Granada

We arrived in Granada to a lovely sunny day, eager to explore another new place. After leaving our stuff at the hotel we were off for a wander through the streets on a brief walking tour, to learn some history and key areas. After our wander it was time for a beeline for tasting of wine, cheese and Spanish ham. We also enjoyed a tradition tapas experience, where you order a drink and the tapas come with it for free! You don’t get to choose the food, it is just what the tapas bar is offering on a given day. 

After wandering the shops while Mum and Dad had a rest, and a quick dip in the hotel pool, we were off wine tasting. Little did we know, the wine tasting came tapas style, so for each new wine we tasted, we also got a taste morsel to sample. After wine tasting which was delicious and also fabulous fun, I went for a spot of shopping in the Spanish summer sales, and scored myself a lovely new bag! Winning!

The next day was our big day for exploring the Albayzin and The Alhambra Palace. We wandered the streets of the Albayzin, learning about the history of the area and current day situation, whilst glimpsing stunning views of the Alhambra palace. After lunch it was off to the Alhambra, where we toured all of the fort, royal palaces and the summer house. The palace although quite grand from the outside, is actually quite plain. The inside however was absolutely stunning in its decorations, carvings and mosaics. 

Spending a full day out and about, walking and exploring, meant we were all truly ready for a break and snooze before heading out for a last dinner in Spain together. Our last day in Spain the next day consisted of more rugby, before ambling around the city until our late evening flight back to London. 

Advertisements

Grazalema and Ronda

After the bustle of stunning Sevilla, we were off into the hills of Spain to visit some of the white villages. 

Enroute to Grazalema where we would be staying first, we made a stop in Zahara de la Sierra. This was a very cute and quaint town up on top of hill, over looking a stunning turquoise lake and with a signal castle on top. Obviously we had to climb up to the lookout point in over 30 degrees in the blazing sun, and the views were absolutely worth it. After lunch it was on the road again to Grazalema. 

Grazalema is another of the white villages, nestled in a National Park and surrounded by hills and beautiful walking trails. It was also a place where our hotel had a pool, so guess what we did that afternoon before a tradition Paella dinner?

Our whole day spent in Grazalema was started with a tramp up one of the walking tracks for a view over the national park. Luckily it was a much milder 24 degrees and the path much more friendly, making for a lovely walk through some quite stunning scenery. After our walk I explored some the villages shops on pursuit of a new bag, before we went off cheese and sweet wine tasting. After the cheese and wine and a lunch I was more than ready for an afternoon nap before dinner. 

The next day we set off bright and early for the village of Ronda, famous for its bridge and the sheer cliffs which surround it. When we arrived it was still relatively quiet, but not for long. It was soon absolutely swarming with tourists. After a wander thirsty the shopping area, we set about exploring the village including the famous bridge, Mooriah palace, Roman baths and old roman walls. We also wandered the winding streets, did a spot of shopping and enjoyed a delicious lunch in the shade. That evening before dinner we made the hike down the cliffs for a different perspective of the town and bridge. 

After a lovely time in Ronda, we were off to Granada!


Sevilla

Back at the end of June, I was lucky enough to spend a week traveling in Spain with my parents. First stop, Sevilla!

When I arrived it was an insanely warm 43 degrees, even at 9pm. Luckily it was a relatively dry heat, so it was actually quite nice. This sort of temperature was to be a theme for the remainder of our time in Sevilla.

After a drinks and Tapas for dinner, it was early to bed before a day of exploring the city. But before we could do that, obviously we had to watch the first All Blacks vs Lions test at an Irish pub. We were the only kiwis and surrounded by POMs so luckily the All Blacks won. After the rugby we wandered down to the banks of the river Guadalquivir and along, before heading to the (in)famous Bull Ring. We did a quick tour of the Bull Ring and its museum which was very interesting, and the colours inside were absolutely stunning. Can’t say I agree with what goes on there but fabulous to see such an amazing space.

After the bull ring and a tapas lunch in the cool of some air conditioning, we made our way to the Sevilla Cathedral. This is a stunning structure, including aspects of the old mosque but with the inside remodeled to the catholic style. The old orange orchard from Moorish times is even still outside with flourishing orange trees.

At this point Mum and Dad bailed out for a bit of a rest while I explored the shopping district and wrote some postcards home.

Our second day in Sevilla was a full one, with plans to explore the Plaza de Espana and other monuments from the World Trafe Fair, as well as the Real Alcazar. The Plaza de Espana and monuments with their surrounding park were very beautiful, and it was lovely to spend the morning walking through the grounds.

After a quick snack, it was off to the Real Alcazar, where we explored all the beautiful rooms of the Moorish Royal palace as well as the stunning gardens. At this point, it was stinking hot and we were all pretty hangry so we made our way to a lovely local tapas reatuarnt for summer wine and lunch before an afternoon snooze.

After a lovely dinner at a restaurant once visited by Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise, and a good nights sleep, we were off into the hills of Spain!