After being back home in Canada for about 5 months, me and Yann decided to plan one big trip around Europe before the big move, to visit family, friends and visit some places we haven’t been to, but dreamed of going, such as southern Spain and Morocco, which we’ll be going to next week!
It was sad leaving Europe especially since it had been my home for the past three years, but at the same time, we’re stoked about starting the next chapter of our lives in the Big Apple!
For our southern Spain road trip, we decided to rent a car, opting for convience and freedom rather than figuring out all the bus and train times of all the places we wanted to visit.
While I’ve previously been to Barcelona, many consider the city to be Catalan than Spanish, so I guess you could say this trip was my “first” authentic Spanish experience…and it definitely didn’t disappoint!
With a car and slightly over a weeks worth of time, We headed to Seville, Cadiz, Tarifa, Malaga, as well as Gibraltar, a small country on the southern tip of Spain that’s owned by the British.
Our first stop was Seville, which according to legend was founded by the Greek God Hercules about 3,000 years ago. The famous Flamenco dancing came from Seville, which believe it or not, began a couple of hundred years back as a primitive chant accompanied by a rhythmic beat on the ground using a wooden cane. It has gone a long way since then!
Presently, Seville is the capital of Andalucia and is the cultural and financial center of southern Spain. Its also the 4th largest city in all of Spain.
Aside from flamenco, the city is also famous for its tapas bars and orange trees! Similar to the people of Barcelona, Sevillanos (as the locals are called), are fiercely proud of their city.
The Plaza de España is near the heart of Seville’s old town, and one of the most impressive places I’ve ever seen! It was built in 1928 for an exposition, but now houses government offices.
The plaza looks like a whole other world, with its bizarre architecture of vibrant colors and tiles, neo-moorish arches and Venetian bridges. Its exotic appeal also appealed to Hollywood, as it appeared in Star Wars Attack of the Clones and in Lawrence of Arabia.
While tapas is known as a staple in Spanish food across the country, these small, tasty dishes actually originated in Seville! They make for a great way of sampling lots of different food with friends! Tapas usually cost around 1-4 euros, making it a really affordable and fun way to eat (and have a few drinks while you’re at it!).
Locals tend to go to a few tapas bars in one outing, sampling a few dishes at each place. Most tapas bars tend to be crowded, so standing and eating at a bar ledge is normal.
Seville is also home to bullfighting, a very controversial sport, which I personally find horribly cruel and wish it was banned. We went to a bar at point one that showed it on their TV, and watching it felt like driving past a car crash: you want to look away and yet you can’t stop watching it.
Hemingway loved the sport, and even famously commented, “There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.”
Overall, Seville was a great start to our Spanish road trip. Have you guys been there?