Epic Spain Adventure: Part 4 and The End – Sevilla

Posted: 14 March 2013 in Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Now we come to the end of this adventure. It was a nice, but rather quick ending.

I find it quite amusing my decision to go to Sevilla. The second football match I saw there was FC Barcelona vs Sevilla FC and Sevilla won. As much as I love Barcelona, it almost felt like a betrayal to go see the other city.

The quickest way to get from Barcelona to Sevilla is by plane. Taking the bus and/or train would take 15 to 20 hours and would have used up any time I had to see the city. Not that I had much time there anyway. I had two days. Two days really wasn’t enough to take full advantage of everything Sevilla had to offer, but I was still able to see some great sites. As a quick note, my camera battery died quite early on the second day so I ended up having to use my cell phone camera. Word to the wise: never forget your battery charger.

So, getting to Sevilla. Like I said above, the quickest way from Barcelona to Sevilla is by plane. It takes a further two buses to get from the airport into the city. Navigating the buses was a little tricky, but thankfully it wasn’t anything too difficult. What was more difficult was finding my hostel. I stayed at the Oasis Backpackers Hostel. It was a great place to stay and I would recommend it. The only problem I had was that it isn’t necessarily that easy to find. It is through an alleyway off of a road off of a main road. Despite that, I rather enjoyed my stay there.

After finding my way to the hostel, I was shown a place to get some food (a chinese supermarket) as it was a holiday (6 Jan) and pretty much everywhere was closed. It was ok though because my feet were killing me and it gave me an opportunity to chill and meet some people. That evening, the hostel had a group dinner planned. Some guy made couscous, which was absolutely amazing. It was €5 and it was well worth it.

The next day was filled with much tourism. I loved walking around Sevilla. Unlike Madrid and Barcelona, the city has a more relaxed feel. Life seems to move at a slower pace. Not to mention that there was also very few tourists around.

My first stop was the Plaza de Espanya. There isn’t much to say about the place except that is was quite impressive. My research tells me that the building was built in 1929 for the Ibero-American Exhibition. It has also been used in a handful of films. The building is a semi-circle with a tower on both ends. There is a fountain in the courtyard and vast gardens stretching out before it. You really can’t search around much inside it as it now houses various government offices, but you can tour around the grounds as much as you like. I didn’t get the chance to explore the gardens very much sadly, but I did get to walk around the site.

Plaza de Espanya

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My next destination was probably my favourite in Sevilla: the Real Alcazar. This place has an entrance fee, but there is a discount for students 18-25 so make sure you take your student card if you have one. It is like the little brother to La Alhambra. Although it is smaller in scale, to me it is much grander. It had areas of Moorish architecture and other areas filled with Mudejar architecture. The Mudejar part was added about 400 years after the building was first constructed. It was beautiful, but there is something about architecture from the East that is so attractive. I wouldn’t doubt that I spent hours in there walking every corridor I could find. The building was surrounded by lavish gardens, but we weren’t able to walk in them due to the heavy rains over the past few weeks. There was a walkway along part of it so you were able to look down on it. Underneath a part of the building was a grotto. There was seriously so much to see. It was well worth the time. 19740_248166171309_3622451_n

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The last place I saw there was right next to the Real Alcazar: the Catedral de Sevilla and La Giralda. There is also an entrance fee in here and like the Alcazar, there is a discount for students (which they didn’t give to me because I was too old). The cathedral is quite massive and very impressive. Like the Plaza de Espanya, the cathedral was ridiculously difficult to get in one frame. At least with my camera. So the cathedral was built on the site of a mosque and an entranceway and a minaret are the only remnants of it. The building is the third largest church and the largest gothic building in Europe. The inside is simply spacious. From what I read, it took just over a century to complete. Standing inside it I’m not surprised. 19740_248166386309_2215746_n

In the picture above you will see both the cathedral and La Giralda. The once a part of a mosque, the tower has now been converted into a bell tower. It is a steep climb, but the view is well worth it. The cool thing about the tower is that it is one of three remaining Almohad minarets in the world. The other two are in Marrakesh and Rabat, Morocco. I plan on seeing the last two before somethings happens to either of them.

One of the coolest aspects of the cathedral is the tomb of Christopher Columbus. The casket is out in the open, mounted on the shoulders of four Spanish soldiers. I did a play once about Christopher Columbus (I played King Ferdinand) and was also called that in elementary school (kids called me that to make fun of my first name). It was very exciting for me to see. I’ve told people about it and some have been quite sceptical. I have since read that scientists are conducting DNA tests to authenticate the claims (although I’m not sure how they will be able to do that without other DNA to pair it against). I sadly do not have any clear photos to show of the tomb.

The final night the hostel had an event where were a group of us went out for tapas and then to see some flamenco. I had never seen flamenco but had been told to be sure and see some before I left. As all Spanish food, this was also amazing. And the flamenco was incredible. The dancers were spectacular. It was so passionate and lively. I really enjoyed seeing it. I have since learned that one of my friends from Miami dances flamenco and I can’t wait to see her dance it. It was truly an amazing night to end my trip on.

Now the trip has come to an end. I took a bus back to Granada early to have a quick lunch with my new friends. One of Virginia’s Spanish friends was making paella, which I had had for the first time the night before. I had very little time and it still wasn’t ready when I got there. I ended up having to take some to go. I got on a bus to the airport and was running so late that I thought I was going to miss my flight. Thankfully I didn’t. Regardless, we were stuck inside the plane on the tarmac for 5 hours. The airline didn’t offer us water or anything, just left us sitting there. There was nearly a rebellion. It was quite intense. All I can say is that I will go out of my way now to not fly with RyanAir.

What else can I say, Spain was amazing. It has definitely been one of my most favourite travel destinations. I never had one bad experience with the people, the food was incredible, transportation was easy to navigate, I felt safe the whole time, and I cannot wait to go back. I learned many lessons from the whole experience. One is to always remember you camera battery charger. I was blessed to have means to charge it up until the very end. The second (and probably most important) is that I learned how to be a better traveller. I discovered websites for booking hostels, methods for easy exploration, and how to blend in. The whole trip was one that I will remember for my entire life 😉

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Comments
  1. juanmillan97 says:

    Nice post, visit our blog at internacomercio.wordpress.com to read about Spain and other countries

    Like

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