Monday, October 26, 2009

Andalucia: Cordoba, Granada, Sevilla

This past weekend we had an excursion to Andalucia (the south of Spain, and the region where all Spanish stereotypes are true) and stayed in Cordoba, Granada, and Sevilla. The bus left at 6:45 Thursday morning (lovely for those of us that have a 30 minute walk to the bus station, aka me) and we drove 7 hours to Cordoba to see the Mezquita de Cordoba (ancient mosque-turned-Catholic cathedral). Andalucia occupied by Mores/Arabics for the longest of any area in Spain, so there is a lot of Arabic influences eveywhere.The Mezquita was gorgeous, but it was really a shame to see such awesome Arabic architecture destroyed by gaudy christian memorabilia. As the story goes, the Catholic Kings saw the Mezquita and asked King Carlos if they could change it into a Cathedral. Since he had never seen it he said sure, but then after visiting immediately regretted his decision. I've seen about a thousand cathedrals since I've been here, but the Mezquita was interesting because it was different. In Cordoba we also walked through the Juderia (Jewish neighborhood) and saw one of the oldest Sinogagues left in Spain.

Arabic part of Mezquita

Christian part (note the difference)

Then we got back on the bus to Granada. We just walked around that night in Albaicin (and arabic neighborhood with a great view) and the next day we went to Al Alhambra. Al Alhambra was created as a Muslim paradise on earth, and thats exactly what it looks like now. Basically it is acres and acres of beautiful gardens and palaces. Of course this was taken over by the Catholic Kings too and they couldn't help but put there mark all over it. Also, apparently Napolean tried to have it blown up, but someone difused the bombs before it happened because it was too beautiful to destroy. We spent most of the morning here and it was probably my favorite thing I've seen in Spain.

Part of the Palaces in Al Alhambra

More Al Alhambra

That afternoon we got back on the bus to head to Sevilla. When we got there we had a few minutes to put our stuff in the hotel and then we went for a walk through Sevilla's gigantic ancient Jewish neighborhood and then to a Flamenco show. The flamenco was awesome (and our program director kept poking me and telling me how "guapo" the male dancer was haha) and I didn't realize that it wasn't just dancing, but singing and guitar as well. Also, I don't know how those dancers move their feet so fast, it was crazy.


Flamenco


The next day in Sevilla we did a tour of the Cathedral (a very long tour) and climbed up the Giralda (the giant Cathedral tower, and yes we climbed up all 35 ramps). We also got to see the Plaza de Espana (where they filmed a scene of Star Wars) which was amazing and then went to eat tapas as a group (we at rabo- bull tail, thats what they do with the bulls when they kill them in bull fights!).

Cathedral
Plaza de Espana
Bull tail, it was actually really good

Before we left on Sunday we took a tour of the Plaza de Toros (bull fight ring) in Sevilla which is the oldest working bull ring in Spain. They had a whole museum which was really neat to see. Then we got on the bus for our lovely 7 hour ride home. It was a great weekend...next we're off to the Canary Islands!

Plaza de Toros

2 comments:

  1. How beautiful! But, not enough food shots for Joe.

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  2. Right, and better to eat the tails then the...

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