Cafes in Seville, for that matter in most of Spain, change personalities through the day. The same places that were tapas bars by the day and watering holes by evening, don the hat of breakfast cafes in the morning. The most popular breakfast dish is the tostada, a yummier version of the humble toast. Crusty bread toasted golden and turned even crustier, served with many options of toppings.
The first half of my second day in Seville is devoted to the must-sees. Seville is a small city or rather everything that is worth visiting is within a small area. The Jewish quarter within Seville's old town is the most beautiful part of the city with its meandering lanes and old houses. It is also home to Seville's cathedral and castle. The Cathedral is considered to be one of the largest in the world and it assumes even more Goliathesque properties amidst the little houses around it. The climb to the top of the bell tower is a must for a view of the old town.
After a brief visit through the castle and the botanical gardens around it, I head off to Plaza Espana outside the old town. Plaza Espana is a huge square laid with gardens, walking paths, children's park and many other recreational spots. But the most impressive part of the plaza is a huge semi-circular structure that was built for the Spanish exhibition in 1929. Today, it serves as a picnic spot within the city. A semi-circular artificial 'river' runs within its perimeter and is crowded with paddle boats available on hire. Teenagers on roller boards and skates whiz around weaving amongst the horse-drawn carriages carting tourists. My last stop is the Sevillian bullfighting ring, considered to be one of the most beautiful of its kind in Spain. The guided tour combined with the informative museum displays effectively recreate the story of Spanish bullfighting.
Seville is considered to be the tapas capital of Spain and some statistic I read said that there are more tapas bars per person in Seville than anywhere in Spain! That is not surprising considering that most people spend their entire afternoon at one or more of these tapas bars. At lunchtime and in the evening, the bars spill out into the streets. The tables are packed with people and loaded with little dishes of food and glasses of wine. From the smaller cafes people collect their drinks and their tapas from the bars and sit on the steps of nearby buildings or at fountains for an impromptu picnic. The air crackles with chatter and laughter. There's a party going on and everyone is invited! I end the day Sevillian style - a 'tapas crawl'. It involves going from one tapas bar to another while trying one tapas at each one. While there are not many vegetarian options available, with spinach with garbanzos, cheese with olives and tostada with caramelised mushrooms, it turns out to be quite a delicious crawl.