Felt like that old European tour adage, “if it’s Tuesday it must be Seville”. Trip plan sounded good on paper; however, it was ambitious to say the least. First of all if one is to rent a car, get the navigation system. My travel buddy is old school and likes paper maps, ones that are often old as well, not showing all the current roads, short-cuts or indicating all the particulars of the country such as all left turns are usually initiated by getting in the right lane and going in a circle of sorts.
Then there’s the issue of language. I am able to speak a little Spanish, enough to ask for directions but understanding the answer is a skill-set I obviously don’t own. Upon leaving or entering any of the towns we visited, an extra hour or two was a given. I imposed upon at least 4 or 5 people each time. While I enjoyed our interaction, and laughed as we used our hands to describe the virtual map, I hopped back in the car with no idea of where we were to go. In one city I jumped in a taxi and explained to the knowledgeable driver that the guy in the car behind us would be following us to find his hotel.
Enough complaining….eventually we got there and were delighted with the cities and their sites. The hotel in Ronda was especially enchanting for Christmas night. The guests gathered in the self-serve bar and shared travel stories and even some mince pies! At breakfast the next morning , a young man who was a smitten image of Rafa Nadal served up a gourmet meal. An incredible welcome to the warm and friendly South of Spain.
Each city visited offered their incredible sites to behold. In Seville the top site was the Cathedral, massive in size , designated as a World Heritage Site and the burial-place of Christopher Columbus. Adjacent is the minaret Giralda that one can climb to see incredible views of both the city and the Cathedral itself.
Cordoba’s old Jewish quarter was delightful to stroll through when done visiting the Mosque-cathedral of Córdoba.
Would you believe I forgot my camera…..
Granada’s Alhambra is one of the most visited sites in all the world. The process of getting a ticket was one of my highlights. I had to be in line by 7:30 AM and it was cold. Found out soon enough that I was in the wrong line and started over. The freezing people all around me became fast friends even though we knew there were limited tickets available and the one in front of us could be the last lucky one. I did get in, but had to return after 2PM allowing me to explore Albaycin, the white-washed buildings hugging the hillside first.
Obviously one could go on and on about these architectural wonders but that is way outside my area of expertise….would definitely recommend these sites however. The tapas too!