Andalusia

Slowly the sun sinks over Sabikah Hill. The walls of the Alhambra glow red-yellow and stand out against the green of the wooded hillside. In the background the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We stand on the Albaicin Hill in front of the San Nicolas Church and look over to the Alhambra. The name of the fortress probably derives from the walls that glow red at dusk and gave it the name "Red Castle" at that time. 

 

Alhambra Granada, Spain

There is a lot going on on the square, a group of three men entertains the people with guitar music. The ascent was really worth it, the whole place lies in a wonderful light. Even the way to the Alhambra at 36°C was quite tiring, but even that was worth it, because this facility is really worth seeing. The Moors capitulated after a long siege in November 1491 and in January 1492 the castle was handed over to the Catholic Monarchs. Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragòn did not take much time, already in March 1492 they issued the so-called Alhambra Edict. A period of forced expulsion of the Jewish people began, Jews and the Islamic population were forcibly christianized. "Heretics" were persecuted by the Christian Inquisition. The gardens and buildings tell the story of the different rulers and epochs.

Generalife Granada, Spain

Whether it is the bastion, the Alcazaba, or the Nasrid palaces with their beautifully landscaped gardens, you can literally feel the history in every building complex. Granada is the prelude to our Andalusia trip, which we started from Cartagena. Besides the Alhambra there are countless other sights in the city and last but not least the many bars and cafes with delicious tapas are worth mentioning. The journey from the southeast of Spain alone is spectacular. The roads through the hilly landscape up to the Sierra Nevada wind around every olive tree, and there are thousands of them in this region. A dream for every motorsport enthusiast, a nightmare for some stomach sensitive passengers. But the stomach is well again and so the tapas in the "La Teteria de Banuelo", just before the bathhouse of the same name from the 11th century, taste excellent. In the Calle Elvira, one tapas bar follows the other, so we don't easily get past them. Before we know it we are already sitting in the next bar, trying "Salmorejo" or "Solomillo de cerdo". In the bar Los Diamantes, on the Plaza Nueva, we have a nightcap and get mussels added.


Tapasbar Granada, Spain

The next morning we leave for Còrdoba. This route we also drive overland to get a better impression of the country and its people. The roads are well developed and the traffic volume is not very high. We reach Còrdoba in the early afternoon. In the middle of September the thermometer still measures 36°C. We have rented a small hotel in the former Jewish quarter of Còrdoba. The houses are all white-painted, some of the alleys are not even two meters wide. A labyrinth of narrow paths runs through the old town.

Còrdoba, Spain

We stand on the bridge, built in the 1st century BC, over the Guadalquivir River and let the evening mood take effect on us. We still have time, the table in the flamenco restaurant is reserved for 20:30. The expressive dance is not to be missed. Some restaurants have organized groups to bring flamenco closer to their guests. The day has left its mark and we are glad that the way to the hotel is not too far. Còrdoba also has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing, for example the Mezquita Cathedral and the "Patio de los Naranjos" as UNESCO cultural heritage.

Patio de los Naranjos Còrdoba, Spain

In the "Tarberna El Capricho" there is, according to the owner, the best Rabo de Toro in all of Spain. Since it is my first Rabo I can't really judge, but the meat is tender and a kind of roux tastes good with it. However, I didn't know that such an oxtail consists of many bones, and a little envious I thought to myself, "clear with bone, always stands. You never stop learning and everybody works with his own tricks, even an Andalusian bull. 

Andalusian Bull, Spain

Still thinking of the best Rabo, we leave the next day for Seville, our third city, in Andalusia. Even now we do without the highway and follow the river Guadalquivir. Not far from Còrdoba there are the remains of an early medieval palace, but it is closed for visits on Mondays. So we make our first stop in Carmona. The medieval center of the city is excellently preserved and the gates to the city are mighty. If you travel in the times of Covid-19, the less known places are deserted. On the streets you can see one or the other who is doing his shopping, no trace of tourists far and wide.

Parroquia de San Pedro Carmona, Spain

Seville is quite the opposite of the tranquil town of Carmona. A city full of life, lively but not hectic, this is where flamenco was born and where it is practiced everywhere. At the "Plaza de Espana" we meet a group that dances Flamenco and is being accompanied by a guitar. The few people passing by are immediately captivated and willingly throw a few coins into the basket. 

Plaza de Espana Sevilla, Spain

The semi-circular palace is open to the Maria Luisa Park and is bordered by two imposing towers. The parks in Seville are generously arranged and the squares are interestingly designed. The Moorish palace "Alcazar", with its gardens, is beautifully laid out, but the access procedure, in times of the virus, is a bit complicated and if the Internet connection is interrupted, it is only possible after several attempts.

Cathedral of Sevilla, Spain

The Cathedral of Seville, built in the Gothic style, has an impressive bell tower. Right next door is the Historical Archive, which is also very interesting. If you want to explore Seville on your own, the Spanish language is an advantage, many descriptions of sights are also translated into English, a German one is not available. But Sevilla has even more to offer, the city invites with a generously arranged pedestrian precinct for shopping and last but not least there are countless cafes and bars where you can find excellent tapas at a reasonable price. We sit in the bar "Paleyo" and enjoy the small snacks, which we simply learned to love. The bar is furnished in a rustic style with bull heads hanging on the walls. 

Bar Paleyo Sevilla, Spain

Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but the tapas are excellent and the bar has tradition. In the evening we will visit the Metropol Parasol. The wooden construction is illuminated at night with blue light.

Metropol Parasol Sevilla, Spain

The next morning we stand in front of the elevator that takes us to the roof of the construction. From up here you have a great view over the city. Modern architectural styles like the Puente del Alamillo or the skyscraper Torre Sevilla, alternate with the old styles of the historic buildings. We leave Seville and Andalusia to the north and visit the city of Càceres whose old town is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. How our journey in Spain continues and what we will experience in the coming week, you can read, as usual in our blog, how we are looking forward to meet you. Until then, always fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.



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