The capital of Andalucia in Southern Spain constantly teeters between the deeply conservative and the chaotic, but for the hedonistic bum it is paradise. Words: Paul Dale

up early for. Standing among an emotional crowd as the famous ’La Macarena' comes over a candlelit Triana Bridge, will stir even the most hardened atheist.

Semana Santa takes place on Sun 8-Sun 75 Apr.

La Feria de Abril (April Fair)

If a week of drinking, dancing and general debauchery is more your thing, then head for La Feria. Just two weeks after Semana Santa, thousands of green and red striped casetas (tents) are erected for Seville's April Fair. On the first day at midnight, millions of lights illuminating the site are switched on, signalling the start of the celebrations. And then for seven whole days, 24 hours a day, it's one massive party. Women and girls dressed in typical flamenco dress dance sevillanas till the early hours of the morning, and singing and drinking of fino (dry sherry) is more than encouraged. During the day, carts and horses with riders in typical Andalusian dress parade the streets while the 'calle del infierno' (hell street) has all the usual fairground attractions. Culminating in a fireworks display on the final day, there’s plenty of sore heads on Monday morning. La Feria de Abri'l takes place on Mon 30 Apr—Sun 6 May.

the gardens named after Spain’s overrated artist of cherubs. A paradox in the birth place of Velasquez. I seem to remember spending most of the time sitting at the bottom of an enormous South American Ficus tree trying to skin up while brown bagging a large bottle of San Miguel. Suddenly it comes to me this map is printed the wrong way round so north is west. east is north etc. Proud as Basque Bullets with my Holmesian deduction l stride out of the deserted playground somewhere on the road to Italica and up towards the Calle Betis, one of the best viewpoints in the city. apparently.

My cryptic map leads me through Byzantine streets over the River Guadalquivir by way of the Punte De Triana. a stout picturesque bridge designed by Gustav Eiffel. The Betis views of the Cathedral and The Torre de Oro (The Tower of Gold once home to all that lovely stolen South American lolly) are quite beautiful. The light is dying now and I glance over to the Avienal Area Bull Ring. Symphony Hall, Expo Centre and Isla Magica (a kiddies’ theme Park based on Columus‘ 1492 voyage) and realise that I really cannot be arsed with any more tourism today and besides I need a drink. Sanctuary - The Rinconcillo on Calle Gerona - allegedly the oldest bar in Spain. Waiting for my friends I exchange winks and smiles with a Monsignor between glasses of sherry and slithers of jamon, I seek redemption for the night ahead.


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Ian Jackson & Liz Edwards Ed Intrepid Africa (La Belle Aurore £5.99) * i ii a

This is a collection of stories from the likes of Jon Ronson (off the telly), The Telegraph's Graham Boynton, Matt Rudd, assistant editor of Wanderlust and a whole host of other travel journalists. What all these writers have in common is that they have travelled to Africa and their visit was certainly not a package "1 “.5.

holiday. The stories range from being mugged in Cameroon to climbing sand dunes in South Africa, and cover pretty much the entire continent.

This is not meant as a guide book and has very little in terms of travel information, but it's a great eye-opener to the differences in the countries that make up Africa and the experiences to be had there. Unfortunater each writer gets only about ten pages so these are but condensed snippets of greater stories. But it is an excellent collection of very exciting and often scary tales.

Don’t let it put you off visiting Africa for yourself though.

(Henry Northmore)


18 Jan-i Feb 200i THE “ST 109