I believe I’ve mentioned once or twice in this blog that I love travelling! It’s the thing I’ve most missed during the past two years, when the world has been turned upside-down. Yes, I know that sadly worse things have happened to very many people than a few missed trips abroad. But the fact remains, I’ve missed travelling, and I know many others have felt the same.
I recently got engaged in a debate among Facebook friends. The question posed was, is it selfish to travel at the moment, when the pandemic is ongoing? One or two felt that it was, citing the fact that it seemed irresponsible to increase the risk of spreading infection by going to more places and mixing with more people. But most felt, as I do, that there are ways of travelling responsibly at present, and that doing so can be justified on a number of grounds. Importantly, all over the world there are individuals, communities and even whole towns totally reliant on tourism as a source of income. Hotels, restaurants, guides, bus companies, historic sights, wildlife reserves, national parks, ice cream sellers – the list is endless. If we don’t start to travel again soon, even more of them will lose their livelihoods.
The other factor mentioned was mental health. It’s definitely the case that travel is good for our mental health. Whether we crave a week on a sunny beach; the opportunity to sample the food and culture of a different city; a few weeks’ road trip; or a lengthy adventure … All of us can benefit a massive amount when we’re able to get away. The stimulation of new experiences; the opportunities to meet and interact with different people; a change of climate; a chance to relax and forget about the everyday worries of home.
A trip to Seville
We finally travelled abroad again in early September, after a break of over eighteen months, taking the Eurostar train to Paris. Now seemed the right time to take the plunge and get back in the air. So we booked flights for a weekend away in Seville, a short flight from London that would enable us to see how it felt. And it felt fine.
Gatwick Airport was preternaturally quiet (but then we were departing at a very early hour). But once on the plane and up in the air, apart from the mask it felt just as it always has. The buzz of excitement as the plane’s wheels leave the ground, the views as we climb skyward and up into the clouds, the slight tedium of sitting in the same place for so long (but this was only a two hour flight) and the thrill of seeing your destination country appear beneath you as you descend and land.
When I travel I am definitely following my bliss, the theme proposed by Lindy Le Coq as guest host for this week’s Lens Artists Challenge. So I invite you to join me on a stroll around the city, shared also for Jo’s Monday Walk. My other ‘bliss’ is my hobby of photography, so this walk is really a short photo journal featuring a few of my favourite images from the weekend. I will write about all these sights and more in due course; for now, just enjoy the photos!
The cathedral and orange trees
The tomb of Christopher Columbus in the cathedral (more accurately, probably the tomb of Christopher Columbus as there is a rival claimant to be his resting place, Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic)
Lanes in the Triana district
Las Setas viewpoint
La iglesia colegial del Divino Salvador (Church of the Divine Saviour)
Courtyard in the Real Alcazar (Royal Palace)
Also in the Real Alcazar
There are orange trees everywhere in the city; these ones are in the garden of the Real Alcazar
The cathedral and La Giralda at night; La Giralda is the former minaret of the mosque, now the cathedral’s bell tower – my featured photo was taken from the top!
I travelled to Seville in November 2021