Southern Spain 2015

Two years ago, I went on a mini travel adventure around the south of Spain with my friend Cat. She was living in Madrid at the time teaching English as a foreign language, and for all extents and purposes – living the vida loca.

We went to Cadiz, Cordoba and Granada. We stayed in airbnb rooms, travelled by cheap coach and walked around the cities, getting lost and eating local cuisine. While we did manage to hit the key tourist spots, it was one of the least touristy holidays I’ve ever been on. It felt like we were embracing the culture of each city, and truly getting a flavour of the life. It was an epic holiday, and it was the inspiration for my list number 27) – visit Northern Spain.

Cadiz

Cadiz is tiny. It’s one of the oldest cities in Spain, and is surrounded by sea on the south-east of Spain, on a little fractured leg of the country. It has a beautiful cathedral, which allows it its city status. It felt close, inclusive. It felt like we were on our own little island, apart from everyone else. Lots of fish.

11210484_10153250299940406_6857813254462512325_n

11188274_10153250299420406_3910592653546075028_n

11159518_10153250297650406_5569342854209392410_n

11146335_10153250294135406_6197500538391873896_n

11119438_10153250296850406_7863742667417683808_n

11081281_10153250297800406_6574612618290940797_n

Cordoba

My Spanish is okay (it was better two years ago), but embarrassingly I kept stumbling over the name Cordoba. I kept mixing the d and b around. Having stayed there for a few days though, I’ve kicked the habit – and now pronounce Cordoba with a thoroughly Spanish accent.

It was in Cordoba that I visited the most beautiful mosque I’ve ever been in. I’m a big fan of Moorish architecture, and I fell in love with the swooping arches, the rolling ceiling and the delicately striped patterns. It was incandescently lovely.

10460958_10153250299485406_2986587215747610374_n

11151052_10153250297880406_2380575890999708707_n

11205086_10153250294555406_2528863481923774703_n

11209447_10153250297755406_4625903753940248316_n

Beautiful parks, too – and a rather excellent Moorish tea house.

1546358_10153250299290406_2444756689192014418_n

11059583_10153250298145406_6018654423086382090_n

11070963_10153250296030406_220736601811206339_n

11148439_10153250297690406_1782266931156639533_n

11214162_10153250295545406_3440119543842862582_n

11037883_10153250296745406_5095525547365591803_n

We were visiting over Easter, so we got to see the highly extravagant and entertaining festivities of Semana Santa. They close down streets, and carry processions through for hours; marching bands, priests, children – all followed by massive (I mean huge) sculptures of Easter scenes each carried by about ten men. It’s a truly spectacular sight.

1610924_10153250297205406_4726350621309750399_n

11050127_10153250296515406_1408785597771197308_n

11170353_10153250295705406_8537230234220404513_n

11183449_10153250294300406_8315609319782618498_n

11205011_10153250299275406_6306644243483886427_n

11212779_10153250298660406_9094526323123179602_n

11222359_10153250295785406_3874118861140695292_n

11221365_10153250294245406_1700951781222910890_n

We also went out to a cocktail bar, and had a few drinks.

11070661_10153250294005406_7534442135694543270_n

Granada

I’d been to Granda before, and so had Cat. It was the place that we were both most looking forward to visit, so it was the perfect end-of-travel destination. I love the Moorish influence; the food (I was getting so sick of seafood), the architecture, and of course – the Alhambra.

The Alhambra was originally constructed as a fortress in mid-13th century by Moorish royalty, it was converted to a palace 200 years later, remaining under Moorish rule for another 150 years before being claimed by the Reyes Catolicos – King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. It’s a palace – a stunningly beautiful palace with curved and carved walls and arches, inlaid jewels and a seamless integration with the outside; fountains, grassland and long sweeping paths. It’s beyond lovely, but it’s also formidable. Set on a high hill, it has incredible vantage points and has a history of being highly difficult to attack. With reinforced walls and flat planes from which missiles could be launched, it’s a fortress in it’s own right – set around a beautiful palace.

10985418_10153250294965406_6978319813847763412_n

11150612_10153250300450406_3085537639282960841_n

20611_10153250295230406_5230768418491429984_n

10384821_10153250297935406_5001135815631350511_n

11037110_10153250294855406_8348161700348331189_n

11066011_10153250298420406_7980860342443328050_n

11069497_10153250299125406_3718185195440215894_n

11138486_10153250297700406_3644545174688973143_n

11141164_10153250299675406_244759390358787738_n

11173407_10153250298455406_285811962990781500_n

11174801_10153250295645406_2302081027826827184_n

11174801_10153250298760406_1093730443974333921_n

11178300_10153250296570406_6035850341392155684_n

11201855_10153250296095406_6772566887104253539_n

11204893_10153250299845406_1784329311150129065_n

11206059_10153250294195406_7245552013901961549_n

11207355_10153250298170406_3390506468204121965_n

11210478_10153250299015406_8770614357741618665_n

11203071_10153250297400406_7671899499081267262_n

11188258_10153250297500406_4889320085636255671_n

11209766_10153250587325406_9010282257448300098_n

The rest of Granda was a blur of churches, markets and excellent food.

11205085_10153250295950406_1158541450365599890_n

11039049_10153250296735406_6793659705669102987_n

13411_10153250297475406_3529672386021770833_n

10409228_10153250297660406_7320822571407247154_n

I also got henna.

11210432_10153250294510406_4337858093585354455_n

It was an amazing experience – and I can’t wait to recreate.

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s