How is everyone?! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. Work has been so incredibly busy that it almost feels as if I’ve worked double (more like triple) time to make up for the few weeks I had off! Anyway on to better things…finally here’s my first post on the blog about my trip!
Now because we got up to so much in each city with the sightseeing, eating out and stuff I thought of doing 5 of my favourite highlights or things we did in each city. As I type this I realise how hard it is going to be for me to narrow everything down. It sort of feels as if I’m trying to condense my favourite novel into a short story but I’ll try anyway! So first up…Seville!
Seville was our second stop in our trip however I chose to do this one first because it was easier for me to narrow down my top 5 things we did and places we saw.
So first of all if you haven’t been to Seville or haven’t even heard of it here’s a little background information about this lovely town in the south of Spain.
Seville (Spanish name Sevilla) is the capital city of the Andalusian region of Spain and is more than 2000 years old. Seville is so rich in history and was important in history as a cultural centre, as a capital of Muslim Spain, and as a centre for Spanish exploration of the New World. I couldn’t wait to learn more about the city! Here’s some of the highlights from my trip there:
Casa De La Memoria is a centrally located Flamenco museum in the heart of Seville city. The museum also has a small staged area where they hold numerous traditional flamenco shows each day. What I loved about this place was how intimate the show was. The room was big enough for only for a small crowd with seating upstairs on a balcony area and downstairs so close to the stage and the singers – the whole experience was really breathtaking.
Ok I admit I never knew much about flamenco before coming to Spain. In my head I thought it was a happy, celebratory dance where the dancers donned colourful costumes and danced the night away. Boy was I wrong!
From what I learned, flamenco is a storytelling dance. There are fiery, intense, and dramatic movements designed to convey emotion and the dancers bring to life the words of the songs.
Flamenco includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance), jaleo (vocalizations and chorus clapping), palmas (handclapping) and pitos (finger snapping). At this show there were three singers, two dancers and one guitar player. For the entire one hour show I was so drawn into the music and I felt hypnotised by the two dancers’ lightning-fast footwork performed with absolute precision. The female dancer also did an amazing solo dance using a shawl as a prop. I have so much respect for all of them as artists and if you’re ever in Seville, I highly recommend coming here for a show.
Plaza De Espana
Plaza de Espana is a square located in Maria Luisa Park and was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and was designed by Aníbal González. The square is designed with a combination of 1920s Art Deco and Spanish Renaissance Revival, Spanish Baroque Revival and Neo-Mudéjar styles. The main structure is a half-circle building with a moat and bridges and a large fountain in the middle.
Along the walls of the plaza there are also tiled alcoves which have pictures of each province of Spain. These colourful alcoves are a popular backdrop to tourist pictures and it’s easy to see why! How pretty are they?!
My favourite was this one cause of the horses (I’ve always loved horses).
This place was such a pretty sight! It was such a nice day as well so people were out and about riding on horse carriages around the square and even rowing boats on the moat.
The Pueblos Blancos (White Villages) and Ronda Tour
On our second day in Seville we did a day trip with Naturanda Turismo Ambiental to visit the white villages of Andalusia and Ronda. The service from this tour group was excellent as the actual tour bus picks you up directly from your accommodation or a landmark close to you.
First up we went to the Castle of “Las Aguzaderas”, a medieval building located at the old border line among Catholic kingdom and Moorish kingdom.
Then we went to this beautiful picturesque white village called Zahara de la Sierra.
What I loved about this tour was that we also stopped over in other white villages like Grazalma and Ronda. We also went to an olive oil factory too which was really interesting. I never knew hard it was to make pure extra virgin olive oil! The only down side about this tour was that when we reached Ronda it started to pour with such heavy rain that we couldn’t explore as much as we wanted to but that couldn’t be helped. Overall I really enjoyed this tour and the services of the company.
If you want more information about this tour please click on the link here.
The Real Alcazar
One of the things that really drew me to Seville was the Real Alcazar. I’ve seen glimpses of this amazing palace in Game of Thrones where it was used for filming the scenes in Dorne. The Real Alcazar is the oldest and most complex royal residence in use in Europe. This UNESCO World Heritage site is impossible to miss when you go to Seville and thousands or visitors come to the palace daily.
Whilst planning for the trip my research showed that most people advised buying tickets early or skip the line passes due to the high volume of tourists wanting to visit. As a result of this I booked a 90 minute tour with Voyager Seville.
The tour with Voyager was really worth it! As promised we all got skip the line passes and each of us had a little Bluetooth earpiece to hear our guide clearly. I learnt so much from the tour and our guide was so professional, knowledgeable and friendly. The Real Alcazar (especially the second palace which was hands down my favourite) was indescribably beautiful. The interior architecture was so colourful and regal and I felt truly transported back in time. I wish my pictures could do it justice but you’ll have to see it for yourself!
Andalusian Cooking class at Cooking Ole
The last of my favourite experiences in Seville was a 2 and a half hour cooking class that we had at this culinary school called Cooking Ole. I discovered this on AirBNB and was listed as an AirBNB experience.
The class was in a clean and professional kitchen and it was small and intimate with just 5 of us. Maria lead the class and not only was she extremely friendly and easy to talk to but she was an excellent and patient teacher. For the experience we made three meals from scratch.
Our appetiser was ESPINACAS ESPARRAGUERAS a super easy and super delish spinach and chickpea dish along with some fried bread (mmmmmm fried bread).
Our main was Spanish meatballs in sauce. The sauce was so flavourful and I really enjoyed it!
For dessert we made (too many) ROSQUILLAS DE SAN BLAS. I think the only way I could really describe them are sweet/cinnamon biscuits shaped liked donuts. They were lovely too but we made WAY too many!
After everything was cooked, we all sat down and enjoyed the fruits of our labor over cold drinks as shared a bit about ourselves. Everyone was so lovely and we had an amazing time sharing good food amongst good company. If you would like to join this class the link is here.
To be honest if I could, I would go on forever about the other things I discovered in Seville. Seville was lovely. It wasn’t a big and bustling city like Madrid but it was special in its own way. I loved the architecture of the buildings around it, I liked the history behind the city and I loved visiting the outskirts of Seville too. The weather was extremely hot during our visit there however so if you’re planning on going, either lather up on the sunscreen or plan to go when it’s cooler!
Seville was a blast and I’d definitely come here again to explore further.
Thanks so much for reading lovelies! Stay tuned for Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Nice and London highlights!
xx Ing from According To Ing