Rambles in and about Andalucia

I’ve been fascinated by Andalucian history for years, where myth and fact blend in a heady mix of Moorish architecture and flamenco music. I’m reading Land of Lost Borders right now, which has a great phrase: “feeling homesick for a country not my own”. I possibly paraphrased that, but it’s a great description of how I felt travelling to Andalucia.

After my first walking tour on vacation in Greece, I knew that was how I wanted to visit Southern Spain.

I arrived in Sevilla, despite an Icelandic volcano trying to thwart…wait maybe that was Greece. I arrived in Sevilla at the tailend of a feria. I think it must have been the feria de abril, even though it was May. This meant there were displays tucked away in doorways, horses in the streets, and people in fantastic outfits.

Soon, though, I was headed to Cordoba, my second favourite city of the ones I visited.

The Gaudalquivir is still broad where it flows through Cordoba, past La Mezquita. Inside the phenomenal Mezquita, which I could not get a good picture of so you get a blurry one, there was a wall of names in Arabic on tiles – builders of the original building. Another thing you notice in Cordoba is the presence of ancient scholars — I believe the statue is Maimonides.

From Cordoba, we headed to Granada. There was nothing like catching my first glimpse of the Alhambra against the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas.

Yes, I realize “snow-capped Sierra Nevadas” is a bit of an interlingual tautology…and yes, I had to look up tautology.

Anyway, I swear my heart stopped, which makes sense, because time skipped a beat. Again, I do not have a picture that does it justice.

Next up were hikes through the Alpujarras before heading to Ronda and its famous bridge. A little less famous is the cat. It’s said that Hemingway based his tale of cliffside executions on Ronda — though it might not be true.

As I was gathering the pictures for this post, I realized some were missing, including most of those from Sevilla. I was so sad. I would love to say that just means I need to go back when I feel I can travel again, but all the places unvisited by me + the major impact of travel on climate change = not visiting the same place twice, so it’s unlikely.

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