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A Run through Seville

 Guadalquivir River at Sunset

Running through a European city is like going back in time. Yes, you may be wearing running shoes and have music blasting in your ears, but it is the feeling that matters. The inexplicable sense of awe and wonder mixed with that rush of adrenaline.

Seville, Spain, is a beautiful, clean and lively city. By eight o’clock at night, the sun has just begun to set while a light breeze chills the air. This is my favorite time of day, when every building shines golden and the weather is perfect. I am lucky enough to live in the El Centro neighborhood, the center of Seville, where monuments and plazas abound.

While running in the city can be difficult, it is definitely worth the challenge. My run starts at the Alameda de Hercules and continues down Calle Amor de Dios, where the sidewalk turns into a sliver and balance becomes key.

The long street lets out into an open-air shopping center; people wind their way between stores that have re-opened after siesta. Maneuvering through the crowds along the cobblestone walkways is a skill that takes time and practice to perfect. Exiting the narrow corridors of shops is Plaza Nueva, I cut through the plaza to the tram track that lead to the Catedral de Sevilla.

 Catedral de Sevilla

Running beside the third largest cathedral in the world, you feel minuscule next to its beautiful arches and spires. Across from the cathedral is an array of cafes, bars and restaurants, setting up for the long night ahead. My run takes me along the curve of the tracks and past the gates to the Universidad de Sevilla.

By this time I have managed to escape the crowds and can easily make my way to my favorite place in the city – Plaza de España and Parque de María Louisa. The semi-circular brick building encompasses an open plaza and massive waterfall. The reddish-orange building glows with the setting sun as the tiles along the curved walls add a rainbow of colors. This is the perfect time for a short breather, a chance to admire this captivating monument.

 Plaza de España during an evening run.

Parque de María Louisa connects to the plaza, with massive trees that shade the winding dirt paths and paved roads. Running along the trails, I always find new routes to take and small sanctuaries hidden within the greenery where dappled sunlight colors the park in hues of gold.
 Parque de María Louisa

Exiting at the other end of the park, I cross the street and run along the Guadalquivir River. Buildings, cafes and restaurants, apartments and monuments flank the blue-green river that splits the city. My run along the banks takes me past the Torre del Oro, a military watchtower, and the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza bullring.

To end my run, I cut back through the covered shopping center, where stores are just closing and bars are beginning to fill up. Following the narrow sidewalk of Amor de Dios, I make my way back to my Casa de Sevilla.

Kaleigh Shufeldt is the Fall 2014 CEA MOJO in Seville, Spain. She is currently a senior at the University of Arizona.

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