Since my trip to Barcelona, Spain has always held a place in my heart.  Piece by piece I wanted to explore this country.  During this trip I visited 3 provinces in the Andalusia region: Granada, Córdoba, and Seville.

I arrived in Granada by train. The main purpose of my coming here was, of course, to visit the Alhambra.

Alhambra is a Moorish citadel and palace that dominates the city of Granada.  I enjoyed a stroll through its pristinely kept garden, Generalife.

Generalife
Generalife

There are many buildings inside its compound, each one with impressive tile works and carvings on every facades and corner.  Here are a few photos taken mainly from the Palace of the Lions:

Alhambra
Alhambra
Alhambra
Alhambra

From here I went to Córdoba to visit the Mosque-Cathedral, commonly called Mezquita (spanish for mosque.)  What brought me here were its famous 800-some columns with striped double arches:

la Mezquita
la Mezquita

Orange gardens are ubiquitous here in Spain and most major buildings and sites are entered through these gardens.  They’re beautiful when in bloom.

orange garden, Seville
orange garden, Seville

Another 1 hour train ride brought me to Seville.  I stayed here for the remainder of my 2 weeks trip.  First stop was the Alcázar, the royal residence built in the Moorish style.  Having visited Alhambra a few days before, this compound seemed familiar:

Alcázar, Seville
Alcázar, Seville

But the most impressive site in Seville is its Cathedral.  As the 3rd largest church in Europe, it was a sight to behold.  I climbed its bell tower, the Giralda, which affords one with great views over the city including the many domed-roofs of the cathedral.

Cathedral of Seville
Cathedral of Seville
the Cathedral and Giralda tower at night
the Cathedral and Giralda tower at night
Cathedral of Seville
Cathedral of Seville

Seville is a beautiful city on its own.  I spent my days here walking around its cobblestoned streets, admiring the colorful buildings, and spending time in the plazas scattered around.

Plaza de España
Plaza de España
Seville
Seville
Plaza de Toros
Plaza de Toros

And since Flamenco originated here, no visit would be complete without catching a show in one of the city’s many “tablaos.”

El Tablao Flamenco Los Gallos in Plaza Santa Cruz
El Tablao Flamenco Los Gallos in Plaza Santa Cruz

And of course, can’t end without showing a very important aspect of any spanish trip: the food.

cured ham; snails; paella
cured ham; snails; paella

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