Meet Concepcion. The guide of guides in Sevilla.
The platonic ideal of a guide.
Concepcion’s company is Sevilla Walking Tours. Here’s how you reach her: https://sevillawalkingtours.com/
Talked to her for today’s podcast. Here’s a little intro.
How’s this sound? We’re heading off to the sunny south. That a welcome change? This one’s an interview with Concepcion of Sevilla Walks. She’s the best guide in Sevilla, bar none. Twenty years experience. Professional qualifications. Native Sevillan – boy, does she know her home town. Knows it. And loves it. Anything else? Yeah, flawless English. And all the intangibles. Gracious. Thoughtful. Friendly. Cheerful. Lively. Fun. Great sense of humour. Bright as a button. Likes people. Everything you want in a guide.
We go back a long way with Concepcion. Our older son lives in Sevilla. So we go there a lot. She guides us every time we’re there. We socialise a bit, break some bread together. Basically, we caught a huge break when we found her. We’re very very glad she came into our lives. And you will be too if she comes into yours.
An early, fond memory. Made my day, this one. Treasure the memory to this day. Our son at the time had a Sevillan girlfriend. A lovely senorita. And it was really looking quite serious for a while. And I suddenly had a bout of paternal anxiety. I thought, “gosh, he’s English [well, strictly speaking, Anglo-American – but English really, the American nationality is more a technicality than an identity]. And sure he’s completely fluent in Spanish but I keep thinking, “he’s English, he’s English – in Spain.” And then I got all historical. I started to worry about Sir Francis Drake. The Spanish hated Drake. They had good reason to. They called him “the dragon.” And I thought, “will they be carrying a grudge across four centuries? Will they resent Sam because of Sir Francis Drake and what he did to the Spanish Armada?” And I asked Concepcion about it, I said, “he’s not Spanish, he’s English – will he be accepted?” She said, “of course he’ll be accepted. They’ll be a little bit flattered that he’s chosen to make his life here. They’ll see him as an example of a foreigner who’s come to his senses.”
“A foreigner who’s come to his senses.”
Well, what’s not to like about that? Reassured me about my son and gave me a flash of insight about Sevillans and how they feel about their city. Why would anyone want to live anywhere else than Sevilla? That’s their read, that’s civic pride and love of your city for you. And ever since Concepcion put it that way – that was right after we got to know her – well, she’s been on the side of the angels in our books.
And that brings me to a bit of methodology about this podcast. I’m going to include a short out-take because there’s a completely spontaneous moment in it when we get the distilled essence of Concepcion. Ok, here goes. Our little theme music first.