Sometimes my very DNA screams ´Get thee out of the city´. Now I´m with dog, it’s not so easy to hop on a bus, get out of Seville and heh presto I´m surrounded by trees and black-footed pigs. So sometimes it’s a case of ‘any rural port in a storm will do’ and when the urge comes upon me, I have two urban/rural escapes that scratch that campo itch.
If it’s a quick fix I’m after, I head to El Huerto Rey Moro, on Calle Enladrillada in between Plaza Pelicano and Plaza San Marco. The largest public space in the old part of town that hasn’t been built upon or used for commercial purposes, it was once the vegetable patch of a 15th century house, then lay abandoned for centuries and was finally brought into its current use as a community allotment in 2008.
Depending what time of the day you find yourself there, there could be people toiling over their organic vegetables, a bread making workshop, a kids party or nothing at all. Either way it gives me a chance to sit on a bench, listen to the birds and watch Sunday my dog sniff around the edges.
But sometimes it’s striding around the green spaces I’m after, in which case it’s the Alamillo Park for me. Not the bit with hundreds of people picnicking with music at high volume or kids screeching as they fall off their birthday roller skates. No, nestling along the river is a quiet stretch of orange groves, replete with dirt tracks, wild flowers and the occasional jogger. Somehow it manages to remain a secret from the weekend hordes with their fold up tables and chairs, thus giving me the countryesque fix I much need. It’s easy to get to, after crossing the Alamillo bridge it’s a quick hop down some stairs that lead directly to the riverside, if you find yourself at the main entrance, you’ve gone too far.
Right now a few of the perfectly formed, orange trees are bursting prematurely into bloom, but come March when it’s true orange blossom season, it’s a sensorial treat, rather like a living, breathing aromatherapy session offering itself freely to lift up our spirits. But whatever the season, it’s the perfect spot to recharge those batteries, depleted by late nights and one too many cervecitas.