The Lost Kingdom of Al-Andalus

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Mollina – Antequerra

Our presentation of rainy Galicia...

Our presentation of rainy Galicia…

 

My journey started with an EVS training that took place in Mollina, a village close to Antequerra. It was nice to meet some new people, volunteers from all over Spain, but the fun part was to present Galicia with volunteers that I had already met during our On-arrival training.

 

 

 

 

 

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The last day of the training we went to Antequerra for an afternoon walk, where we could relax a little bit and catch up with some people. All in all, it was a lovely encounter, but my real adventure started after the training.

 

 

 

 

Granada

 

 

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De sueno, rebelde, gitana
cubierta de flores,
y beso tu boca de grana,
jugosa manzana
que me habla de amores…

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The original is without the black stains :)

The good thing about BlaBlaCar is that you almost always meet some locals who tell you some interesting stories about their towns and always recommend the best places to go. The absolute ‘must see’ in Granada is definitively Alhambra, and for a reason.

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It is a impressively beautiful palace with many gardens where you can spend days just exploring and finding amazing viewpoints of Albayzín, whose narrow winding streets and whitewashed houses and little plazas make you feel like you are in another world.

 

 

 

 

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16996850_10209906603634390_2051185212_n They say that the best thing about Alhambra is the view of Albayzín, and viceversa

 

 

Besides history and culture, I was also interested in food. What a surprise! Right now, I would say that Granada definitively is the best tapas place in Spain. Not only do you get free tapas with each caña or tubo, but you also get to choose from a menu of ten to fifteen different tapas. I’ve also tried a new dish there called ortiguillas de mar, some sort of algae which really tasted like sea. I loved it!

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Málaga

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Although this town does not have the reputation of Córdoba and Granada, what it does have is the beach. And a really nice one. I was in Málaga twice in this journey; the first time was before the training, so it was my first Andalucian town, and the second time I came here after visiting Granada.

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Like every other Andalucian town, the old part is really beautiful with Alcazaba and Castillo de Gibralfaro, but it noticeable that there is a new part of the town with marina, and yachts docked there. Since this is the birthplace of one of the most famous Spanish painters, I decided to go to the Picasso museum, and was disappointed by the exhibition they had there.


Cádiz

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One word – CARNIVAL. I thing all the Spanish want to be here for the carnival. And that’s why it was so different. Because it is not made for tourists, it’s not carnival in Rio, or Tenerife, this one is for locals. Why? Well, they have a lot of bend who practice all year long and make up some funny songs called chirigotas about everyday life, politics and customs, and just to make it more difficult to understand, they use a lot of dialectal words.

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The empty beach.. (also without black spots – that’s just camera)

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Picnic on the beach…

I was really lucky to meet one local Couchsurfer who introduced me to his friends and we actually spent the day on an almost empty beach (22°C in February), while in summer you can hardly walk there how crowded it gets. We made a picnic on the beach, played some sports and had a really good time. Cádiz is definitively one of my favourites, and I will go there again, I’m sure.

Sevilla

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Before I went to Sevilla I was unaware of how little I knew about history of this city. I actually went on a 3-hour walking tour, and I didn’t regret it. This city has got so much history and so many interesting stories, that it’s impossible to put it all in a few lines.

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My experience of Sevilla? I will always remember Sevillana dance and tortillitas de gambas. Some locals (I always try to meet local people) took me to a bar where they danced Sevillana, and it wasn’t about the dance, or clapping, or music… It was just the vibe inside the place that I will never forget.

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Tortillitas de gambas

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They say that flamenco was born in Triana (other side of the river) where bands of gypsies, moors, and Jews took refuge and lived in harmony, and the fusion of their music and dances are what we know today as flamenco.


Córdoba

Maybe next time…

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