5 Things I Miss About Sevilla
Madrid is, quite possibly, my favorite city in the world. Despite my current lack of enthusiasm for the city based on the sub-par weather we’ve been having, I can’t believe how lucky I am to be living here for a second year. My luck goes beyond that, as I also had the opportunity to live in another insanely amazing city, Sevilla, last year. As much as I loved the place at the time, I spent the latter part of the year eagerly anticipating the big, bright life I would lead when I finally returned to Madrid, but what I didn’t expect was just how much I would miss Sevilla.
Here are five of the many things I miss about good ol’ Hispalis.
1. The weather
Man oh man, what was I ever complaining about last year when it got to a “freezing” 50 degrees Fahrenheit? Madrid is no Siberia or New England — the weather here is relatively mild, and this winter has been long but less severe than the winter I spent here three years ago — but, sheesh, am I tired of bundling up every time I go out. What I would kill for those highs in the 70s I see on Sevilla’s forecast. It may usually be only 5 or 10 degrees Fahrenheit colder in Madrid than Sevilla, but that makes a serious difference. Yeah, yeah, I get it, Madrid’s weather is crazy nice compared to most of the world, but, hey, I grew up in Southern California. I have high expectations for my weather.
2. The prevalent smell of orange blossoms this time of year
Guys, seriously, I can’t even handle how good orange blossoms smell. Their scent perfectly encapsulates the feeling of spring’s arrival, and I can’t get enough. Around March or April, the orange trees lining Sevilla’s streets, so beautiful throughout the year, start producing azahares, and they’re absolutely to-die-for. Few things make me as happy. Come on, Madrid, where are your beautiful spring scents?
3. Picnics along the Guadalquivir or in Parque María Luisa
When the weather was nice, which, as I’ve mentioned, was most of the year, my friends made a habit of long, sunny, tranquil picnics on the riverbed or in the gorgeous María Luisa park. If I had to choose one activity that sums up what life in Spain is for me, it’s never-ending picnics with tons of fascinating friends from around the world, cheap wine/sangría/tinto de verano, bocadillos, and perfect weather. I fully plan on spending the rest of my warm weekends in Madrid picnicking in parks. There goes any weekend productivity.
4. Semana Santa processions
Who knew I’d ever have such an affinity for watching hundreds of men marching in KKK-like outfits, smelling pungent incense, and listening to somber drummers and brass brands, all in the name of Catholicism? Yet, seeing Sorrento, Italy’s Holy Week processions last week, very similar to the ones that are so popular in Sevilla, I was struck by an intense, pit-of-my-stomach nostalgia for Sevilla. I may not be Catholic, I’ll never fully understand the rivalry between La Virgen de la Macarena and La Esperanza de Triana, and I’ll always be instinctively creeped out by nazarenos, but there’s something amazingly beautiful about Sevilla’s Holy Week traditions, and, in general, how much Andalucía adheres to ancient traditions.
5. My fabulous friends
You know one of the best things about being a nomad? Making new friends wherever you go. You know one of the worst things? Forming those deep connections only to say farewell to them when your stint in that location comes to an end. I’m all too familiar with this phenomenon, and it’s disheartening at times, but, mostly, I’m just grateful for all the people I’ve known in my different lives. And I’ve gotta say that the group of friends I made in Sevilla was one of the best groups of people I’ve ever known. Cheers to them for making last year so special.
Five reasons is nowhere near enough, so I’m sure I’ll be back soon with plenty more.