The party in Seville doesn’t start until at least midnight. It’s hardly surprising, given that people have spent most of the afternoon sleeping. The siestas here go on longer than possibly anywhere else in the world, let alone Spain, with some shops closing at noon sharp then slowly reopening the shutters at about 4.30.
It could be the baking sun, but it’s more likely that it’s the lack of sleep from the night before. Seville likes to let its hair down, both intensely and often.
Before the witching hour strikes, you could be mistaken for thinking that the city is completely the opposite. Yes, the bars are open, but they’re hardly throbbing. Certainly at about 9pm, most of the people in them will be tourists; the locals are still eating. Apparently this is a perfectly reasonable time of night to start your evening meal. Forget all that stuff about eating late keeping you awake; if you’re not planning to go to sleep in the first place, that’s not really a problem.
Once dark has fully descended and the old folk have gone to bed, things spring to life. Head along the river embankment, and you’ll see that scores of bars and cafes have now converted into something a little more electric. Seville’s nightlife is no place for the wallflower, sat in the corner trying desperately to avoid eye contact.
Nope, it is the sort of place where if you’ve got it, you should start using it. When the music is pumping, everybody clears the tables out of the way and starts shaking, slinking and grinding on the dance floor. But it’s not just showing off for the sake of showing off – there’s a genuine passion and lust for life there.
This, too, should come as no surprise, given the two things that Seville is best known for. Well, two out of three if you’re including oranges, but that doesn’t really fit so we’ll ignore it for now.
The first is flamenco dancing, something known the world over for its ability to warm the blood and get collars sticky. Few people can resist the twang of the Spanish guitar, the intense look on the dancer’s face and the predatory movements.
The other, whilst not universally approved of, is undoubtedly a spectacle. Call it barbaric, call it disgusting, but once you go to see a bullfight, you’ll see why it is so popular. It’s not a fight, it’s a dance; usually to the death. The best bullfighters are revered across the country, but mostly in Seville. This is a city that loves anything that shows a passion, and is arguably the sexiest in the world.