It's 9am, and I am currently writing you from Cardiff airport, ready for a new adventure! 😀 I will soon be flying to Málaga with the low-cost compagny Vueling, with a view to spend Easter weekend in Andalusia.
Today will be my only day in Málaga, thus I am hoping to see as much as I can. I tried to organise myself before landind, to try to not waste too much time! 😉 I already checked for buses and booked my hostel.
Wow! 😀 I spent an awesome day in Málaga. I did not know what to expect from this city, I somehow thought it would be some kind of British resort, but I am glad it was not! The atmosphere here is great, and it was sunny all the afternoon. As soon as I reached the city centre, I quickly went to my hostel to drop my backpack and to change to short and t-shirt. I then started to explore the city...
And I discovered that la Semana Santa (Easter week) was a crazy thing in Spain!!! I did not take pictures but I saw some very crazy things! So many people in the streets, big festival/party. I will find videos.
I kept on walking and found many nice places, beautiful buildings/architecture.
And then, a bit randomly, I found something awesome. At the beginning, I thought it was a Roman theatre - and thus, I did not want to go there! I go to Roman theatres in Rome, not in Andalusia! 😉 And I saw: student price, 60 cents. Okay, let's do it (I am cheap). And... the ticket was not for the theatre, but for the very beautiful Alcazaba, a palatial fortification. It was built in the 11th century. This place is amazing, lots of small paths, trees, flowers, points of view... Lots of surprises! I loved it a lot.
After this beautiful visit, I headed towards the harbour and the beach, la Malagueta, where I had una siesta in bikini! 😉 And I also had some baguette and chorizo haha.
I finally headed back to my hostel, a bit tired with my day, and chatted with my roommates! 😀
I woke up under the sun of Málaga, and walked towards the train station where I met my Blablacar driver. I was quite happy because he was listening to J. Balvin! ;) We left the city to reach the mountains, and it started to rain! I became a bit worried and checked the weather forecast for Sevilla, but it looked good. Pablo dropped me in the city centre and I started my second day having a coffee outside! 😉 After passing by my hostel to drop off my backpack, I went back towards the centre, with my camera. It was cold though!
My first stop was at la Plaza de Encarnación, a big square with some weird modern architecture: the Metropol Parasol, a wooden structure built by a German guy in 2011. It is popularly known as the Incarnation's Mushrooms! I did not really take pictures because I found it pretty ugly! 😉 However, in this square, there is also a temple, la Iglesia de la Anunciación. It rained a bit when I was around there.
I kept on walking and followed la Calle Cuna, stopping by a Flamenco place.
I quickly discovered one of my first impressive places in Sevilla: la Plaza del Salvador! There were many people outside, enjoying the sun with a beer or tapas. I stayed there as well for some time.
From then, other nice places followed, other nice surprises. And still many people - for la Semana Santa. I actually took a few pictures today, to show you the craziness (lol); keep reading my post to know more! 😉
And I found a really impressive building. La Catedral de Sevilla. The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, a Roman Catholic Cathedral built in the 16th century; a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I wanted to visit the cathedral but 1) I did not find the entrance (do not laugh 😀) and 2) apparently it costs €61! :O
Next to the cathedral, are also la Plaza del Triunfo and el Real Alcazar de Sevilla (but I will talk to you about this latter tomorrow, as I will visit it then). I did not stay long there, as it rained like crazy for a few minutes.
And I kept on walking, towards the famous Plaza de España, but got stopped by many other beautiful squares and buildings and shops and everything on the way. 😉
I finally made it to la Plaza de España! 😉 It is a landmark example of the Regionalism Architecture. There were (of course) many tourists there, enjoying Flamenco, boat tours, horse tours, the sun... Qué bonito!
I ended the day by walking around the Guadalquivir towards the centre (and enjoyed a cocktail haha). I then got stuck in the Semana Santa parade (I did not tell you, but it also happened to me in Málaga yesterday). This time, I thought about taking some pictures to show you how crazy it is! 😉 KKK!!!! Hundreds (or probably thousands) of KKK like people walking in the streets!!! I need explanations. lol
I am now writing from MacDonald's (I did not buy anything haha, I am only using their Wi-Fi 😀), waiting for my Blablacar driver! It was pretty cold this morning, thus I decided to stay in until 10.30; I chatted with some people at my hostel - Mexican, Vietnamese, Pakistani, German, etc. After that, I walked 30 minutes to reach the Santa Justa train station, where I left my backpack in a locker for the day. It cost me €3.10 and was very convenient. On the way, I saw diverse painted walls and religious buildings... 😉
My main plan for the day was to visit the Real Alcazar; I therefore walked back towards the centre - and enjoyed the Jardines de Murillo on the way. The sky was completely blue! It is apparently raining in UK! 😉
So, let's talk about serious business now. The Alcazar is a Royal Palace in Seville. The Spanish word Alcazar comes from the Arabic al-qasr, meaning the castle or the palace. It is a very impressive place, with many rooms, patios and beautiful gardens. I spent about 2 hours there. However, it was very very very busy; I definitely recommend you to book a ticket online before going! Which is what I did! 😀
I took many pictures during my visit, here is an overview...
Wow! Not bad, eh? 😉 The gardens of the Alcazar are really nice if you want to chill in the sun or in the shade with a good book. They are huge, thus you can make sure to find a quiet place. Moreover, there are many orange trees, so you can (discretely 😀) take one or two fruits... Do not tell them I told you! 😉
It is time to end my stay in the beautiful Sevilla. I walked towards Santa Justa station, to pick up my backpack and to meet Catalina, my Blablacar driver. Catalina is from California but had been living in Spain for a few years. We were quite an international car, as there was also a British girl and a Spanish guy. The journey to Granada went really well, we chatted and laughed a lot. Cat dropped me off right in front of Dirk's house; Dirk being my Couchsurfing host in Granada. He is a very welcoming and nice Dutch guy.
Buenos dias Granada! Fresh morning but a beautiful blue sky. A bad sore throat for me though...
As you may know, the main attraction of Granada is the Alhambra; a palace and fortress complex. If you want to visit the Alhambra, you need to know that you absolutely need to buy your tickets in advance. I myself checked for tickets in February, and they were - already! - sold out for my dates. However, I booked a combined ticket for Generalife and Alcazaba; two "parts" of the Alhambra (the main one being the Nazir's palace). I could actually have bought a ticket on some agency website, but I am cheap! 😀 So, here I am, on my way towards the fortress, discovering the beautiful city of Granada...
From that moment, you really need to start climbing, because the fortress is located at the top of the city. It was not my best times - with my sore throat and thus kind of asthma - but I made it! 😉 Otherwise, I noticed there is so kind of shuttle (small train) going from the city to the top... for lazy people! 😀
I started by visiting the Generalife; Jannat al-Arif in Arabic, meaning the Architect's Garden. It was the summer palace and country estate of the Nasrid rulers of Granada. The palace was built in the early 14th.
At the beginning, I thought I only booked a ticket for the Generalife, and then, I noticed it was also valid for the Alcazaba. So I followed the signs and had the chance to wander in the Alhambra before reaching it! 😀
The Alcazaba was a building used for military purposes. The main constructions date from the 13th to the 15th centuries. It is the oldest part of the Alhambra, together with the Torres Bermejas.
I really enjoyed visiting the Alhambra, and I am hoping to go back some day to discover the impressive Nasrid Palaces! 😀 After that, I walked back to the city centre, and discovered the massive cathedral. It cost me €3.50 to get in (with student card), and I was given an audioguide. The Cathedral of the Incarnation, or Granada Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic church. Its construction did not start until the 16th century, and its architecture presents some Spanish Renaissance designs.
What else could I tell you about my first day in Granada? 😀 I really enjoyed the city. Its atmosphere is different when compared with Sevilla (and Málaga). In Granada, there were many black people trying to sell you touristic stuff in the streets, whereas I did not see that in the other two cities. Both in Sevilla and Granada, many homeless people are begging in the streets and on the terrasses; but not in Málaga. Hmm not sure these points were very useful... Something more useful: when you order a drink in Granada, you can get free tapas! So, for a €2.50 beer, you get some tapas as well! Enjoy! 😀
This is my second day in Granada, and my last day in Spain. I do not want to leave, I love this place! In the morning, I climbed - again! - the whole "mountain" to the top of the city, this time to go to the Carmen de los Martires. It is a romantic set of gardens, a successful blend of French and English styling. And it is free!
After enjoying the panorama, the sun, and the lovely smells, I started to look for a "centro de salud" because my throat was really painful, and I started to have fever... 😦 In these centres, you can see a doctor quickly and for free. It is always sad to be ill, and even more during holidays... 😦 I decided to heal myself with a big plate of tapas! 😉 I then went to the Albaicín, a district with very narrow winding streets declared World Heritage Site in 1984, along with the Alhambra. I did not actually take any picture of this district because it was crowded, full of little shops, and spice smells; I love it! 😀
At the end of the day, I met Michele, my Italian Blablacar driver, to head back to Málaga. He and his friend were living in Gibraltar, and told me all about the place: it sounds perfect! Awesome weather but not too hot in summer (compared to Sevilla and Granada), very good salaries (UK) but low cost of life (Spain), close to Andalusia and to the sea and to Africa, reggaeton everywhere and all the time... Paradise!!! 😀
It is 5.30 am, and I am happy to let you know that I found a better way to reach Málaga airport! The "metro" (C1 train) only costs €1.80 and only takes 12 minutes. For the record, I talked to you about the bus A in my first stop. I spent a (short) night in the cutest hostel I have ever been to (and God knows to how many hostels I went lol): the Picnic Dreams Boutique. I paid €14 for the night. Hasta la vista Andalucía! 😥
Conclusions? Spend more days in each city. Bring a scarf. Buy tickets in advance. Beautiful region.
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