When I was younger, I thought the world was so vast and wide. I had no idea how small the world can become at times. I planned this trip expecting to befriend people from all across the world, which I have. But little did I know, I would come all the way to Spain to meet two amazing women from the Minneapolis Suburbs and Omaha, the only two places I have ever lived. Funny how life works! Enter: Anna and Lisa, my new friends and travel buddies for the weekend.
Friday we took some personal time off from class and got on a bus to Sevilla, Spain in the morning. The ride is about two hours and forty five minutes from Malaga and only $40 round trip (not too bad if you ask me). We rented out an apartment from Airbnb.com that cost each of us only $55 each for two nights. We ended up getting the top floor studio apartment with a roof top terrace near the center of town. I am pretty sure this is cheating or stealing or something because this trip would cost big bucks back in the states.
Friday was full of exploring. Lisa had friends that studied abroad in Sevilla so they gave her a list of places to go and foods to try. That list plus the help of TripAdvisor.com were money in the bank. First, we visited the Cathedral de Sevilla. It was massive and had the most unique architecture I have ever seen in a cathedral. Inside lay the body of Christopher Columbus in this grand tomb that is lifted about 8 feet off the floor. So many different styles coming into one Cathedral. What I found to be odd was that there was an orange tree garden within walls. This is seen a lot in Muslim palaces, not cathedrals often. But, what a great representation of the mixing of religions, cultures and people over hundreds of years in Spain. After the Cathedral we walked not even a half mile to the Real Alcazar de Sevilla.
The best way to describe the Alcazar is a luxurious oasis. Lush trees, water features, ornate decor throughout. This place felt so exotic to me. Under the main structure there was this hidden pool that you can see in one of the pictures below. The water was still and reflected the arcs that were above making it look like it went on for miles. In the gardens, there were about 4 or 5 peacocks chilling and walking around. Stretched its feathers and showed everyone walking by how beautiful he was. My words can’t really do this place justice so just take a look at some of the pictures and be amazed that this lies the basically the middle of the city.
After a day filled with walking about in 90 degree weather, we were ready for a shower, nap and then dinner. For dinner we took the advice of Trip Adviser and went to a restaurant near the Cathedral called Genova. It was tricky to find because the maps weren’t very accurate. But, when we stumbled upon it, we were pleasantly surprised with the food. The wait staff seemed a bit rushed. However, it was great food. We got all the traditional Spanish Tapas: paella, croquetas, squid and some bread. For dinner, I had a beef tenderloin with veggies and something… Then came out “dessert” which were three light yellow looking shots. We were very confused because we didn’t order them… Were they shots? What did they put in it? Do I have to pay for these? Classic foreigner questions because this was a custom that I am not used to… but could get used to very fast. It is simply a “thanks for eating here tonight” thing. What a deal! After we paid our waiter came to our table and told us (quickly imagine a Spanish accent) “this is your home now. Come back whenever you like and we will take very good care of you.” It sounded way cooler than that though.
The next day we started off for the Plaza de Espana. It felt like Spain to me. Everything I had ever imagined, the sounds of flamenco dancers on wooden stages, a fountain splashing water on a hot day and the grand architecture surrounding me. It was a dream. What we learned in my Spanish Culture class last week is that they filmed scenes from Star Wars, Game of Thrones and other really popular shows and movies here. How cool is that!? We explored a bit, took some pictures and then made our way to the Plaza de Americas through another lush park.
We’re walking and talking and walking and talking and then we come to the back of the plaza. We see this couple feeding the pigeons and doves and the birds are perching on the people! “I wanna do that” I thought from afar… Well, needless to say, when you have birds trying to get all the food in your hand and they are flying all around you… well… just look at the pictures. Starts out all fun and games and then things got serious.
Once in a lifetime kinda thing. Now I know it is not all glamour feeding the birds. For lunch we had a little mix of different kinds of fried seafood and For afternoon dessert, (yes, that’s a thing in my life) a chocolate filled churro. I might have visited heaven for a wee bit upon taking a bite of the churro. No one knows for sure. But, I have seen some things, man.
Later on during the evening we visited the mushroom looking structure thingy called Metropol Parasol. It looks like two giant mushrooms sprung up in the middle of a plaza. But, the views from above were incredible. We could see all of the land marks, cathedrals and plazas we were in earlier that day. I only have one really cool picture for you of this one. (Travel tip: with the purchase of a ticket to go up and walk around, you get a free drink in the plaza:))
Overall, the weekend was great. I made great friends, saw amazing sites and ate great food. I don’t think I could ask for much more out of a weekend getaway in Spain. Until next time…