After the 8 hour overnight bus to Spain, I pretty well decided I never wanted to travel by bus again. Unfortunately there were lots of buses in my future, but trust me when I say I was pleased to finally get off the bus and enjoy this beautiful country.
Our first stop in Spain was Seville, which is the capital of the Andalusia region. As is usual for us, we started by just wandering around the city.
Eventually we made our way to the Alcazar of Seville, currently a royal palace, originally a Morrish fort. The upper levels of the Alcazar are still used by the royal family as the official Sevillle residence today. The palace was very cool to walk through, but I especially enjoyed the gardens, with many types of flowers and trees.
Baths of Lady Maria de Padilla
Next stop: Plaza de Espana! The Plaza de Espana is a beautiful building in Maria Luisa Park. It was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, and is a landmark example of the Renaissance Revival style in Spanish architecture. It was one of my favourite views in Seville! It is a big complex, taking up a huge area with buildings and a small body of water. There is a large fountain in the center, and around the building are tiled alcoves representing the different provinces of Spain.
We then made our way to the Plaza de Toros. Bullfighting is a big part of Spanish culture, and as such we visited a bull ring. We had a tour given to us, including extreme details of what happens before, during and after the bullfight. The ring itself however, was interesting to see. This is the oldest bullring in Spain, with construction beginning in 1749 and is the site of the most well-known bullfighting festivals in the world.
We slowly made our way back to the hostel, taking in a little more of this gorgeous city.
It is a military watchtower which translates to Gold Tower, however there was no gold to be found on it. It was constructed in the 13th century and served as a prison during the middle ages, and as a secure enclosure for the protection of precioius metals later on – which is perhaps where it got it’s name from.
When we made it back to the hostel, we met with another group of travellers and decided to find an authentic flamenco show. We ran into some locals who gave us some vague directions. Surprising no one, we got lost for some time in the city’s back alleys, and ended up somewhere a little more touristy than we wanted.
We stayed for a bit before hitting the streets again, and after getting lost again, we somehow managed to fine the locals’ flamenco spot. There were a bunch of adjoining rooms crammed with people sitting on floors and standing against walls trying to see the small area that served as the dance floor. It felt real, and you could tell these dancers and musicians were having the time of their life.