floating across the river. They were calling us not to miss the chance to visit the sensory overload that is Seville’s Feria de Abril – the time when Seville’s already party-mad population, lose themselves in a joyful riot of music, dancing, eating and drinking.
We were lucky enough to know someone who had a caseta (one of the private tents), so we were able to experience the Feria as the Sevillanos do, and join in with the eating, drinking, and (on Tracy’s part) – the dancing. All the women were dressed up in their traditional Flamenco dresses, and the whole place was buzzing. 3 fun-filled hours passed in a blur, and with the party still buzzing it was time to stagger back to the ship at 2.30am.
Understandably it was a slow start to the following morning, but it was nice to reacquaint ourselves with our favourite city, and experience Seville’s laid-back charms. Then, it was time to return to the fair to see the action at day time.
It was no less colourful, and with all the people parading around on beautifully-groomed horses or in shiny horse-drawn carriages, there was a really exotic air to the fairground. I did wonder if the ship’s first-time visitors to Seville were thinking that the city always behaved like this, but even the party-loving Sevillanos can’t keep up this level of sleeplessness and hedonism for more than a week.
We had a great time at the fair, and then we headed into town for a bit of shopping and tapas. But, it appeared that most of the shop owners and workers were too busy partying to open, so we had to settle for tapas instead. Unfortunately, there was a bull fight on, so pretty much every bar was showing it on TV, which wasn’t great for a pair of animal lovers like ourselves. However, as we’d just bumped into a couple of the bullfighters leaving their hotel on the way to the bull ring, there was a grim fascination to watching the bloody action through our fingers, and wishing that it was a more equal fight.
Anyway, as ever, we had a wonderful time in Seville – it’s impossible not to in this fantastic city. I can’t wait to come back here for a few weeks in October.