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I stayed for a few days in Seville, thanks to my lovely host. He had plans to head out of town for a race, but was OK with leaving the key with me for the weekend. I went on a couple of walking tours, of which there are numerous in Seville (Sevilla in Spanish) but there was just something that Seville seemed to be lacking in comparison with Granada. Maybe it was the lack of snow-capped mountains in the background.

According to my tour guide, the oranges in Seville (which are what we in the UK make marmalade from) are there because back when the Moors were in Spain a very beautiful lady wanted to see snow. She had never seen it before, and just knew that it was white. Her suitor planted orange trees, because their blossom is white, and so when it fell to the floor it looked like it had snowed. Apparently. Maybe.

The other love story that was shared wasn’t quite as pretty and spoke of María Fernández Coronel. She lived in the 14th century and was apparently was incredibly beautiful, so much so that the King fell madly in love with her. The love was unrequited, and she was married, but being the 14th century the 2nd one had an easy solution and her husband was executed. María ran away and hid in a convent, but the king’s men went there to find her. She was buried alive to evade them, but a few days later the King went back and found her. There was a chase around the castle which ended in the kitchen when María picked up a pan of boiling oil and poured it on her face disfiguring herself horrifically. The king realised the errors of his ways that María got a large amount of money, which enabled her to fund her own convent (Convent of St Agnes) where she is preserved to this day with her burns apparently still being visible.

My favourite place in Seville is the Plaza de España, which was built for the World Fair in 1929. It’s featured both in Star Wars II and the vastly superior The Dictator . There are alcoves for each of the provinces in Spain, my favourite one being Ciudad Real because it features the magical Don Quixote and his famous windmills.

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