The university of Granada may have its faults, and I may even delve into these in a Rioja-fuelled rage post later in the month, but I have finally found something I can praise about it: the connection to a little company called “Erasmus Granada” that organises student trips around Spain/Portugal!
This might be really weird considering my favourite thing about this city so far is a means of getting away from it, but I had one of the best days strolling around Seville on a trip with this company, and so I am grateful that I had the opportunity and will have more opportunities to travel to different parts of Spain (and Portugal as I said) during my time here.
On Sunday, we departed from Granada at a dark and miserable 8am and endured the 2.5 coach journey to Seville. By the time we got there we were desperate for a drink and some sun… the latter we definitely got as we were immediately directed into a queue for the Alcazar; the royal palace for the old Moorish Muslim kings. I was quite miserable, hot and parched during the 30-odd minute wait to get into the place, plus having to fork over a whole TWO euros for a student entrance, but all of my grumblings were soon forgotten when we actually got inside. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places that I’ve been to in Spain so far!
Plus, if you didn’t know- the Alcazar is actually the set for the water gardens in the palace of Dorne on Game of Thrones. HOW’S THAT FOR FANCY! There’s even a location tag on Instagram “Dorne Westeros” so you can carry on the illusion that you’re strolling around the palace gardens, waiting for a handsome Dornish man to whisk you off your feet… The peacocks wandering about help to keep up the pretence!
After clogging up my phone/camera memory with thousands of photos of plants, koi carp and fountains, we made our way around the rest of the town, stopping for a glass of wine along the river after we had climbed a little turret/marine museum… one of the oddest little places ever!
The best views however came from inside the Cathedral, where after paying 4EUR for a student ticket you can marvel at the ornate carved religious figures. If you delve a little deeper into the structure, you’ll find a discreet doorway inviting you to climb up to the bell tower. If you can manage 35 floors then my friends you are golden, the views are absolutely spectacular, even as you ascend you get small glimpses of the panorama that awaits when you reach the top. To be honest the climb isn’t that bad because the floors are connected by slopes rather than stairs, but the passages are quite cramped considering you have to allow for both ascending and descending traffic at the same time!
I really loved the city, it reminded me of a bigger and in a way more modern version of my beloved Málaga. There are chains such as Starbucks dotted around the main square, trams passing by, although the presence of dozens of horse & carriages plus the Gothic architecture takes you back to a more Renaissance era. Still, it’s a very beautiful town and I am so happy that I got to spend my Sunday here rather than just in my apartment getting bits of work done- sometimes it pays to have a little break and go exploring instead!
Lots of Love,