Santa Cruz, Sevilla

My guidebook – the estimable DK Eyewitness Travel volume on Spain – says of the Santa Cruz district of Sevilla that it represents Seville ‘at its most romantic and compact.’ I would agree. A maze of narrow alleys and quiet plazas, Santa Cruz was once a Jewish ghetto, but now is a tourist mecca – the cross-cultural pun intended. The neighbourhood is almost too pretty, almost too touristy – and yet it manages somehow to maintain a sense of reality, of life as it is still lived and enjoyed, in an old quarter of the city. You can’t afford to miss it.

Here are four images.

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Travels in Spain

A traveller visiting Spain for the first – or second – time is spoiled for choice. From Madrid, where we spent four days, and could easily have spent more, Rob and I took the high-speed train south, to Sevilla, where we picked up a car and drove on to Ronda and the pueblos blancos. From there by road to Granada and Cordoba, and back again by train from Cordoba to Madrid, from where we flew back to Johannesburg.

If that sounds like a whirlwind tour, all compressed into little more than two weeks, it was. In hindsight, we might have done less – but what would we have left out? Everywhere we went was an experience, memorable and quite wonderful.

And everywhere we went we walked the place flat, so much so that by the end of the trip our bodies were really quite hammered – and yet, in the way of all good holidays, time seemed to have slowed, quite dramatically, so that two weeks away felt almost like six.

So now we are back, with our gifts and purchases stored and distributed, two weeks of laundry done, and a hard drive full of images to be culled and processed. There are glimpses of our travels to be shared, too, over the coming weeks, as time permits.

Here, to announce our return, are a few photographs to start with.