Student Blogs/Ali in Spain

November 9-12, Lukas and Utah (previously mentioned) along with two of Lukas’ roommates, Asher and Amelie from Netherlands and France respectively, and I decided to rent a car and do a road trip to Cordóba and Sevilla, which is located four to five hours south of Madrid. We did some intense carpool karaoke every time we got into the little Ford which was so much fun especially when Lukas (driving) would go crazy over Jessie J, Nikki Minaj and Ariana Grande’s song “Bang Bang”.

Arriving in Cordóba

Arriving in Cordóba, we struggled for 30 minutes easily, trying to figure out how to get to the hostel’s parking space when the street Google maps recommended was only one-way. As it turns out, you’re supposed to break the law to use the parking – I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this anymore. The hostel was cute; it had five single beds lined up along the wall army style and a little bathroom. Since we had been driving for the past five hours, we decided to rest up before we headed out for food.

a big open square with pedestrians, parked cars, some outdoor restaurant seating and several arches lining the buildings creating the square.

Plaza Mayor in Cordoba

First stop was “Plaza Mayor” where we sat to eat kebabs (kind of like a shwarma but in a bun instead of a wrap/pita – very messy but delicious). Now, Plaza Mayor must be like “Main Street” in Canada in the sense that every city has a “Plaza Mayor” because there is one at my university campus, one in Madrid and the most beautiful by far, Sevilla; but we’ll get to that. We wandered around all afternoon and night searching through gardens and castles and getting a sweet view of the sunset on a bridge that separates the old part of the city from the new part finishing the night with a lovely outdoor dinner in the heart of the old city.

An arched entry to the castle walls, reflected in the water

Outside the castle walls in Cordoba

The Mosque

Many arches with marble pillars, with chandeliers lighting the mosque.

Inside the mosque in Cordoba

The next day was a real treat. There is this giant mosque, and I don’t have enough words in either Spanish or English that can truly describe how big this thing was, that has a full-on Cathedral INSIDE THE MOSQUE!!! I would love to describe to you how magnificent this place is but it would not do it justice. The best I can do is to tell you to picture a massive reddish/brownish/orange colour scheme room with high ceilings containing countless, hand-crafted pillars with identical detail spanning as far as you can see with a huge shrine-type display in the middle which makes up one wall of the Cathedral. Now take your picture and multiply its beauty by the biggest number you know in the English language, but even then it might not be enough to fully capture the beauty of this mosque. Hopefully the picture above can at least help.

Sevilla

After the mosque and a quick bite to eat, we got back in our karaoke haven to drive an hour south-east to Sevilla, which may very well be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The hostel was smaller and we had to share a bathroom with the whole floor which kind of sucked, but we didn’t spend a lot of time there anyway so it really didn’t matter. Tip for future BIB explorers – if you don’t plan on spending a lot of time in your room, who cares if its small? Get the cheap room and make the most of your time wherever you go. Your wallet will thank you.

The Plaza from the outside while the sun sets and a boat in the water surrounding it.

Plaza Mayor in Sevilla

Once we got a bite to eat, we headed for the main attraction of Sevilla – their “Plaza Mayor” which in my opinion, blows Madrid’s “Plaza Mayor” right out of the water. It consists of a wide semi-circle building with perfect symmetry throughout, lined with water where tourists can rent a row boat and struggle to figure out how to paddle…true story! Lining the water, there are hand-painted railings and a gorgeous fountain in the centre of the plaza where many pictures were taken. The plaza is so big and there is so much to do that we ended up staying until nightfall.

Tourist Day

palm trees and greenery in the gardens

Gardens in the Palace – Sevilla

The next day was your standard tourist kind of day. We walked through the palace and the grand gardens surrounding the castle. From the outside, it’s like those stereotypical sandcastle walls, but from the inside, it stretches so far you wonder how the heck it fits in the middle of a city. If it weren’t for the castle walls lining the gardens in the distance, I would’ve thought that we were on a nature walk in a beautiful forest. We then walked along the streets to find some of the top 10 tourist sites to see including the bull fighting arena, the first hospital and a church that we would explore the following day.

the rooftops of Sevilla

View overlooking the city and part of the castle in Sevilla

This church was so big that we couldn’t take a picture top to bottom and fit it all in one frame. I ended up taking a picture of a picture so I could document how ridiculously huge this church is. For some unknown reason, we decided it would be a good idea to climb 34 stories to get a view of the entire city. Totally worth it at the time, but not so much the next day when my legs did a silent protest. The ceilings were so high inside that you wouldn’t be able to make out details of the paintings. Everyone inside whispered because anything louder would echo and the people across the building could hear you. After that, we packed our bags at the hostel and headed home feeling very satisfied for all we accomplished on our trip.

– Ali

Thursday, May 24, 2018 in , ,
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