One of my visits to this city (I passed there a couple of times after that, but just passing by) was for this international exhibition. I went alone with Fernanda, and after the first day, we felt so guilty for not taking the kids that we came back early than planned to be back with them later.
I was curious about what would happen to that splendid use of Cartuja island, and wrote that there many doubts and trouble, but that finally a solution was found, with Cartuja becoming a good area for entertainment. My next in or across Seville I will reserve a night to Cartuja.
When visiting Sevilla, you must absolutely visit de Feria de Abril which normally takes place 2 weeks after the Easterweekend. Just strolling through the streets from Sevilla is heaven ! It may not be easy to enter the private tents (casetas privadas) but with some effort you might get lucky and enter some of the casetas where you will feel the real Sevillan spirit (especially when you act like a real tourist wanting to enjoy the atmosphere, prentending not to speak spanish at all ... always worked for us !!)
Fondest memory: Being home again after a trip from Sevilla, I miss the warmth and the 'savoir-vivre' from Andalucia. Especially the nice food and the friendly people make me want to go back every year.
The 'Feria de Abril':
The Sevillians are great actors and put on an extraordinary performance at their annual Fería de Abril, a week-long party of drink, food and dance which takes place day and night in more than a thousand especially mounted tents. But above all it allows the men to parade on their fine horses and the women to dance in brilliantly coloured gypsy dresses.
Now it is time to ask "Who was that masked man??"..
Well okay, so he is not masked, but who is he...there was a crowd following him around and there were photographers with tags on their lapels so he must be someone EVERYONE KNOWS, but WE DO NOT...
So if anyone can help me out here, just who did we see??
During the week of the April Fair, I went to the fair every day because I loved it so much. Here are a few tips I picked up/learned while there, specifically for the feria:
-The majority of casetas (entertainment tents) at the feria are private, which means you need to know someone who can invite you in if you want to visit. There are public casetas, but the food and entertainment isn't always as good as in the private ones. However, if you're lucky, someone might spot you dancing outside (if you know sevillanas and rumbas) and invite you in (it happened to me twice in 2014).
-No matter how loud your cell phone ringer is, you will NOT hear it during the feria. The music and people talking/yelling will be too loud. Put your phone on vibrate and put it in your pocket, or if you don't have a pocket, in your cleavage (if you're a girl). Yes, it is normal to stick a cell phone down your cleavage during the feria! That's the only way I avoided missing phone calls! (besides, if you're well-endowed, no one is going to see the phone anyway).
-During the daytime, don't wear your nicest shoes. Horses are all over the fairground roads during the day, and this means that the roads are filled with horse crap. There are also trucks washing the crap out of the roads, which means there is lots of mud too. The best thing to do is buy a pair of cheap shoes, wear those for the week, and if they have fallen apart, just throw them out.
-Go all-out when it comes to doing like the locals do. Wear a flamenco outfit and learn to dance Sevillanas - it makes the week so much more fun! If you have a Spanish friend who can invite you into a private caseta, even better. Even if you don't know anyone beforehand, you might get picked up by a group of flirty guys who can take you around to their friends' casetas - it happened to me on the first day in 2007!
-Bring your own toilet paper or tissues. Casetas run out of toilet paper fast, so you'll definitely need it.
-There are times during the day and night when it's nearly impossible to get a taxi - early afternoon when everyone starts to head out to the feria, and late at night (anytime after 2am) when the casetas close and everyone goes home. If you wait for a cab at those times, it can seriously take hours (I once got in line at 4am and got a cab at 8am).
Fondest memory: The Feria is one of my favourite things about Seville. It's an all-week party where you dress up to the nines, dance sevillanas and rumbas, eat tapas, drink wine and rebujito (sherry mixed with 7-Up), and have the time of your life. If you really want to experience the best of what Andalusian culture has to offer, come to Seville during the Feria. But don't just stand on the sidelines and watch - join in and become a Sevillano/Sevillana for the week. Even if you're a foreigner, the locals will be very impressed with you if immerse yourself into their culture (speak Spanish, dance Sevillanas, wear your best clothes, etc).
Favorite thing: Never never wear high heels to the Feria. No locals do that cos you are soooooooo tired after a whole night of dance and walk!