Tag Archives: Alcazar

Sevilla

30 Jan

After spending a few days in Sevilla, I think it has become my favorite city in Spain. I do love Madrid and there are a ton of things to do here, but Sevilla seems to have the Spanish soul you read about in travel books or hear about from other people. The town is slower and more relaxed, which immediately makes it more typically Spanish. The people are very warm with a “no pasa nada” attitude about everything. Everything in the center is beautiful, there’s a lot of pride in tradition and Spanish culture, and the food is great. Beau and I split a fried seafood platter the first night and it beat every fish camp in the U.S. I’ve ever been to!

Our hostel was a five-minute walk from the Cathedral, which was our first stop the next day and at least twice as big as the one in Granada. (In fact, it’s one of the largest in all of Europe!)

View of the Cathedral at night...I thought this building was unbelievable!

The main altar. It has somewhere around 50 scenes from Jesus' life carved into it and is covered in gold.

Climbing the tower of the Cathedral.

We also toured the bull ring, which Beau liked a lot since he’s a guy, ha. The tour guide explained the tradition like a Spanish fairytale starring heart-throb matadors in fancy costumes dancing with these prized animals. It was very interesting to learn some of the history, but I still don’t know if I would go to a real fight.

Plaza de Toros, gate where the bull enters the ring.

In the museum at the bull ring.

  My favorite place in Sevilla, though, was Plaza Espana. Most cities in Spain share street and plaza names, but Sevilla has the Plaza Espana. The plaza was built for an exposition in 1928/1929 right beside Maria Luisa park (aka Central Park in Sevilla). Everything is covered in colorful Spanish tiles! It has a moat surrounding the plaza that you can paddle boat around and tile plaques dedicated to every different area of Spain surrounding the main building, which looks like it’s fit for a king but instead houses government offices. (Can I work somewhere like this, please?) I was just expecting another cute plaza with shops and restaurants…so needless to say I was blown away!

Plaza Espana...Did I mention there are horse-drawn carriages all over the city?

Close up of all the beautiful tile!

We also went to the Alcazar palace, participated in a Los Reyes parade (by participate I mean fight children for free candy, LOL), and went on a super fun pub crawl with our hostel (where we had to help a 18-year-old French Canadian who drank too much and threw up on herself at the end of the night. Kids, ha.). We wanted to hang out/ go out in Triana, a neighborhood on the other side of Rio Guadalquivir, but we ran out of time. I’m not too worried, though, because I definitely see myself going back to Sevilla!

The gardens of Alcazar, definitely the best part!

XO

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Toledo

10 Oct

This weekend has been awesome, and I still have 2 days left because of the holiday! The highlight so far has definitely been visiting Toledo, which my friends and I did after being out until 5 a.m. then waking up at 8 a.m. to catch the bus. (Needless to say, I didn’t look too awesome for all of today’s photo-opts, ha!) We had such a blast! The town has such relaxing views. We did some sight-seeing, talked, laughed and ate…definitely a day well spent. Toledo is a beautifully preserved Medieval town. It sits on top of a hill and is still surrounded by a stone wall. Most of the original architecture is still intact, so arriving there was like taking a step back in time. There are shops that sell swords and knives and replicas of Medieval tools and armor everywhere.

 

Toledo's "main entrance", if you will.

 

 

View of the Rio Tajo from just below Alcazar.

 

 

View right off the main plaza, Plaza Zocodover.

 

 

One of many Medieval gift shops.

 

We went to Santa Cruz Museum, Alcazar, stopped by the Cathedral, had brunch in Plaza Locodover/Lorenzana and hung out around Plaza Mayor. Santa Cruz had two exhibits, one of wool and silk tapestries and another of pottery and tile. It also has a beautiful courtyard. I’m a complete dork for liking museums so much! (I definitely LOVED the pottery way more than anyone else. My mom would understand.)  Alcazar just underwent renovations and reopened with a new museum about the history of war in the area. It’s pretty impressive. The terrace, which has great birds-eye views of Toledo, was already closed, but the courtyard was amazing. The Cathedral is breath-taking and is what Toledo is most known for. We opted out of going inside today, but I definitely plan of going back to see more of it and the other churches around the city.

 

Entrance of Santa Cruz Museum

 

 

This wing of the tapestry exhibit is dedicated to Alexander the Great.

 

 

Santa Cruz courtyard

 

 

Alcazar

 

 

Alcazar courtyard

 

 

One of the entrances to the cathedral. The detail is so impressive!

 

 

Another side of the cathedral

 

Leaving Madrid to visit somewhere new, different and beautiful reminded me of why I love to travel so much (as if I really needed a reminder). What makes traveling so great is the people you travel with, and today I had the best company!

XO

 

Siury, Juany, Katie and Jeta