This week in Spain: it’s August and the city is dead

The minute you set foot at home after a trip is bliss. You’ve missed this place. You’ve missed your people. You’ve missed the familiarity. Then, about 5 minutes later, as soon as you’ve settled back in you want to leave again. You need to see more than these walls. You long for newness, you long for adventure.

This week has been all about settling back into the routine after a couple of weeks away. Getting used to the heat again, sleeping with the fan on and no covers, planning a weekly shop and meals, going back to work… As I return to the office, many of my colleagues are now heading on holiday and Seville seems strangely empty.

I stood at the traffic light on my way back from the airport waiting to cross the street and not a single car came down the main avenue. It felt like a ghost town. Then the lights changed and a few cars drew up but there was no such thing as traffic. Everything is rather quiet at the moment, which to an extent is no bad thing.Then again, I struggled to find anywhere open to recharge my bus pass on Monday or Tuesday and ended up walking home in the heat because I didn’t have any change on me, either. Everywhere I went was closed with a ‘Cerrado por vacaciones (sorry closed, away on holiday) sign stuck to the door or window. Thankfully, I eventually discovered a way to top up my pass online.

August is the month where there are more foreigners than locals in Seville. Anyone who has the means to head to the seaside in nearby Huelva or Cádiz, does so as soon as possible. If you can’t spend the week there you make the most of the weekends. Either way, the city empties of people, shops and kiosks close and the streets are deserted.

You know, August is the one time you can find parking in my street. With everyone else away there are places to spare. At other times of year it’s a nightmare and one of the reasons I don’t have a car. Seville feels like a different city in August.

To boot, this week included a bank holiday on Thursday too, so that increased people doing a puente (to bridge, linking the bank holiday and the weekend with an extra day off) and taking the Friday off as well. So extra quiet, extra dead, extra boring.

It’s been a quiet week in Sevilla but I can’t complain. I’ve had my summer fun in Bilbao and Porto, with a few days in Extremadura thrown in. Normalcy will return to Seville in September but for now i’m going to enjoy the tranquility of an empty city.

What is August like for you?

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