This photo journal will be a bit more different than the others, because the trip to Seville was not a vacation trip, but a work-related one. The reason – WordCamp Europe 2015. And while Tina was busy with the organizing team, I was just a regular attendee and had almost three full days to find out why everyone adored Seville.
All I knew for Seville was that it was completely different from the other two Spanish cities I’ve experienced – Madrid and Barcelona. Which made it even a more desired destination.
We felt the monstrous June heat the moment we landed on the tiny airport. Seville is usually very hot all year long, and unbearably hot in the summer. You probably know that in specific times of the year in a big part of the country, the business day is strongly reduced with a long break between 2-5pm. At that time you’re more likely to see a mindless tourist rather than a local on the streets.
The conference was held at Hotel Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento, which turned out to be a very decent place. We stayed there for convenience and it was at a convenient walking distance to the city center. I made a very bad mistake on the first day that we arrived when I decided to make a quick look at the places that I wanted to see throughout the next few days. I made that decision around 3pm with a photo gear full bag pack. I didn’t really feel the heat… in the first 15 minutes. Then it became unbearable and suffocating.
There was literally no one on the streets, all the shops were closed and the walk turned into the longest photo walk with the most frequent water recharge.
Seville is not a very big city, but regardless I had decided to focus on only a handful of neighbourhoods: Triana or the working class neighbourhood; San Bernardo which attracted me with its park and one of the very few sights I saw; and the city center – one rather curious place. And of course, all the other mini-neighbourhoods that I passed by on my way to the aforementioned three destinations.
After the day 1 heat wave, on the next day I decided to stay in my air-conditioned room reading Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration (amazing book, btw). Going out in the late afternoon is not a bad idea at all, as the June/July day is very long and the temperature is around 30-35 C even past midnight.
The thing I liked in Seville was not the Tinto de verano or the Sangria, but rather the specific tropical feel of the central part. I wandered around the endless narrow streets most of the time, looking for some shades and drinking cold water in the 40+ afternoon heat. The locals were hiding, but nothing could stop the tourists.
The city felt very lively. The long and cheerful shopping streets, the cold drinks, the palms, the little streets and packed apartment buildings, the dancing, the street artists, the food and everything else made a giant ball of emotions, in which I was a happy part of.
The conference itself? For me, it was the first event of such magnitude and I was gladly absorbing the knowledge shared from the WordPress folks.
It was a big deal event for us. Tina was part of the organizing team responsible for wrangling speakers, SiteGround was one of the sponsors, we had two speakers (Tenko & Ella) and last but not least, a bunch of our colleagues were volunteering. I was also voluntold to be the SG official photographer.
WordCamp Europe is the WordCamp of WordCamps in Europe and it has a very special vibe. It’s organized by ~20 people of volunteer core organizing team remotely spread across different parts of Europe and more than 50 volunteers who help during the event itself.
WordCamp Europe 2016 will be in Vienna on June 24-26 and they are very close to selling out nearly 6 months before the event. If you are a WordPress fan, it’s an event you can’t miss, so head out and grab your ticket today.