Posts tagged ‘spain’

Sevilla Passion

The Andalucia region is about as Spanish as it gets.  The south of Spain is known for flamenco, bullfights, churros, sweltering heat and an amazing history of African/Moorish/Muslim influence.  This can be felt (and we felt it!) throughout its grand monuments, the very buildings on every street, the dancing lights and rowdy passionate music well into the early mornings, and in the people themselves.

Sevilla

Poor Pammy was a little ill for the start of our Andalucia trip, so it was up to me to capture the first day’s/night’s festivities in Sevilla.  I even managed  to get amazingly lost looking for a pharmacy to get anti-dehydration stuff for Pam.

The Catedral in Sevilla is the largest (in terms of internal space) in the world.

Christopher Columbus' tomb - pallbearers at the Sevilla Catedral

Christopher Columbus' tomb - pallbearers at the Sevilla Catedral

Statue outside the Catedral (I should really remember who that is meant to be?)

Statue outside the Catedral (I should really remember who that is meant to be?)

Catedral by night

Catedral by night

The Alcazar is also gorgeous, and had gardens in a very organic Moorish style in which I thoroughly enjoyed getting lost.

Structures in the sprawling Alcazar gardens

Structures in the sprawling Alcazar gardens

Ornate tessalating '3D' vaulted ceilings

Ornate tessalating '3D' vaulted ceilings

We managed to catch the Feria in Sevilla – a flamenco festival that’s been going on for decades.  It was a huge row of tents and music stages down by the glittering river.

Feria along the waterfront!

Feria along the waterfront!

The tents were bars, and every so often we’d be lucky enough to catch some live music and SPONTANEOUS FLAMENCO (*bliss!*)! Enjoyed two nights by the riverfront with our hostel buddies.

Spontaneous flamenco

Spanish Michael Jackson (he was an INTENSE dancer!)

Spanish Michael Jackson (he was an INTENSE dancer!)

Spontaneous flamenco with Spanish Michael Jackson

Spontaneous flamenco with Spanish Michael Jackson

Thank you for the friends, music and flamenco Sevilla!

Some of us along the riverfront at Feria

Some of us along the riverfront at Feria

Another Feria happysnap

Another Feria happysnap

Xox

Ange

August 4, 2009 at 12:41 pm Leave a comment

Holy Sepulchre!

Santiago de Compostela is coined as being ‘the most beautiful city in Spain’.

Big call.

We were sceptical but hopeful, and luck was on our side! The entire place is a maze of medieval laneways and amazing religious relics or monuments at every turn. The place is saturated with them!..

Ornate embellishments inside the Catedral

Ornate embellishments inside the Catedral

Laneway by lantern light

Laneway by lantern light

.

Also, our hostal was a gorgeous little apartment with twin balconies over a stunning medieval laneway! Run by the cutest old couple who spoke nothing but Spanish.  LOVE.

Our hostal sign

Our hostal sign

View from room balcony over medieval laneway

View from room balcony over medieval laneway

Ok, so the story behind Santiago:

–        The remains of St. James the apostle of Jesus was discovered here over 1000 years ago

–        A city was built around the crypt

–        Pilgrims have been making the journey here, to the very West coast of Spain (in the middle of nowhere!) since then

–        It’s the 3rd most important religious sepulchre site outside of Jerusalem and the Vatican

–        It has the highest concentration of artwork per square metre in Spain (or Europe?)

I didn’t know most of this til after we’d left – good one being an ignorant ‘oh that’s so pretty!’ tourist Ange!

Humbling? Definitely. Even without knowing the complete history or significance, the mood captured in the architecture of the main Catedral is amazing. The dedication over centuries behind building a city full of these religious relics is awesome.

Catedral de Santiago de Compostela

Catedral de Santiago de Compostela

The whole place is full of pilgrims, which is awesome. Young to old, equipped with their hiking gear, backpacks and walking sticks. They have to walk a minimum of 100km – the whole Camina (road) to Santiago is like 400km long! The mood is holy but festive, with music and good food aplenty.  Had amazing muscles in vinegar here 🙂

Muscles in vinegar, chorizo in red wine, tuna salad - YUM!

Muscles in vinegar, chorizo in red wine, tuna salad - YUM!

Personally I enjoyed seeing these young pilgrims, unshaven for weeks and evidently road-weary, laying on the stones in front of the mighty Catedral, chilling with their beers.

Chilling pilgrims

That, and the old ladies and old men running an early morning market against ancient church walls.

Morning market

Morning market fruit & veg

Many more details, but I wouldn’t do it justice. Look up the place if you like.

Xox

Ange

July 18, 2009 at 2:47 am 2 comments

Beaches and Bulls!

Toros! Toros! Toros!

(Pamplona/Iruna San Fermin Festival – Running of the Bulls 2009)

First of all, a huge

“Good Onya!”

to Jase, Mesiti and Para for doing the run. Way to go guys! Pam, Szemei and I cheered on in spectatorial and photographic support 🙂

Trio the afternoon before the big run!

Trio the afternoon before the big run!

…but more on that later.
……

San Sebastian

Days were spent lazing around the gorgeous beach town of San Sebastian. I stayed in an amazing hostel called David Quinn, which was more like a guy’s apartment – super chilled and run by great people, and always with a fun crew of travellers!

Pam, my travel buddy and fellow St.Joey’s (primary school) girl joined me here. Hi Pam!

Pam (on mountaintop retro fun park) !

Pam (on mountaintop retro fun park) !

I was literally a stone’s throw from the beach and promenade, where I spent a lot of time…

Playa de la Concha - San Sebastian

Playa de la Concha - San Sebastian

The same beach at sunset around 10.30pm

The same beach at sunset around 10.30pm

The Old Town/Latin Quarter/Parte Viaje was beautiful, and full of great pinxto/tapas bars (as well as hidden surprise churches)…

Parte Viejo - Old Town

Parte Viejo - Old Town

The views from the hilltop Jesus (statue), the ancient fairground up the top of the ‘mountain’, and other piers were also beautiful!
People here live and breathe the beach, everyone is so tanned and weathered!

Of course, the Saturday Sangria Party and crowded bars also added to the experience 😀

Also, I don’t want to eat for another week!

Pamplona – San Fermin!

A sea of red, white and pink (for those covered in Sangria).

Red & White!

Red & White!

What a vibe! From the tiniest baby to elderly couples, and all inbetween – everyone got into the spirit of San Fermin!

It was wicked to share the fun with mates from Sydney 😀
Sydney kids the night before the run

We were going to be there for the last bull run on the morning of July 14th. The night before, like every night, was one huge street party. Pam and I had many a fun run-in with the friendly locals while the guys got some much-needed rest!

Mesiti getting into it :)

Mesiti getting into it 🙂

Pam & revellers!

Pam & revellers!

Daddy & daughter! Awww!

Daddy & daughter! Awww!

Unlike many, we weren’t relegated to crashing in some freezing park. Thank you guys for the hotel room floor!
In the morning, the guys awoke to prepare themselves for the daunting task ahead, while Szemei, Pam and I set out to find the best vantage point. Good luck guys!

Going to bed before the run!

Going to bed before the run!

Girls at the stadium

Girls at the stadium

Medicos & Policia - the essentials

Medicos & Policia - the essentials

We ended up upstairs in the stadium, where we stood outside with a view of the runners and bulls entering the stadium. The atmosphere was electric!
A few minutes past 8am, we saw runners start to trickle in, then more and more running with more panic! Szemei even managed to catch Para and Mesiti on her camera! Then came the crowd of huge bulls running in a pack.

Running into the stadium! - the last stretch of the run

Running into the stadium! - the last stretch of the run

As soon as they entered the stadium, we ran inside to the ringside seats, where we could watch the release of the baby bulls on the crowd of runners. Jase, Para and Mesiti were all in the ring, but had enough brains to stay out of the line of fire!

Throw!

Throw!

Trodden!

Trodden!

Runners form a bridge for the bull to jump over, into the ring

Runners form a bridge for the bull to jump over, into the ring


The guys said that the scariest part was waiting for the gun to go. The anticipation, not knowing what was going on or where the bulls were, the panic on everyone’s faces as they started bolting…intense!

Again, awesome work guys! You’ve done it now!!!


Xox

Ange

July 15, 2009 at 9:42 pm 3 comments

Balconies & Impromptu jams

Struggling to make myself sit down and write – but dammit I will!

Madrid was a sweltering humid 34 degrees when I landed at like…6pm

Fact:  The sun doesnt go down here until like 10pm?! And everyone’s out all night.  AWESOME. My kind of place.

The view from my dorm room balcony is gorgeous. Observe:

Dorm balcony view

Began my wander at about 10pm.  Plaza Mayor is stunning. The stones on the ground are warm and smooth. I sat in the middle of the plaza for ages and let everything sink in. The buskers, the people, the kids and ball games, the music…*sigh*

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

More solo wanderings led me to the Palacio Real, which revealed itself in front of me after various laneways of gorgeous balcony’d (yes, it’s a word now) buildings.  Stunning lit up bright white at night.  Once again, I found myself a patch of warm cement to sit on and chill.

Palacio Real (Royal Palace)

Palacio Real (Royal Palace)

Impromptu music jam

I returned to Plaza Mayor after my wander down to the Palacio Real.

Most of the tourists and cafe crowds had filtered out by now.  There was a crowd clapping in syncopated rhythms around a guy playing Spanish guitar.  I ambled over to observe.  They would clap and sway and pass the guitar around, and pretty soon the air was filled with passionate voices, heated beats and even topless men stomping out the rhythm in the middle of the circle.

Not the music jam - but an artist busker making a toilet paper sculpture over an air vent in Plaza Mayor

Not the music jam - but an artist busker making a toilet paper sculpture over an air vent in Plaza Mayor

Loved the impromptu jam 🙂

xox

Ange

July 12, 2009 at 10:43 am Leave a comment


Entry dates

July 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Looking back…