The City of a Thousand Orange Trees, Seville

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Seville, like Cadiz is located in the autonomous community of Andalusia and about an hour 45 min train ride north.  It is an amazingly beautiful city with warm weather all year round.  I think in general, it’s not as big as a tourist destination as Madrid, Barcelona or Granada, but it should be.  The streets are lined with orange trees and a plethora of  stylistic Moorish inspired buildings. I only had one day there, so my main goals were to see the Alcázar, the Cathedral and the Plaza España .  Unfortunately I missed my opportunity to go to the Cathedral, I didn’t know it closed at 3:30 and I went to the Alcazar first.  However, I definitely plan on going back

Alcázar of Seville

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The Alcázar is one of the Seville3oldest palaces in the world and the oldest European palace still in use.  Originally a Moorish fortress, it was later changed to a fortified palace with more additions as the centuries progressed.  It is one of the finest Seville5examples of mudéjar architecture, which is a unique blend of both Christian and Moorish architecture.  This unique type can be seen throughout the whole palace and its gardens.  The architecture and ceramic work throughout the palace is astonishing.  Almost every wall is intricately carved with an abundance of astonishing patterns.  Walls that aren’t carved have amazing displays of ceramics; rich in all colors.  The gardens of the palace are filled with orange and lemon trees and small fountains intersecting the pathways. It’s quite beautiful.  The bushes and trees are carefully cut and arranged to create their own beautiful patterns.  It’s hard to capture such beauty in photos.  Out of the palaces I have seen, this was by far the most impressive.  It’s impressive not because of the amount of gold or expensive furniture throughout because there is none, but because of the craft work and attention to detail.

Plaza de España

The Plaza España is the most beautiful plaza I have ever seenSeville1.  The Plaza was built in 1929 for the Ibero-American Exposition.  It is a semi circle (most are square) , with the outside consisting of a beautiful curved brick and tile building with two towers flanking each end.  In the center two ornate smaller towers flank the main building.  Along the lower floor of the building is the open arcade created by columns running the length of the building.  In the center, following the curve of the outer building is a small canal flanked by three beautiful bridges decorated in ceramics.  You could even rent a boat and paddle along the canal.  Along the building are incredibly decorated ceramic benches depicting famous historical scenes from cities throughout Spain.  I stopped a few times to lay down and rest on some.  It is truly an impressive sight enhanced by its symmetrical beauty.

La Banda Rooftop Hostel: Was the hostel I stayed at conveniently minutes away from the Cathedral and the Alcázar.  It was probably one of the beset hostels I stayed at.  It had a really cool mismatched vintage look to it. My sister would have loved it.  The people working their were extremely friendly and helpful and I met some great people.  For the first time ever, the people in my dorm room were awesome.  There were two guys from Belgium, one girl from Brazil another from Ireland, two guys from Denmark and one from CA.  The hostel organizes a hostel dinner every night, where anyone from the hostel can attend. Everybody from my dorm attended.  They served a Thai/Mexican fajita fusion type of meal.  It was delicious.  After the dinner we drank, talked and a few of us went out.  It was a Monday and it was dead.  I’ve never seen such a big city so empty on a night out before.  But, it was still fun.  I would have loved to stay another day, however I had to work on Wednesday.

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