The Best Way to Discover Unique Parts of a City is to Get Lost

There is an old saying that to really discover a city, you should let yourself get lost in everything it has to offer. It can definitely be true and we have had a couple of instances where we literally got lost while exploring the city. Needless to say, you still have to be cogniscent of your surroundings and make sure that you don’t put yourself in danger. These days it is a little harder to truly get lost since you can always pull up a map on your smart phone, but knowing where you are on a map doesn’t always mean that you actually know where you are. Getting lost can often lead to little surprises that make for incredible memories.

Eiffel Tower in Autumn
Houses in Neighborhood
The Streets that We Walked in Paris

Walking the Streets of Paris – Not only was this the first time that we managed to get lost while walking the streets of a city, but it was actually our first trip to Europe many years ago and before the days of smart phones. It truly did make for some incredible memories, including finding a rare book store that had a first edition Don Quixote that we actually considered buying, but our common sense took over and kept us from making the purchase. There were little shops selling crepes and all sorts of different stores. We did end up buying a small porcelain statue of a boy and girl on a sled that always reminds of us of our time in Paris. We have been back to Paris since then, but this first trip was truly magical.

Winding Streets Below from the Seville Cathedral
The Driver that Got Lost in Seville
Seville Cathedral in Seville, Spain

Getting Lost in Seville, Spain – We didn’t just get lost once when we visited Seville, but actually got lost a total of three times. The first was just driving into Seville and trying to find our hotel. There were roads closed due to a parade that made it difficult to find with all of the one way streets. The second was when we tried to go back to a shop that we had found earlier in the day, but couldn’t seem to find it again. It did allow us to enjoy all of the narrow streets in the Old Jewish Quarter. It was after finally getting back to the cathedral after being lost that we ate dinner and then decided to take a carriage ride. Little did we know that once again closed streets would cause our driver to get lost and we would end up having a wonderful time just enjoying the moments in the city, although our driver wasn’t particularly happy.

Fountain in Paris
Seville Cathedral

Getting lost in a city doesn’t guarantee you wonderful memories, but you might be surprised by what you see if let yourself get off of the beaten track. We also got lost in Lima, Peru, but as soon as we reached a part of the city where we didn’t feel comfortable, we quickly back tracked to a place that we recognized. Although it takes a leap of faith to do, you might just see some wonderful sights that aren’t talked about in the travel books that you might have read.

Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza in Seville

The Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza is a very large bullfighting ring in Seville, Spain. Seating 12,000 spectators, it is one of the oldest and most famous bullfighting rings in Spain as well as in the world. Construction began on the stadium in 1749 and the highlight of the bullring is the “prince’s box”, which has ornate arches and columns and was exclusively reserved for the Spanish Royal Family. It is still an active bullfighting ring that has bullfights from March/April until September. Certainly there are passionate feelings about bullfighting, its cruelty as well as its cultural significance. The history and architectural design of the bullring make it worthwhile to visit regardless of your opinion of bullfighting.

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The Prince’s Box for the Royal Family
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Inside of the Bullfighting Ring
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Painting of a Famous Matador
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Walking Inside of the Bullring

We were in Spain in November, so we did not have an opportunity to go to an actual bullfight, but the bullring offers daily tours that allow you to see the inside of the ring as well as visit the bullfighting museum. The museum is very interesting as it contains paintings of bullfighting, famous matadors or bullfighters, as well as matador costumes, and even the heads of a couple of very special bulls that fought in bullfights. The bullfighting ring is actually one of the most visited attractions in the city of Seville. If you decide to take the tour, you should plan on about an hour at the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza.

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Inside of the Museum
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Spectator Entrance Below the Royal Box
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Plaque Inside of the Ring
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Painting Depicting a Bullfight
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Colorful Arches

Seville Cathedral in Spain

When visiting Seville in Spain, the Catredal de Santa Maria de la Sede, better known as the Seville Cathedral, will certainly be one of the top locations on your itinerary. It is certainly a beautiful, gothic cathedral and is one of the largest churches in the world. Just walking around and through the church is certainly worth spending an hour or two at the cathedral, but going to the top of the Giralda, or bell tower, should absolutely be part of your visit. The views of the city of Seville from the cathedral’s bell tower are absolutely stunning.

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Impressive Size of the Cathedral

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View of the Guadalquivir River

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Organ Pipes

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Over Looking the Alcázar Palace

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The Giraldi or Bell Tower

As you approach the cathedral, you will likely be approached by gypsy women offering you bundles of herbs or flowers. If you accept them, you will immediately be expected to give them money and they can be quite aggressive, so we avoided them. We have also heard that their can be a lot of pickpockets in the area, but we didn’t have any issues during our visit to Seville. Because it such a popular tourist location, another thing that you will find are horse-drawn carriages that will take you on tours of the city. We did take one tour at the end of our first day and it was interesting for many different reasons.

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Views of Seville

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High Ceilings in the Cathedral

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Walking Around the Huge Cathedral

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Beautiful Façade

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Gold on Display

Standing at the viewing platform of the Giralda, the views of Seville are amazing. You get wonderful views of the Alcázar Palace, which is next to the cathedral, and is also a place that you should visit after spending time at the cathedral. The winding, narrow streets of Seville spread out before you from the height of the bell tower. The Guadalquivir river can also be seen off in the distance.

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Modern City in the Distance

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The Cathedral is Massive

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Pillars and Arches

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More Amazing Views of Seville

It is hard to miss the cathedral and the bell tower as you enter Seville. As with most gothic cathedrals, the façades around the doors are quite impressive and beautiful. After spending time at the Seville Cathedral, be sure to head into the Old Jewish Quarter, wandering the narrow streets, and shopping at the many local stores that are located there. Seville is certainly a wonderful city and seeing the cathedral will surely be one of the highlights of any visit.

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Stained Glass Window and Ornate Ceiling

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Reaching Toward the Sky

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Statue at the Entrance

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Winding Streets Below

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Memorial Inside of the Cathedral