“The air so soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it.” – C.C
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
The pearl of Al-Andalus (Andalusia)
Muchas gracias para todo Sevilla y Cordoba… – T ..x
A place so close yet so far…
Having visited Granada, The light of Andalusia, just a few years ago, I was mesmerised by the Andalusian way, to the way of life and everything in between, and the experience was briefly mentioned, and could be found in one of my past blog post, “Thank you Spain.” Although, having also recently visited Barcelona in Spain, this was another cool experience, but a post for another time maybe.
I spent a good few nights and days in Seville, and kept it as my base to visit Cordoba. My stay in Sevilla was in close proximity and great walking distance to the main attractions and centre, as you normally would for a first timer, in this beautiful city.
(All photos posted in this blog post was taken and snippets captured by the author of this blog herself – Tania Tenni, that’s me. Belongs to me. Thank you..x Enjoy : ) )
Taking all the precautions and being double checked with the new systems for flight of course, I smooth-sailing-ly and gratefully arrived late morning, caught an Uber and made way straight to my sweet, humble accommodation.
After all the settling-ins, the showers, the change of clothes, day bag checks etc, I took a stroll to the local sites, stopped for a Coffee and mazed through the narrow streets with 17th century buildings and unique balconies (why I truly love these regions for their narrow-cobblestoned streets and historical aspects combined with the modern touch, makes that extra bit special.) Within 15-minutes, I was in the city centre and main historical sights.
Taking everything in, I spotted a lady in her work gear, in connection to those Bus Tours. I must admit, any place I visit, I’m truly a sucker for those hop-on and off bus tours around the city, especially on a first day. It allows me to really take it all in first and then make clearer decisions to navigate my way through the rest of the trip on foot etc. Love walking too. The best way, as they say. 🙂
I bought my bus ticket, hopped on the bus nearby the Torre del Oro (13th century watch-tower, also known as the golden Tower, currently a museum) and Guadalquivir river here in Seville, will definitely get back to this historical and remarkable monument later.
The tour was great, sitting and seeing everything from the top deck of the bus, mind you, the temperature was lovely too (around 21 degrees on average.) Like a British spring season would be haha. Sunny but still mildly breezy-borderline cool, this was their winter. However, I’ve noticed the temperatures do drop significantly during the evenings. But that’s still cool. I did visit in December. 🙂
My first evening here continued well too – Alhamdullilah. I really wanted to, so also got a ticket to see the live Flamenco, which started from 7pm, across the bridge to the other side in the Triana neighbourhood. It was definitely a night to remember. Even before the show had started, I was greeted with warm smiles and “Holas” and granted complimentary beverages. With all the options you can imagine haha, I helped myself to an orange juice of course, haha.
Flamenco is another story in itself. Having visited Granada a few years ago, I was not able to watch any live Flamenco, and unfortunately, even shows in Barcelona were cancelled last minute, understandably due to the current situations, so I was ecstatic to finally see one my first evening here yaayyy. I wasn’t waiting for anything, I just wanted to and I did what I chose to. One of many sweet perks of solo travelling. So grateful for this opportunity. I will certainly be mentioning more of the perks throughout the rest of this blog. Because it was truly special for me. Dinner. Night. x
After all the lovely morning routines and breakfast time, I took a more local-local stroll around the neighbourhood, and so this time, I went the other side to see what was happening there. And so I ended up visiting a beautifully hidden grand palace-like building, what appeared to be a museum (Museo de Bellas Artes) when I then realised what is was. It was close-by and this museum contained some of Picasso’s works! Wow, and I had no idea that the museum and famous artist’s, Pablo Picasso’s paintings were situated so close here. hehe. I really didn’t research much this time – I briefly know and knew yet just went with the vibe this time. And was continuously fascinated, astonished and just simply surprised throughout this trip, by where I ended up and how etc haha. I know I can be very organised and sometimes spontaneous but didn’t know I was thaaatt sensibly spontaneous. hehe. Alhamdullilah. x
The museum was 1.50 euro for entrance, great considering how much the museum had to offer, room after room, plastered with paintings and artefacts and was very well kept with visters’ very own locker space with key, to keep your belongings whilst taking a tour ever so comfortably – always thoughtful and appreciated. It was a beautiful entrance to the hidden garden gem and fountains and perfectly situated pillars and grand staircases with soft marble touches. Another thing about these regions are the gardens and how beautifully kept and formed they all are, representing the light, elegance, the serenity, the whole historical imagery of Andalusia right here, like it has always been this way. Truly gorgeous. Truly special. Beautiful.
And one thing I have to admit to was that my entrance was complimentary, by the ever so lovely, gentle, kind middle-aged lady by the ticketing section. She exchanged a few short Q&A time with me haha (and mind you, there was a queue about to build, she shared her beautiful smile, winked and quietly handed me a ticket for the entrance, even though she knew I was capable haha. How sweet. It’s those little-big unexpected moments for me. Means a lot. And what I remember the most. x
After the museum tour around, I was also conscious of my time but didn’t need to rush either, thankfully. The next part of the day was my day trip to CORDOBA! So I headed back to my lovely sweet accommodation within minutes, double checked my bag, water bottle-check, snacks for the train-check, and took some break within before I got my uber for the Santa Justa Train station, from Seville en route to Cordoba! Another yayyy! Alhamdullilah. x
Made it to Cordoba – and first things first, no uber service at this time, soo took a Taxi service and let me tell you, it was actually very reasonable and worked out cheaper hehe. So hey – happy happy! 🙂
Cordoba was magnificent in itself – I wanted to stop exactly outside the Mezquita de Cordoba (Mosque-Cathedral). One of the main reasons for my visit of course. It has to all tie in together, since I had the opportunity. By the time I arrived, I knew I wanted to have lunch here, so before I did, I walked into a few cute souvenir stores by the narrow streets again (looove), bought some souvenirs here too then quickly discovered the perfect spot for lunch and definitely perfect for fellow halal eating tourists – Casa Qurtubah. Their menu also looked traditional and great! It even gave me that moorish-inspired aspect as the moors left behind their features around Andalusia. As soon as I walked in, there was once again, another open-air, garden like aspect with a Riad house-like feel, like you’re back in Marrakech Morocco. Beautiful and homely feel. It was also influenced by the old Arab-Berber-Moorish culture. Hey, the name should have given it away “Qurtubah” referred to as Cordoba from the authentic Arabic language.
This moment was surprisingly wonderful too, because this was the place where I met two other lovely, British girls on their road trip around Spain, and coincidently, were taking a day trip to Cordoba from Seville! We hit it off straight away, had lunch together and met up again throughout our day trip in Cordoba. They very kindly offered to drive me back even though I had my return ticket ready. Long story short, I ditched my ticket and I ended up driving back with them to Seville, that very night! It was both exciting, enjoyable and just simply – Great!! It all happened for a reason…we stopped by to have dinner and chilled and yep, continued our great connections along the way. The like-minded people you meet eh. And sometimes the “careful risks” you make eh haha. Always be careful, cautious and just have that “know, know-alert” attitude, and all should be good. It was great. We loved it. Night.
A more relaxed but equally a non-stop eventful day. Consisting of visits to a nearby hospital that facilitated with Antigen tests upon return (obligated within 48-hour period before flight departure, and depending on the countries’ regulations etc), then grabbing lunch and theeenn being guided to another great landmark of Seville, Plaza de España, finallyyy. One of the maanny highlights here, haha! It was just so spectaular, grandiose and the closer I walked, the more I just awed over. It was truly beautiful and yet again, surrounded by the beautiful park and palm trees, hidden sites and more. A place you can spend a few hours in alone – and truly be satisfied. x
Although I didn’t spend hours there, I did however spent enough time to explore the whole part of the plaza, taking pictures from different perspectives, as the sun shown and in different directions, allowing beautiful rays to pass through. Within the plaza, I could hear that fond, strong familiar sounds of rhythmic clappings to the rhythmic stompings and of course that classic guitar! It was another flamenco! The live show was being performed to the general public/visiters, right here in the open plaza and I was pleasantly surprised by this opportunity to watch this live again hehe. Something about it. That feeling, the expressions from every artist there, from the guitarist to the flamenco dancer – just superbly spectacular and mostly undiscribable, because it comes from this “feeling” as such.
The day continued with more walking by the river, joined by family-friendly entertainment sections, continued with lounge bars with loud reggaeton beats and pop hits being blared throughout, was definitely atmospheric, welcoming people of all ages and ranges hanging out here.
I eventually made it back towards the Torre del Ore for a visit and tour. The museum tour was great, 3 euros general admission, with discounts for students and other categories etc. The views were great, the stories were great, was all great.
I had a few minutes to spare until 6pm for my 2nd evening bus tour that came with the original bus tour ticket I purchased for the first day. It was just a few metres from the Torre del Ore and make it. Seriously appreciate my time bearings haha. Alhamdullilah. This evening bus tour was very romantic, bustling, beautiful and unique architecture followed by grabbing dinner.
Returning back to my simply humble yet stunning accommodation, I took my chill time to just chill, then bumped into another lovely girl in my dorm room, see where I’m going with this. Girls-Only!! Haha.
Anyway, we hit it off too. All the girls were great and pretty like-minded. This girl hung indoors this time around – we chatted away and realised we had very much a lot in common and of course some cool differences. We took our chats for an evening walk, as I had packed up by then and felt really comfortable in doing so.
We end up spending a couple of hours walking, sitting, chatting, chilling, laughing, exploring, taking pictures of our surroundings and just enjoying both our last nights here in Seville.
Some of the wise words from V from France, “Be gentle on yourself”, remember, “Tolerating intolerance is a form of disrespect for yourself.” “You need to start with yourself and take care of yourself before holding other’s hands.” Always love the reminder and hearing it from someone I just met. Haha. Good for her. Loved her energy, her relaxed nature and monk-like mannerisms, thatt she appreciated from hearing it. Night.
With the right frame of mind, the right everything, you are your own best advice. This comes from faith, that true higher power, that one belief presenting you with guidance, you then make that decision from within. You are your own best advice. Make the right one. No-body knows you better than yourself, beautiful. X
With peace, love, T ..x