Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weekend Trip #4- Andalucia Part 1

So this trip to the region of Andalucia was THE trip I've been waiting for this entire program! Not only is it in the south of Spain with tons of sun (even in the middle of winter), but it contains several cities full of rich history and beautiful architecture. Basically, all the places you've heard of in Spain are in Andalucia: Cordoba, Sevilla, Granada, etc. This was one of our longest trips that we're taking: we left Tuesday morning and returned home Saturday night. As much as I love being near my friends on a bus for 6 hours, it still kills to sit in those bus seats for that long of a time.
Our first stop was in Consuegra, where the windmills are located. Yes, those are THE windmills immortalized by Cervantes in Don Quixote.

My favorite pic that I snapped

Michelle and I imitating what it's like to sit by one another on the bus for several hours (obviously it pains her). This is true bus buddy friendship.

Next up, Cordoba and La Mezquita! Cordoba is this beautiful little city in the heart of Andalucia that is home to La Mezquita, an Arabic mosque that was taken over by the Catholics after the Reconquest and made into one of their own cathedrals. La Mezquita is famous for the red and white double arches that are all throughout the temple. The double arches were used because the architects didn't think that the single arches would be able to support the mosque, so they used the double arch, over 856 of them. Yeah, I was in heaven.

It was interesting to see the mix of Arabic architecture alongside European architecture. I love both styles of architecture, but combining the two was a little much, especially when there's a huge altar with a crucifix in the middle of all of the Arabic mosque.

The garden patio surrounding La Mezquita--I love the tower, which totally reminds me of the varying missions in California.

I tried to be sneaky and take pics of the crazy group of Europeans, but after a couple shots, they realized what I was doing, and so decided to pose for me.

Cordoba, like all of Andalucia, is lined with orange trees.

Though the oranges are pretty, they taste like lemons. I like to compare these orange trees to trophy wives: they're only there to look pretty and smell good.

Outside the Alcazar de los Reyes Crisitanos--we were only able to go into a portion of the gardens, even though we were supposed to tour the castle, but unfortunately it was siesta time.

And who should I happen to run into while in the gardens in the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos? And by the way, they smelled BAD. The smell of damp cigarettes is not attractive.

Cordoba is a beautiful city, and one I would love to go back and get lost in.

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