Spain – Seville, Ronda, Málaga, Granada, Córdoba & Barcelona

We flew to Seville from Lisbon and decided to spend the bulk of our time in the Andalusia region. Our last visit to this part of Spain was in 2002 and we were very curious to see how much it had changed in the two decades since. Highlights of Seville included the Plaza de España, Royal Alcázar and the Seville Cathedral. After picking up our rental car, we drove towards Arcos de la Frontera and then to Ronda. Situated at the top of El Tajo Gorge, Ronda was just as picturesque as we remembered. From here, we hiked the amazing Caminito del Rey trail before making our way to Málaga. The next stop on our tour was Granada and the main highlight here was undoubtedly the magnificent Alhambra. Even though it was our second time touring the complex, it was still as impressive as our first visit. Córdoba was up next and we ate our way through this town trying local specialties. Our repeat visit to the Córdoba Mosque-Cathedral did not disappoint and the peppermint candy cane arches were just as eye catching as the first time. One thing we didn’t remember in Córdoba were the flower pots hanging on the walls everywhere. It was a nice touch since the flowers were in bloom and made Córdoba look absolutely beautiful. After dropping our rental car back off in Seville, we hopped on a budget flight to Barcelona to catch up with our travel buddy Rebeca. Barcelona is a fabulous city with lots of good food and drink options and we enjoyed our short stay here. Next stop is Albania as we take advantage of the budget flights around Europe.

Old Banyan tree; Seville The most famous plaza in Seville, the Spanish Renaissance Plaza de España was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American exhibition Colorful hand painted tile bridge; Plaza de España in Seville Detail of the azulejos (Andalusian tiles); Plaza de España Seville on a rainy morning Inner courtyard of the Royal Alcázar of Seville Patio del Yeso (Courtyard of the Plaster); Alcázar of Seville Patio de las Doncellas courtyard Another view of Patio de las Doncellas (Courtyard of the Maidens); Alcázar of Seville Islamic decorations on this massive portal at Alcázar of Seville It is easy to see why the Royal Alcázar of Seville earned UNESCO world heritage status! 14th century access gate to the Ambassador's Room; Alcázar of Seville Ceiling of the Hall of Ambassadors; Alcázar of Seville Beautiful wisteria in bloom at the Alcázar of Seville garden This duck is happy to sit outside in the pouring rain overlooking the gardens of Alcázar Visiting the Seville Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world View of Seville from the top of Giralda bell tower; Seville Cathedral Tomb of Christopher Columbus; Seville Cathedral Carved Kings and Bishops; Seville Cathedral Wooden panel next to the Sacristy; Seville Cathedral Mirror image of the ceiling of the Great Sacristy; Cathedral of Seville One of over 80 chapels inside Seville Cathedral, the 3rd largest church in the world! Bishop's Tomb (Gothic monument of Juan de Cervantes in the Capilla de San Hermenegildo); Seville Cathedral Detail of a gem adorned crucifix in the Sacristy and Treasury section of Seville Cathedral Monument to Semana Santa week 2008; Arcos de la Frontera Church of San Pedro; Arcos de la Frontera Clay flower pots line a wall in Arcos de la Frontera Apple door knocker; Arcos Jamón Serrano for sale at a supermarket Double rainbow on our drive from Arcos de la Frontera towards Ronda Street art; Ronda Interior of La Verdad, a popular breakfast eatery for locals; Ronda Bullfighter statues; Ronda Cliff view of Ronda from Alameda del Tajo Park Ronda boasts one of the most spectacular settings in Spain, straddling a 100 meter (328 foot) gorge Narrow building with a million dollar view; Ronda Cascada de Ronda, a waterfall beneath Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) in Ronda Baños Arabes (Arab Baths) in Ronda are considered some of the best preserved Moorish baths in Spain A flock of sheep in search of food; Ronda Puente Viejo (Old Bridge); Ronda Steps leading down to Puente Viejo; Ronda Gorge view of Puente Nuevo; Ronda Hiking along "Caminito del Rey" (The Little King's Path). Hard hats are now mandatory after 5 deaths on the old hiking trail Once considered the world's most dangerous footpath, the dodgy cliff paths were replaced with brand new boardwalks in 2015; Caminito del Rey View of Caminito del Rey above the Guadalhorce River View of the new boardwalk with the original path below; Caminito del Rey Taking a photo on the glass platform of Caminito del Rey View of the iconic bridge at the end of the Caminito del Rey trail Robby smiles after a fantastic day hiking the Caminito del Rey Colorful street art; Málaga
Calle Larios, a pedestrian street in Málaga
Spanish Baroque building on Plaza del Obispo Málaga Cathedral Magnets for sale; Málaga Bird's eye view of La Malagueta, a bullring in Málaga Sunset view of the city from the hilltop near the Castle of Gibralfaro; Málaga
Caretaker at the Hermitage of San Miguel; Granada Great views of Granada from the Hermitage of San Miguel The picturesque city of Granada is located at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains Gypsy families carved cave houses out of the hillside in the Sacromonte district of Granada Master bed room in a Sacromonte cave house; Granada Sacromonte (aka "Gypsy Quarter") neighborhood where flamenco dominates once the sun goes down One of many flamenco venues in Sacromonte Modern frescoes inside San Nícolas Church; Granada Wall mounted flower pots; Granada Business is booming for restaurants in Granada (especially on a nice, sunny day) Wandering around the Albaicín neighborhood of Granada Old city walls of Granada A wide variety of tea for sale; La Alcaicería market Spices for sale; Alcaicería Souk Ceiling view of Granada Cathedral Granada Cathedral Fountain of Neptune at Plaza Bib-Rambla; Granada Granada souvenir magnets There was a long line out the door at this ice cream shop; Granada The Mexuar Oratory (small chapel for private prayer); Alhambra Archway leading to the Patio de los Arrayanes (court of the myrtles) Palace of the Lions Patio of the Lions is the most famous place in the Alhambra, with 12 lions spouting water in the middle of the patio; Nasrid Palaces Another view of the ornate Palace of the Lions Ceiling of the Hall of the Abencerrajes; Nasrid Palaces Detail of the Hall of the Abencerrajes; Nasrid Palaces Ceiling painting of 10 Nasrid Kings in the Hall of the Kings; Nasrid Palaces Daraxa's Mirador (Mirador de Daraxa); Nasrid Palaces Daraxa’s Garden The Albaicín neighborhood as seen from the Nasrid Palaces Partal Palace balcony Partal Palace reflection pool; Alhambra The Oratory of the Partal; Alhambra Palace of Charles V Heavy bronze ring at the Charles V Palace; Alhambra Crape Myrtle flowering outside the Alcazaba The Alcazaba (fortress) is the oldest part of the Alhambra Ramparts of the alcazaba Alhambra water fountain Court of the Water Channel (Patio de la Acequia) in the Generalife Decorated Generalife balcony The Generalife was a summer palace and leisure place for the kings of Granada when they needed a break from official duties Generalife garden Church of San Gil and Santa Ana; Granada Royal Church of Santa Marina de Aguas Santas; Córdoba The Manolete monument is dedicated to bullfighter Manuel Laureano Rodríguez Sánchez; Córdoba Statue of a woman watering plants; Córdoba Roman temple of Córdoba Locals taking a group photo in a popular restaurant; Córdoba Calleja de las Flores - the most popular tourist street in Córdoba Red & white striped arches are popular in Córdoba Narrow streets with hanging flower pots are a common sight in Córdoba Entrance to the Great Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba Door of St Stephen (Puerta de San Esteban); Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba Puerta del Puente is a gate near the Roman Bridge of Córdoba The Roman Bridge of Córdoba was originally built in the early 1st century BC across the Guadalquivir river The Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs; Córdoba Statue of Ibn Rushd; Córdoba Flowers hang outside Restaurante El Churrasco, a traditional Spanish eatery in Córdoba Caracoles (snails in a tomato based sauce), found March to May at Magdalena Plaza in Córdoba Snapshot of a fraction of the 365 red and white striped horseshoe arches in the Great Mosque of Córdoba Amazing mosaic detail above the Mihrab - notice the stylized plant motifs on the blind arcade and the Kufic inscriptions; Córdoba Mosque The famous arched mihrab (prayer niche) of Córdoba Mosque. It is unique because it does not point in the direction of Mecca The beautiful Mihrab dome of Córdoba Mosque is covered in gold mosaic Carved mahogany choir stalls; Córdoba Mosque Partially destroyed figurines; Córdoba Mosque The Mudéjar-style Capilla Real (Royal Chapel); Córdoba Mosque-Cathedral Double tiered candy cane colored arches of Córdoba Mosque View of the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba from the bell tower Taberna Gongora, an old school bar decorated with hunting and bullfighting trophies; Córdoba Trying "rabo de toro" (bull tail stew) at Taberna Gongora Plaça de Catalunya, the central square in Barcelona W Barcelona, a luxury boutique hotel next to Barceloneta Beach Head sculpture by Liechennay at the Villa del Arte; Barcelona Carmela (cast iron sculpture of a woman's face) by Jaume Plensa in Plaça de Lluís Millet; Barcelona Our delicious meals at TOKE; Barcelona Doing shots with Rebeca! Casa Vicens was Gaudí's first masterpiece in Barcelona Barcelona's Arc de Triomf (triumphal arch) Ciutadella Park fountain Julia (a life sized woolly mammoth) has called Ciutadella Park home for the past 100 years; Barcelona Excavated city ruins from the 1700s are on display at the old market hall; Mercat del Born Santa Maria del Mar; Barcelona Walking the narrow streets in La Ribera district Moco Museum; Barcelona Feminists and Rebels mural; Barcelona Barcelona Cathedral City Hall; Barcelona Roman Temple of Augustus; Barcelona Interesting façade on this building in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona Bishop's Bridge; Barcelona Palace of the Generalitat on Saint James's Square; Barcelona Street art; Barcelona Columbus Monument at the end of La Rambla; Barcelona Plaça Reial in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona is one of Barcelona's busiest night spots The Gran Teatre del Liceu, an opera house on La Rambla Iberian ham for sale; La Boquiera market Dried chillies, spices and fruit for sale at La Boqueria Fish market section of La Boqueria The Sagrada Família has been under construction for over 140 years video lightboxby v6.1

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