This week in Spain: playing tourist

Hello, and welcome back to ‘This week in Spain’. For the second week in a row (even if a little late) we have a blog post written up and published! (Excuse me while I do a little celebratory dance).

Earlier this week I talked about 5 things to see in Seville in a day. They’re kind of the essential monuments and sights. Everyone knows about them, all the tourists flock to them.

They’re important. Unmissable, even, but what happens when you live in Seville? Should you still visit them?

In today’s post I’m going to tell you about one option that allows you to be a tourist in your own city while still making it fun and interesting.

Playing tourist in your own city

I had lost count of the times I had visited the castle that year and we were about to go again. That time frequently came around when we had visitors.

Sometimes we looked forward to showing our guests around, others we groaned as the grown ups suggested yet again we ‘do the tour’ of the town.

The castle can be seen for miles around, standing among the houses, beautiful and tall in the centre. It’s a point of pride, it gives the place character and deep down we loved running around the courtyard or up the slopes to the top of the tower, a feature many pointed out over the years as rather unique.

When visitors came, it was time to play tourist and take them to see the highlights of town.

This weekend I was reminded of those sloping corridors. As I wound around bend after bend ascending the Giralda, I thought about home and the slopes leading to the top of the castle in town. The concept is the same, although whether anyone climbed the castle on horseback or not is debated.

It had been ages since I set foot inside the Cathedral. It’s not the kind of place you go unless you have a purpose for your visit. So as I headed with my brother to the foot of the Giralda tower, I was glad to take a moment to appreciate my surroundings.

We had come as part of a tour that features the Cathedral rooftops. The visit around the Giralda and main cathedral were included in the ticket.

Anyone can visit the Cathedral but only a few get the privilege of exploring it from above. It’s a different kind of visit. It’s fresh. Original. It offers great views and fun facts, teaching you about the city’s most famous monument and how it came to be.

A guide welcomed us in to the cathedral outside opening time. Most people had left the premises and all who were left were a few cleaners, a security guard or two and our reduced group. Headsets on and we were off up a narrow set of steps to admire the nave from above.

An hour and a half later, having climbed up and down spiral staircases, waved at passersby from the rooftops and said hello to the gargoyles, we concluded a memorable visit.

Local friends had recommended the tour and in turn I now recommend it too. So, next time you need to take a visitor to do tourist-y things, be sure to check it out.

What place did/do you always take visitors? What is your favourite spot in town to play tourist?

Let me know what you think!

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