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Exploring Andalucía

Exploring Andalucía

This weekend, we had another school holiday, which was a great opportunity to see more of the region of Spain where I am living: Andalucía! Sevilla is beautiful and I am loving my time here, but it is definitely a city-life experience, and having grown up surrounded by nature, at times I crave the open spaces, hikes, and natural landscapes that I am used to. This weekend my eyes really opened up to another side of Andalucía. I was able to explore some smaller towns: Córdoba, Ronda, Setenil de las Bodegas, and Osuna. I got the open spaces and tranquil atmosphere I craved, and was reminded that this is the kind of travel that I love. Seeing the capital cities and doing the typical "touristy things" are great and I love my fair share of that, but I sometimes forget that I get so much satisfaction out of traveling to the lesser known areas and uncovering new sides of places I thought I knew so well. This weekend made me excited to plan more trips to the little places, the harder to reach places, the gems that this country still has hiding for me. Here are some highlights from my weekend adventures:

 

Córdoba

Córdoba is under two hours from Sevilla by train, making it the perfect weekend trip. It's much smaller than Sevilla, so it was very doable in a couple days, although I would have loved more time there. Córdoba is known for its patios with white walls, lined with blue plant pots with colorful flowers inside, as well as the Mezquita, which is a Mosque-Cathedral with hundreds of iconic red and white arches.

 Asociación Amigos de los Patios Cordobeses patio 

Asociación Amigos de los Patios Cordobeses patio 

 Tranquil plaza in Córdoba

Tranquil plaza in Córdoba

 The Mezquita of Córdoba

The Mezquita of Córdoba

 Architecture in Plaza del Triunfo

Architecture in Plaza del Triunfo

 The arches in the Mezquita!

The arches in the Mezquita!

 Kittens sleeping in the sun on Roman ruins in Córdoba :)

Kittens sleeping in the sun on Roman ruins in Córdoba :)

Ronda

Ronda is a small city in Andalucía that is built on the edge of a cliff. It is known for this incredible bridge that connects two large cliffs. Ronda, Setenil, and Osuna are all pretty close to Sevilla, and we have some great friends who offered to drive, so we packed up into the car and made it into a day-long road trip!

 We got to test out the acroyoga we've been practicing in front of the Ronda bridge!

We got to test out the acroyoga we've been practicing in front of the Ronda bridge!

 Stunning views off the cliffs of Ronda

Stunning views off the cliffs of Ronda

 Cliffs of Ronda

Cliffs of Ronda

 The best road trip crew! Sam, me, Julio, and Alexa

The best road trip crew! Sam, me, Julio, and Alexa

 That bridge though.

That bridge though.

Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil is a tiny town with a population of about 3,000 that is built into the side of a rock and features "cave bars" and shops that are carved into the rock. I was extremely impressed by this town, it's beauty, charm and liveliness. We stopped here for coffee and enjoyed walking around and taking in the atmosphere.

 Setenil has two sides, sol y sombra. This is the Sol side because it gets more light during the day.

Setenil has two sides, sol y sombra. This is the Sol side because it gets more light during the day.

 We stopped at the cafe to the left for coffee and cake

We stopped at the cafe to the left for coffee and cake

 The Sombra, or shadowed side of Setenil, with a street that runs under the rock 

The Sombra, or shadowed side of Setenil, with a street that runs under the rock 

Osuna

Osuna is a small town tucked into the beautiful, open landscapes of Andalucía. We decided to drive here to watch the sunset from a lookout point that our friends had been to, and made it just in time to watch the sunset over the city. It really was the perfect end to an amazing road trip with great company.

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Finally, we returned to Sevilla and ended the day by celebrating a friend's birthday. Good people and lots of exploring, I have to say this was one of my favorite weekends in Spain yet!

2017 Happiness Project: January Strength Month

2017 Happiness Project: January Strength Month

Sandcastles

Sandcastles