Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sevilla, Spain | Dream Travel Destinations

Hello world!

I have been extremely fortunate in the last several years to be able to travel to many amazing countries and cities throughout different parts of the world.  These opportunities have opened my eyes to the beauty of travel and have left me stricken with an incurable case of wanderlust (hence the name of this blog).  I want to start this series of posts that explore the different places I’ve been, the food, culture, and nightlife of these cities, and maybe inspire someone to book a trip or two. 

It only makes sense for me to start with a city in the country that first stole my heart, the place where I got bit by the travel bug. Spain, of course.

Sevilla is located in the southern part of Spain known as AndalucĂ­a.  Each region of Spain is vastly different from the rest, with different accents, dialects and traditions.  AndalucĂ­a is extremely beautiful and rich in culture with beautiful beaches and great food. What more could you ask for?

When I spent a few days in this beautiful city, I was astounded at how instantly I fell in love. Here are some of the reasons why:

The People
Spanish people in general are relaxed, but I found the ones I interacted with in Sevilla to be particularly easy going, which I love. I never once felt like an out of place American tourist, and was treated more like a local and even an old friend. A word of caution: if you speak some Spanish, like I do, prepare to be confused when you come here. The Andaluz accent can be very hard to understand for non-native speakers because they drop letters in many words (for example: “espalda” becomes “epalda”.  That’s not the best example, but trust me on this one, it can get confusing. Still, there’s nothing funnier (or potentially more embarrassing) than practicing Spanish with some locals over a glass of sangria (which is always delicious).

The Food
I can sum it all up in one word. Tapas. It doesn’t get better than these small plates, usually including some kind of awesome sea food, that you can share with everyone at the table. I laughed at one restaurant where I ordered gazpacho (a kind of cold tomato soup), and it was served to me in a wine glass. Still delicious. I never ate as well in my life as I did in Sevilla.

The Nightlife
Spanish time is a bit different than in most places.  Dinner is at 9 or 10pm and people don’t go out until after midnight.  This does take some getting used to, but once you get in the swing of things, it’s magical.  Staying out until the wee hours of the morning (sometimes even until the sun comes up!) is an experience everyone should have at least once.  I visited with a group of students who were also studying abroad and we were able to find bars with tourists, Americans, Spaniards, young people, old people, etc. all within a few streets of each other. And all of these people are looking to have a good time.

This is also the land of Flamenco.  My group went to see a Flamenco show on our first night and it was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  The music, singing, dancing, everything was so impressive and amazing to watch.  It took place in a little hole in the wall, which gave everything a really cool vibe, and felt like we were watching something totally authentic (which can be a rare treasure for many American tourists). If you’re in Sevilla for any amount of time, definitely consider making this a top priority, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

There are also many historical sites throughout the city that are not to be missed.  Also, it’s where Game of Thrones is filmed, if you need any more incentive to go! Here are some pictures of my favorite churches and exhibits I visited:

The body of the angel in this crown is made entirely of pearl, making it the second largest pearl in the world.

This silver relic is said to contain a thorn from the crown of Jesus.

Our tour guide told the group that the Pope cried when he visited and saw this wall in the Cathedral because he had never seen this much gold.

This coffin is said to contain some of the remains of Christopher Columbus.

Another shot from inside the Cathedral of Sevilla

My heart literally aches at the thought of this spectacular city.  I know my words don’t come even close to doing it justice, but trust me, this is not a place you want to miss out on seeing. Has anyone else fallen in love with Sevilla? I’d love to hear about your trip, leave me a comment so I can see! Or email me at christinembushell@gmail.com

Bye for now,

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