Tag Archive: Andalusia



I have just read an article about how one shouldn’t miss out on this underrated place just a short 2 hour drive out of the more popular destination of Sevilla in Andalusia.  I wholeheartedly agree. There are many, many destinations around Spain worth a detour beyond the triumvirate of Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla. This blog hopes to help those visiting Spain to include a few must-see’s into their Spanish Itinerary. 




When in Andalusia:


Ronda


Sevilla & Cordoba


When in Madrid:


Cuenca


Alcala de Henares


Aranjuez
Chinchon


When in Vasco and Galicia:


San Sebastián


Getaria


Finesterre & Muxia


Pamplona


Santiago de Compostela


And There’s More:


Valencia


Burgos


Cordoba. The Mesquita. Originally a pagan temple. Then a Visigothic Christian Church. Converted into a Mosque. And finally a Catholic Church. How can one go to Cordoba without visiting the Mesquita?

 

 

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My earlier blog on Andalusia will tell you how we covered both Sevilla and Cordoba during the Semana Santa. Perfect place to be in, except that the weather hardly cooperated. Just the same, we were in luck when we reached Cordoba. Miercoles Santo had 8 processions running. All ending at the Mesquita. We didn’t watch all 8, but our attention was drawn to the young Nazarenos — trainees? Protégés? — in the crowd.

 

 

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Unlike the “regular” Nazarenos, these young protégés had no pointed hoods over their heads. We even found one barely out of his stroller, nearly knocking everyone blocking his path as he seriously took on his role in the procession. His grandfather tried, in vain, to put him back on the stroller. And we also found girl Nazarenos. Pretty and cutesy participants to the Semana Santa processions. As they passed right in front of us — we were lucky to be standing right by the elevated platforms of the Mesquita — we heard cellphones ringing, as the teenage Nazarenos likewise engaged in light banter with friends in the crowd. All spiritual meaning may have been lost …… But who’s judging?

 

 

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These young Spaniards are fortunate to have, and to keep these traditions. The processions may seem a bit unruly —- compared to the “silent processions” in Madrid —- even festive, but the tradition has not lost its meaning, and its charm, on me.

 

 

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That’s what the driver of the red tourist bus said. IT’S RAINING VERY WELL IN SEVILLA. Very well, indeed.

 

We took the AVE fast train to Cordoba today only to find not so pleasant weather in this part of Andalusia. Then and there, we decided to hop back on the train and proceeded to Sevilla. Rounded up the Giralda with all those seats neatly arranged around the cathedral while young and not so young men and women donned their Nazareno hooded outfits for the religious procession. Alas, it poured too — more heavily here — and the procession and other religious festivities were all cancelled!

 

 

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It was so frustrating to watch. Hooded Nazarenos unmasking, wet wooden seats folded up, crowds thinning and spilling into nearby tascas and tapa bars. Pasos staying inside the church without a chance to stray out for a procession. Even the ride on the hop on, hop off tourist bus was so gloomy as the skies opened up and threatened a flash flood around the beautiful city of Seville. We peered through windshields with wipers busily swatting off raindrops. We wrapped ourselves good as the chill started to freeze our fingers and numb our cheeks.

 

 

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The morning after left Sevilla still wet, the floors of many tapa bars strewn with litter, too many coffee cups in garbage bins. Since we slept early the night before — so un Spanish — we woke up to catch the early hours in Maria Luisa Park sans the tourist crowd. It’s a lovely park though I still long for the charm of centuries-old buildings, bell towers, castles and churches.

 

 

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By the time the tourist buses arrived to download more camwhores tourists like us, we were ready for another ride on the hop on, hop off red bus. Then off to the Sevillan Cathedral where throngs of tourists seem to have congregated around the Tomb of Cristopher Columbus. I grew tired waiting to snap a better photo.

 

 

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We queued up to scale the ramps toward the Giralda Tower, a Moorish remnant that now serves as the bell tower of the cathedral. All of 37 planks? Can’t recall, but it sure felt that many. From the top, one is rewarded with the Sevillan skyline including the cathedral roofs.

 

 

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Now, don’t forget that Andalusians take their tapas seriously. We did too. And let that be a good souvenir of our journey to Seville on this Holy Week. With or without the procession, sunny or cloudy, wet or dry, the home of flamenco is always worth a visit.

 

 

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