Traveling in Spain with kids – Seville

Seville is the capital of Andalusia, a city with population of more than 700,000. Seville is an amazing city with great sites, restaurants, Flamenco and bars. Most of the interesting sites are located in the old city which makes it easy to get around by foot especially with kids.

La Giralda

La Giralda

One of the most visited sites, and where we started our tour of the city, is La Giralda (see map below) – the main Cathedral in Seville. La Giralda was built on the site of a great Moorish mosque built in the 12th century. Work on the Cathedral started in 1401 and took a century to complete.

The Cathedral is huge and includes an enclosed garden as well. Don’t miss the view from the top of the tower, although be warned – it’s a long way to the top… Here are some pictures of La Giralda we took:

Seville is the center of Flamenco in Spain and I highly recommend going to see an authentic show. The best place we found is the Museo del Baila Flamenco – a museum founded by one of the most important Spanish Flamenco choreographers (Christina Hoyos). The place includes a small museum, gallery and performance hall that seats probably 50-80 people. Definitely book your show in advance!

La Giralda is located in the old Jewish Quarter – Barrio Santa Cruz. Take time to stroll through this beautiful old Spanish neighborhood with the narrow streets, restaurants and other attractions. I highly recommend strolling down Calle Mateos Gago (starts at La Giralda) and finding your way to Plaza de Santa Cruz (see map below for both). Then you can make your way back along Calle Agua. If you want to get something to eat and you are tired of Spanish fare, L’Oca Guiliva is a terrific Italian restaurant on Calle Mateos Gago (see map below).

Another fantastic site to visit is the Real Alcazar, a royal residence built for Pedro I on the remains of a muslim palace. The palace evolved over the years as later rulers added their own mark on the palace and gardens. Note that there is a line to visit the palace, so especially when visiting with kids start early…

Everywhere you go in the old city you will see the touristy horse carriages – it’s an expensive ride but a good way to see the smaller streets and some of the lesser known sites.

Horse ride

Horse ride

A nice walk outside the old city is marked on the map below – along the river on the further bank from the old city –  allows you to take in the sites of the city from a different angle.

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My thoughts on Facebook & Promoted Posts for users

Facebook just unveiled “promoted posts” for users. The feature allows users to promote a post to more of their friends. This sounds weird initially – won’t my friends see my posts anyway? the answers is… probably not.

Unlike Twitter, Facebook’s feed is not a running list of all posts by your friends or pages you liked in the past. Facebook’s algorithm filters a lot of the posts you can potentially see, and thus we only get to see some of the posts that users share on their timeline. For better or worse this is Facebook.

Now with Promoted Posts, users can promote a specific post to get more of their friends (and their friends’ friends) to see it. For example:

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To me, this feels wrong. Paying to get your friends to see a personal post goes against the nature of a social network. I use Facebook with my friends so we can keep in touch, so we can communicate. Paying to get my friends to see my post beats that purpose.

But… Facebook needs to make money, I get that. Is there a different way – I think so:

Borrowing from gamification concepts, I suggest Facebook give every user the ability to designate X posts per month as “important”. Important posts then get promoted in friend’s feeds (much like the “pay to promote”). Facebook can build a mechanism to allow you to get more “important” posts per month based on things like your level of engagement, the level of engagement that your “important” posts get, etc.

Facebook should make a clear distinction between brands (who can and should pay to promote advertise their posts) and users who are the foundation of the service and should not be treated as customers.