The train station of Seville needs to be moved. Or maybe some kind of a vacuum tube can be created which sucks visitors out of the train and straight to the centre of the old town. The periphery is drab and lifeless and it is only when you see the old town you realise why...all the life has gravitated here. This is the point where any visitor to Seville should acquaint himself with this beauty. I am staying at El Cachito, a one room hotel in the old town! It is owned by Alexandra and her husband Andrew. Andrew and Alexandra are both writers, American-born who have been living in Seville for 20 years. Andrew also runs a shiatsu practice from his office next door to EL Cachito. After a few tips from Alexandra, I am ready to start the day.
Seville's old town is a maze of narrow brick lanes and plazas adorned with fountains and orange trees. Yes! Orange trees! Even though I have read about them, the sight still catches me by surprise. Not one or two but dozens and dozens of trees loaded with oranges, line the streets and dot the squares. Seville is the city of must-sees as well as must-dos. I have left the must-sees for the next day and head off to 'do' a walk by the Guadalquivir River. A lush green bank leads off the promenade to the edge of the river. Trees near the edge lean into the river their leaves skimming the water.
Alexandra has advised me to cross one of the bridges and visit Triana. Triana used to be a fishing village and while it is now integrated into Seville it still retains its quaint personality. Little row houses stuck to each other line the river bank. Each one painted a different colour to differentiate it from its neighbour. Pink facades with white-rimmed windows, butter yellow facades with chocolate rims, blues with bright mauve rims...it's an endless parade.
Just as I am about to walk back it starts to drizzle and I have to take shelter under a shop awning. As I look across teh river to the Sevillian skyline, the sun comes out and a rainbow arches across the city. As the sky lightens, the colours of the rainbow get deeper and just when I think it can't get any better than this...it does. A second rainbow appears over the first one! Of course! If the pot of gold is the treasured old town of Seville surely one rainbow can't suffice. I can't tear myself away till the last traces of the 'vibgyor' have disappeared.
Later in the evening, Alexandra and Andrew have invited me for a drink in the plaza with them and a couple of their friends. The blend of lights, residual raindrops on the streets, the fragrance of oranges in the air and good company has made Seville even more enchanting. I ask Alexandra's friend Peter, "How do you guys get any work done here? If I lived in a place like this I would never want to work. I would just sit in one of these plazas and stare open-mouthed at everything around me"
"You can't work here! In Seville, there is only siesta and fiesta."
Now, that makes sense!