Sevilla, tres veces [salmorejo cordobés]

When spending a night in Sevilla seems old hat, you know you’re spoiled.sevilla1salmorejo1While living in Huelva last year, going to Sevilla somehow became part of the travel “routine”, just a necessary stop to catch a plane or a train onto the next destination.
But, of course, Sevilla never gets old. Even the city’s oldest landmarks can fill you with awe, whether it’s your first or fifth time strolling by. The city is small enough that you can get around on foot all day–soak up the sun and the culture while working up an appetite to stop for tapas and cold drinks along the cobblestoned streets.sevilla4sevilla3sevilla2 Continue reading…

Hasta luego, Huelva [Muchas gracias]

20130605-172512.jpgAnd so, just like that, eight months flew by. 20130605-172831.jpgI’m having a hard time avoiding clichés to describe how much I loved this past year (“time flies/it was the experience of a lifetime/unforgettable!”); the little adventure I wanted abroad surpassed all my expectations.20130605-173127.jpgThe last week or so was filled with despedidas, farewells and parties with my students, colleagues and friends. Every time we went somewhere we were aware that it was our last time (at least for now!). (Sidenote! one of the great things about living in Huelva is that it is actually financially feasible to eat lovely tapas on lovely terraces with lovely drinks everyday for a week…) Days at the beach, cocktails at sunset, dancing til sunrise; it was crazy, sleep deprived, and a perfect series of fiestas to say goodbye (for now!).20130605-222909.jpg20130605-222600.jpgHuelva quickly became a second home, and it was sad to leave. My wonderful amigos woke up early with me to have one last café con leche together and see me off (I almost made it onto the bus without any tears!). Like anything, the people make all the difference, and I feel so incredibly lucky to have met the friends I did.20130605-223334.jpgSigh. So this year saw me grow up a whole lot (I think!), and I’m leaving Huelva a little wiser, a little more confident in my adventurer abilities, with so many great friends, memories, muchísimas ganas to come back to España, a perma-smile and a happy heart.
20130605-223845.jpg20130605-223824.jpgAnd so, eight months flew by, and I couldn’t have asked for a better time. Muchas gracias to all my guiri friends and la buena gente española in Huelva for the chulo-est time, to all my friends and family back home for the love and support I could always count on across the ocean, everyone I traveled with along the way, and to you for following along. Now, I’m taking a scenic route back to Canada…the European fun isn’t quite over!
Hasta la próxima! Un beso!20130605-230159.jpg20130605-230206.jpg

El Rocío

20130527-133736.jpg20130527-133749.jpgEmpty for most of the year, the little town of El Rocío becomes flooded with millions of people and their horses, caravans, and guitars during the romería de el Rocío.20130527-133847.jpgIt feels like you’ve gone back in time, or have somehow stumbled upon Andalucía’s Wild West. Flamenco can be heard from every porch, and you have to keep your wits about you lest you be run over by a horse.20130527-134006.jpg20130527-134041.jpg20130527-134057.jpgI was in the town in October when it was sleepy and dusty and could hardly believe the difference when we were there last Sunday. Next time I live in Spain I’ll have to get a proper dress…

May Day in the Mountains

20130501-232735.jpgWith people taking advantage of the day off (día del trabajador) in Spain to demonstrate and protest I went with a couple friends back to Aracena for the day. We left the palm trees and city streets behind in Huelva for the rolling green hills of the Sierra, spring blossoms, and the best ham in Spain.20130501-232930.jpgIt’s a short, and beautiful, drive up to la Sierra– and there’s lots to see out the window…I was mesmerized again by the landscapes at the Rio Tinto mines.20130501-233148.jpg20130501-233420.jpg20130501-233524.jpg20130501-233546.jpg

La Feria de abril

20130425-003704.jpgRainbows of skirts, flowers, and snapping fans. Horses. Fiery flamenco and fried fish. Blazing sun, frosty rebujitos. Tradición. Welcome to la Feria de Abril de Sevilla! 20130425-010212.jpg20130425-010148.jpg20130425-010219.jpg With a week of singing, dancing, drinking and showing off your finest Sevillana moves (and outfits), la Feria de abril is just one giant party. The atmosphere was contagious and for me, seeing all the amazing flouncy skirts was reason enough to go! With horses and carriages taking over the streets, and everyone dressed in their traditional finery it felt like another era. To be honest, it all seemed a little bourgeois, but the feria de Abril in Sevilla certainly dresses to impress, and I loved it. Spain does it again!20130425-082111.jpg20130425-082118.jpg20130425-082128.jpg

Granada: Ciudad Poética

20130422-164102.jpg20130422-163724.jpgLast weekend seemed to announce the beginning of summer in Andalucia with temperatures up to 30 degrees and brilliant sunshine all over the south.20130422-163824.jpg
It was the perfect weekend for walking the old streets of the Albaicín, exploring the Alhambra, and finishing off the days with tapas, tapas, and more tapas. The atmosphere in the city was just lovely with music on every street corner and colourful art everywhere you looked. I particularly liked this guy handing out free poems at his typewriter. As if Granada needed to be more poetic!20130422-164114.jpg20130422-164125.jpg20130422-164134.jpg

Alhambra Afternoon

Slightly obsessed with Spanish tiles.

Slightly obsessed with Spanish tiles.

 

La AlhambraThe reason for many (if not most) people’s visits to Granada, the Alhambra is a jewel atop the hills of the city.  After basking in the sunshine around the fortress we wandered through the palace as the sun set.  alhambra2alhambra boys
The tiles, the arches, the marble,  the carvings…I was in awe of every part of the decadent Moorish architecture.  Water features reflect the Alhambra’s beauty, and its gentle flow is the perfect soundtrack to accompany a visit through this magical place.  (Trust me, anyone could wax poetic about La Alhambra, I’m not just being corny!)sierra  nevadaalhambra ceilingalhambra gangalhambra gangalhambra arch