All posts tagged: Spain

Vamos a Sevilla y…

David is a navigator extraordinaire but for some reason in Seville we couldn’t get our bearings. We got lost from the train station on the way to our hotel. The streets seem to go for a block and then change name so it took us a while to find our way. All that aside Seville is a great place to visit and a great pied de terre for day trips to nearby towns. On top of that the weather in November is great. The Moorish influence is felt here just as much as in Granada. I was determined to visit the Alcazar, a palace in the middle of the city which was rumored to impress. Impressed I was by the tile decor and beautiful lush gardens surrounding the palace. Even in November there were trees full of oranges. Only 1 hour and 45 minutes from Seville is the coastal town of Cadiz. We made the trip there only for the day. We spend the day walking along the coast and soaking in the sun. Ronda was another one …

Hola Madrid!

The Spanish have found the recipe to good living: delicious food, good company, great art, beautiful parks and all these can be found in the city of Madrid. Lucky for us we like to incorporate all of those things in our travels :-). For a dose of history we started with a visit of the Royal Palace. The royal family does not live here anymore but the palace is still used for royal ceremonies. Photography is not allowed inside but it’s worth the visit. Each room is unique and lavishly decorated. Right next to the palace is Catedral de la Almudena. We were impressed by the stunning frescoes and grandiose architecture. We ate a lot on this trip but it was all in the name of research:). La Latina neighbourhood is a great place for tapas. First time ordering tapas was a little intimidating since the place had no menus or seats. We ordered by pointing at the tapas laid on the counter and managed to find ourselves a spot standing at the bar. Now …

Exploring Granada

Granada was definitely my favorite stop on our trip to Spain. The city is impressive because of its geography and its past. Granada sits at the foot of spectacular Sierra Nevada and proudly maintains the Moorish influence of its past. Alhambra citadel stands at the top of the hill; a good legacy of Granada’s Islamic past. We spent the day exploring the narrow, winding streets of the Moorish quarter of Albayzin. The houses are typically painted in white and shaded by orange and olive trees. Albayzin is on the side of a hill and the peak offers spectacular views of the Alhambra and its surroundings. We love the outdoors and we decided to do a hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Thirty minutes away by bus (Bus #183) from Granada is the town of Monachil. There are several hiking trails starting right from the bus station. We chose to do the Cahorros trail. The hike was not too difficult and it offered a great variety. We walked along olive and orange orchards, along the river and through a gorge, crossed several …

Tapas & Beyond

In Spain, tapas are a national obsession. Tapas bars are literally everywhere and the selection is incredible. Before going to Spain I thought tapas were finger food snacks served on pieces of bread. Some tapas are just that, however I discovered that tapas could be anything served in small portions. Tapas from the Basque region of Spain are called pintxos. Some places offer a free tapa when you order a drink. A good place to sample tapas is Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid. This glass walled market is a shrine to food and drink. Another cool spot for tapas is Bar Alfalfa in Seville. This small place seats no more than fifteen people but simple tapas like tomato with aubergine and arugula are to die for. The cured ham is a culinary constant in Spain and it can be bought in specialty shops. Jamon iberico is one of the most expensive ones and the gold standard for cured ham. This ham comes from a black-coated pig descendent of the wild boar.