A Travellerspoint blog

Seville, Spain

FLAMENCO!

sunny 32 °C

Seville was our last stop in Spain.
We were sad to be leaving, but what an amazing way to end our experience!
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In our many journeys through the winding streets,
we stumbled upon the Virgen de los Buenos Libros (The Virgin of Good Books).
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The best of Seville was going to a flamenco performance.
It wasn't really a touristy event, as it was at a non-profit flamenco
organization dedicated to preserving the artform.
The performance took place in a dimly lit patio which was the perfect setting.
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To be honest, the performance moved me.
It was one of the most emotional performances I have ever seen.
The talent was incredible!
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It was the perfect way to end our trip in Spain!

Posted by Kristy_pj 10:57 Archived in Spain Tagged art seville dance spain flamenco Comments (0)

Cordova, Spain

sunny 35 °C

Beautiful old Main street - with a Burger King, if you look really carefully.
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A very Andalusian scene. Beautiful colours, amazing moorish architecture, and a woman fanning herself as she tries to stay out of the sun.
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It was REALLY hot. We took our sandles off and waded into this pretty pool to cool off.
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Cordova was a charming little city!
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Posted by Kristy_pj 10:31 Archived in Spain Tagged architecture spain europe Comments (0)

Granada, Spain

sunny 30 °C

Granada was an interesting blend between Spain and Morocco.
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We took a walk around the city and got a little lost in the upper corridors on the mountain top.
There were tons of cute little houses surrounded by tons of graffiti.
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The little narrow streets were so endearing and so very Spanish.
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Some of the architecture was incredible.
The influence of Morroco was clear.
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We ventured to the market, then sat down for tapas and vino tinto
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We also visited the Alhambra - a palace and fortress complex overlooking Granada.
It was beautiful inside and we even managed to avoid most of the crowds in some places.
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Finally, after waiting until our alloted time slot, we were able to enter the palace. It was breathtaking.
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If I was a Moorish, Andalusian princess, I would have loved to live in Granada, Spain.

Posted by Kristy_pj 09:50 Archived in Spain Tagged skylines architecture city spain Comments (0)

Casablanca, Morocco

sunny 33 °C

We took the train to Casablanca. This was our first train in Morocco, and it was WAY better than the bus. It was right on top, much more comfortable, and we were able to see much more interesting parts of the countryside. While much of the cities in Morocco have a slight European feel, the countryside is 100% African.

Casablanca is a city that feels very European. It was the first place where we could buy alcohol. Our hotel room had a great balcony that overlooked the central market and like clockwork, we watched people doing their prayers on the roof of the market at prayer time; however, unlike other cities in Morocco, you could not hear the call to prayer.

The biggest attraction in Casablanca is a beautiful mosque. It is the third largest religious site in the world and an absolutely amazing structure. To get there, we walked through some of the poorest parts of the city, but then all of a sudden you come out of the concrete blocks and reach the mosque which sits right on the ocean. The mosque can fit 20,000 worshipers and the outside plazas can accommodate 80,000 more. It is absolutely huge. There were giant fountains, huge doors, and beautiful colors. It really cannot be described in words (see our photos!!).

On our way out of Casablanca, we took a taxi back to the train station. Since on the way in we knew that we got ripped off, this time Kristy spoke and Nathan kept quiet. This way, they think he is Moroccan. When we got to the train station, Nathan handed him 10 dirhams (they charged us 30 on the way into Casa) and he handed us back 7 dirhams in change... absolutely ridiculous.

The train to the coast was a mixed experience. We saw so many amazing villages that definitely had the pure African flavour and the train followed alongside the ocean, but it was also insanely hot, especially when we left the ocean side. We had to sit at the doors as the train moved to get some air. We passed huge fields of sunflowers and the poor things looked like people, hunched over and facing away from the sun. Everyone was hot.

Posted by Kristy_pj 11:08 Archived in Morocco Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Marrakech, Morocco

sunny 42 °C

The taxi driver in Marrakech dropped us off at a funny little street at the edge of the medina. Because the roads are so small, taxis can’t fit inside, so you always get dropped off at the little alley closest to your hotel. We wandered back and forth through the maze like alley until we realized we must have passed our hotel. We were a little turned around, and trying to pretend we weren’t because the moment you look lost, someone offers to take you to a hotel – for a steep price. We gave up pretending and decided we needed someone. The second we took out a map, a guy ran up to us and asked us where we needed to go. He took us back in the direction we came, but then took us into a hotel which was not the one was asked for. Kristy said that it wasn’t the right hotel, but he said not to look at the name...

When we got inside the hotel the man leading us and the guy at the front desk got into a little scuffle. They were yelling and we were wishing we spoke Arabic. The problem was that in Morocco, a male and a female aren’t allowed to rent a room together unless they are married, or foreign. The man at the front desk thought Nathan was Moroccan and thus wanted us out of the hotel immediately. When he realized we were both Canadian, all was well. The hotel turned out to be beautiful, with a HUGE, luxurious bathtub, and most importantly, nice and cool. We got a fairly good “student” price (they always call the price you talk them down to the student price). The rooftop had a Berber tent and free tea.

The middle of old Marrakech centers around a plaza that fills with food and orange juice stalls, nuts and dried fruit carts, snake charmers, monkey handlers, and other touts. We wandered around trying to look at things without seeming too interested, but soon enough we had snakes around our necks, kissing them for good luck, and paying to take pictures. We watched a monkey that had gotten off his leash be chased by his owner, taunting him all the while, until the owner finally caught him again. We tried some of the delicious freshly squeezed orange juice. There are about 50 different stalls and each stall tries to tell you that they are the best. We liked stall 38. We also wandered through the central market looking for gifts for our siblings, bartering like mad, and trying to avoid the smelly fish stalls.

The weather was so hot in Marrakech that we spent most of the day in the cool of our hotel room sleeping. It was between 40 and 45 degrees every day but when you are in the middle of a city with tiny streets, it feels even worse. We made plans to head to the beach next. However, these plans were thwarted by bus troubles, and we ended up spending our last day in Marrakech in the huge, beautiful and air conditioned train station eating McDonalds (a delicious McArabia... seriously...) until we could catch a train.

Posted by Kristy_pj 11:07 Archived in Morocco Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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