Welcome back to Spain Part 2! We last left off with Carol and I traveling to Seville by train from Barcelona. I am happy to say that we made it there safely Monday afternoon, checked into our new apartment, and then went out to explore the Feria de Abril. This week long festival is possibly the largest in Seville and celebrates Spanish heritage, with the ladies dressing in classic flamenco dresses and the boys in suites.
People ride around in horse and carriages, go to the carnival, eat and drink in the colorful tents, and dance.
We only had time to do that before dinner and bed as we had our first tour the next day.
We woke up and walked to our pick-up point for our day trip to the white villages and Ronda. It was early and there were not any restaurants open yet so we ate churros dipped in thick hot chocolate from a stand that had been open for over 90 years.
The white villages are many towns in the Andalusian countryside that are usually small, in the mountains, and of course white. The two towns that we visited were very cute and gave great views of the surrounding landscape.
After that, we stopped in the historic city of Ronda where we were able to explore the old quarter and see the famous bridge.
Our tour bus dropped us back off at our meeting spot and we then had dinner at the restaurant right next to our apartment. Delicious and convenient.
The next day we took the train to Córdoba, which only took about an hour. There we explored the Mesquita or Mosque of Córdoba and some other churches, as well as the old quarter there.
We returned home to go out to dinner at Eslava, an amazing tapas restaurant. Sadly we do not have any pictures of the tapas because by the time we realized that we should take some pictures, the food had already been thoroughly enjoyed. Of course on the way to the restaurant, Carol’s shoe broke and I had to ask the waiter at the restaurant for some cinta adhesiva (tape). So we had our meal and walked home with electrical tape wrapped around Carol’s shoe.
We woke up Thursday to join our second, and last, tour bright and early at 7 am. Not even the churro place was open when the tour bus arrived to pick us up. The trip to Granada took over 3 hours and we were glad to finally be let off the bus. We started with a walking tour of the Albaicin, the Muslim quarter of Granada.
We then moved on to the main attraction, the Alhambra. This old Muslim palace was huge and every inch was ornately decorated.
We then had to endure the 3 hour long ride back to Seville, during which we grabbed some bocadillas (sandwiches) for dinner.
Friday morning was the first time that we were not woken by an alarm and it was much appreciated. It was also the first time that we were able to leisurely enjoy a breakfast.
We then began our walk through the winding streets of Seville, stopping at the wooden Metropol Parasol for a view of the city from up above.
We then saw only the outside of the Church of Seville, as the line was very long and it was not at the top of our list.
We only had to walk a couple of feet to see the Alcázar of Seville, an old Muslim palace used by Christian kings. This line was also very long but we endured it to see the amazing architecture and gardens inside.
We then ended with the peaceful Plaza de Espana, skipping on the boat ride in the hot sun.
We did have to walk home though, where we packed before going out to a final tapas dinner.
I am definitely going to miss Spain and all of the great experiences I have had here. Hopefully I will get to do this again, but until then, hasta luego!