Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Spain Trip: Part 1

Oh hey, remember how I went to Spain right after Thanksgiving?  It honestly feels like a distant memory as so much has happened since I got back!  And I am leaving again today (le sigh) for a quick work trip. This will be my last trip of 2017, so I am just going to power through it!  And luckily it's a short one!

But before my memory of the trip to Spain become a bit more hazy, I wanted to tell you all about my trip to Spain.  It was a wonderful getaway and oh so inexpensive.  Southern Spain is an economically depressed area so things are pretty cheap there. Despite the fact that it's a poorer area of the country, we felt totally and completely safe.  To give you an idea of how cheap it is, one night we went out for some drink before dinner. In Granada, they serve tapas with each beverage. We each had 2 glasses of wine, and each glass came with a small tapa.  Our bill was 10 euro for 4 glasses of wine and 4 small tapa plates!  And they don't tip there either so that was the total cost.  It's crazy!  I am sure that the quality of wine was lower than what I would have ordered back here since it was so cheap, but it tasted good enough to me - especially given the price!

Anyways, I will let my photos (mostly) do the talking!

All packed up and ready to go! I loved the Osprey travel pack that I bought for this trip. It's carry on size but is quite roomy.  It's the perfect bag for a trip like this where we stayed in multiple places and used planes, trains and buses to get around.

We arrived in Madrid on Saturday morning and were awfully groggy as neither of us slept much on the plane.  We took a mid-day train to Seville so had to keep ourselves alert until we got on the train, which was a challenge.  We both napped on the train ride, which was around 4 hours I believe and felt much better when we arrived in Seville!

Seville was so beautiful and charming.  Phil and several of my friends studied abroad here.  Phil gave us some suggestions of the highlights to see, which was helpful.

View of the Cathedral from our airbnb balcony. This is the largest gothic church in the world!

There were several pretty parks in Seville, including this one which was close to the Real Alcazar, which is a royal palace.

The park had a tribute to Christopher Columbus. He's a big deal as he set off from a port in Seville to "discover the new world"
One of the biggest attractions and our favorite site in Seville was the Real Alcazar. It was built by the Moorish Muslim kings, so it features Arabic architectures. It is beautiful inside as there is so much intricate tile work.

But our favorite part was the gardens!  We lucked out and visited the Real Alcazar on a day when it did not rain. 

It was so stunning and I loved seeing palm trees, which is something I wasn't expecting to encounter in this region of southern Spain.

While tile work featured prominently in the Real Alcazar, we also spotted a lot of tile work throughout the city, such as this tile work. It's hard to tell from this picture, but it's the Virgin Mary.

Another area of Seville that we loved was the Plaza de Espana.  Apparently one of the Star Wars movies was filmed here. I wouldn't know since I've never seen any of the movies!

Proof that Amber and I were actually on this trip.  This is our only photo together as we mostly took photos of the sights!
Remember how I said Christopher Columbus is a big deal in Seville?  Well, allegedly some of his remains are in the city of Seville.  Inside the Cathedral, they had this statue in honor of him.

I've got more to share about the other 2 cities we visited (Ronda and Granada) but that will have to wait until the next post!

Have you been to Spain? 


Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Beautiful pictures! Another place I would love to go! My only Spain experience so far is Barcelona. I did really like it but I'd love to see more!

Charbelle said...

I did a report on Spain at some point in 7th or 8th grade and I've always wanted to visit. Since then I read things and see documentaries and it's one of those places that is on my list! Your pictures were AMAZING!!!!! I hope that you do a book so you will be able to easily look back on the trip!!!

Marlys said...

Beautiful pictures and scenery! I love the idea of a photo book - do you do that for your trips? A keen idea, I must say! Can't wait for the next blog post!

Leigh said...

Beautiful pictures! I've only been to Barcelona (sounding a lot like Kelly above), but would have loved to see more of it if we had more time

Amber said...

Those photos are beautiful! It's good to know southern Spain is an inexpensive - yet very safe - place to visit. I feel like those types of places can be few and far between. I have never been to Spain but would love to go!

Jeanie said...

Wow -- when you enlarge the photos they are really spectacular. And so good to have the bonus of inexpensive dining! That garden looks especially welcoming to me on this cold snowy day. Can't wait to see more!

Gracie said...

Excited to follow your travel, as Spain is on my list (maybe soon - like next year) - but I'd also like to hear more about the Osprey backpack. Which model is it? And how big? Carry-on big, or squished under seat big?

Stephany said...

That's so great that it was an inexpensive trip for you! Those are always the best, haha. Your pictures are beautiful. I've never been to Spain but it's definitely a country in Europe I'd love to visit someday.

Abby said...

I think from your pictures on social media, I am most drawn to Seville. The history just seems so rich!!! But my opinion might change as you recap the others 😉

That gothic church is incredible!!!

And that bill!! That is amazing. Well, for American tourists ;). That is what we love about Mexico when we scuba dive. We can go out and have 2 drinks each and fresh seafood tacos...and it's like 200 pesos! Which is <$20!!!

San said...

I've been to Spain many times, but not recently and not to Seville. Sounds and looks like a lovely place!

J and A said...

Beautiful photos! Sounds like such an awesome trip!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Beautiful photos! I have never been to Spain (or Europe at all). That is such a good price for four tapas and four glasses of wine. I had to look up what 10 EURO is in Canadian dollars, but it's $14 - not bad at all. I had no idea it was so cheap there. It's good that you felt safe. I know a couple people who backpacked across Europe to about 20 countries over a few months. They had no problems anywhere except Spain, where their stuff was pick-pocketed, and their bags were stolen literally from between their leg without them noticing. Hopefully that was just an unlucky experience, and not a common thing around there. My dad visited all over Europe when he was in his 20s, and Spain was his very favourite place. I hope to go there one day :-)