It’s thirty-four degrees.

Down in Santa Cruz, the heat is being reflected back off the old city walls, and it’s possible to see the waves rippling in the air.

The white of the buildings is blinding and harsh. Enough to make you flinch.

My throat is dry and taut.

It’s like walking in an oven.

The orange trees are starting to drop their fruit, as the relentless heat causes them to wilt, and all around me their sweet, musky smell fills the air, adding a spicy exoticism to the opressiveness.

Even the sounds seem muted and faint, muffled by the heavy air. All I hear is the buzzing of a fly and the gentle cooing of doves. My only thoughts are of shade.

I need somewhere cool and tranquil.

And I need it fast.

Thankfully the Moors left behind more than just the city walls.

They also transferred knowledge of gardens.

Just beyond the city walls, lie formal gardens, their geometric layout and musical fountains, a testament to the beauty and simplicity of Moorish horticulture.

But this is not where I’m headed. For while the formal gardens are a marvel to wonder, they offer suprisingly little in the way of shade.

For real shade you have to head further away from the city centre, towards the Plaza Espana and the Maria Luisa park.

The planting here is inspired. Rubber trees and magnolia, mingle with palms and a whole myriad of enormous leafy specimens,which to me are unrecognisable.

All around there are benches in the shade, sticky with plant resin, but a welcome place to sit and cool down nonetheless.

It feels almost like being in a jungle, the darkness of the green, the abundance of foliage, the incessant cooing and chirping of birds.

It’s a wonderful, cool oasis of calm, and on a day like today, as the termperature keeps on rising, it’s the only place to be in Seville.

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