Follow Her: to Spain

This past month I had the opportunity to live in the beautiful, southern, Andalusian city of Seville, Spain! I learned a lot during my time there. By taking classes, exploring, and more, I got to have an experience like no other. Seville is a relatively smaller city, so I was able to immerse myself in the city life! I also was able to utilize my weekends to explore Seville itself and some surrounding towns and cities. Although I wish I could have stayed longer, here are some unique places I did get to see during the time being!

 

  1. 1. Granada 

    Granada is famously known for its tapas scene. Not only are they delicious, they’re also affordable and a large part of the culture! With every drink you order, you get a free side of tapas! This makes Granada extra appealing for all the college students studying abroad on a budget. During my time here, I visited the Plaza de San Nicolas in the historic neighborhood of Albaicin, the Alcaiceria market, and the La Alhambra, Granada’s most famous landmark. The Moorish palace has rich history, magnificent architecture, gorgeous gardens and the most amazing views of the whole city. Granada is also home to the Sierra Nevada mountains. This southern mountain range is unique since it is one of the highest and coldest points of the country. You can even ski here during the winter! Granada was certainly a highlight of my time in Spain.

  2. 2. Cordoba

    Cordoba is by far the most historical city I have ever been to. The city dates all the way back to 200 BC and almost still feels like it! Upon entering the city, crossing the Guadalquivir on one of the oldest bridges in Spain, dating back to the 1st Century, the medieval Roman Bridge (which appeared in an episode of Game of Thrones). Cordoba has an interesting culture due to its different rulings over time. It still is home to its Jewish, Arab and Christian roots. The most unique landmark is the Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba! This beautiful monument is rich in history because of its crossover with the two religions. My favorite part of the Mosque-Cathedral is the Patio de los Naranjos. The courtyard leads up to the Mosque-Cathedral and is home to a vast amount of orange trees and arched galleries. Cordoba also has some great little neighborhoods such as the Jewish Corner, Santa Marina District, Historic Centre, and the beautiful Patios de Córdoba. Exploring this historic city for a day was well worth the trip!

  3. 3. Aracena 

    Aracena was my favorite day trip I took while I was in Spain. We decided to go last second for a day and I am so thankful we did. The small, countryside town has so much to offer! The town is famously known for the hill that overlooks the town. On the hill is the 13th Century Castle monument as well as the famous Church of Nuestra Señora del Mayor Dolor. During our day, we also met a local shepard roaming the hill with his sheep! He told us he’s lived here his whole life and loves the town for everything it has. His sheep mean everything to him. He truly represented the simplistic, countryside life that many Spaniards are blessed to live. Aracena is also home to the Gruta de las Maravillas, or literally translated as the cave of wonders. These underground caves and lakes are like nothing I have ever seen before. Their stunning, colorful rocky chambers are a true hidden gem of Spain!

  4. 4. Jerez

    Jerez, better known as the “sherry” wine region of Spain, is the largest sherry producer in the world! After learning about sherry in my Wine in Spain class, my friends and I decided to take a day trip here. Once we arrived, we wandered around the town and saw their own Alcazar as well as their beautiful, gothic cathedral. We, of course, had to take a wine tour and chose the most popular brand, Tio Pepe. The tour was great! We got a firsthand look at how the production of the unique wine takes place. The winery is right in the center of town and seemed to be a popular location as there was a wedding going on during our tour! An interesting fact: the wineries are known as Bodegas! As much as we loved the tour, I cannot say the same was felt about the wine itself. I will say that Spanish sherry is definitely an acquired taste. The town was great to explore on our own and to learn more about the history of wine in southern Spain!

  5. 5. Seville 

    Finally, Seville alone is such a great city to see (and live in)! I am so grateful for the time I spent there. Seville is unlike any city I’ve ever been to. Not only is it a very urban and populated city, it is also rich in history! The Plaza de Espana is probably the most well known destination in the city. The plaza has even been used in Star Wars and Game of Thrones! From the Royal Alcazar to the Catedral de Seville, you are surrounded by some of the great monuments of Spain. Even the building which is now home to the city’s university, was the first royal tobacco factory in all of Europe. Each neighborhood or “barrio” in Seville is uniquely different. Alameda is my favorite neighborhood to truly enjoy Seville’s nightlife. For a smaller city, their nightlife is a huge part of the culture! I highly recommend visiting Seville if you’re looking to experience Spain on a smaller (and cheaper) scale. Seville is an underrated destination in the heart of Southern Spain. The city will always hold a special place in my heart!