After our first experience with the Feria de Abril in Seville, Spain, we decided to check out something wholly different by heading an hour south of our home to the spring fair in Jerez de la Frontera.
Road trip! We recently decided to hit the road for a few days to check out the city of Granada, about 2.5 hours from our home in Seville. We went with our friend Pepe, who’s always down for an adventure.
While we had no doubts about seeing the famous UNESCO site of the Alhambra, for which Granada is most famous, there were plenty of other things to see and do in the city besides wander around a fortress all day.
Over three million people. That’s how many visit the Alhambra in Spain every year. It’s the most-visited monument in the entire country. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. It sits on top of a mountain, looking historically wonderful. It’s a big deal.
Variations on that are what you’ll hear if you visit southern Spain. “Of course you’re going to Granada.” “Of course, you’ve already been to the Alhambra.”
One of the largest festivals in Seville – along with Semana Santa – is the Feria de Abril. As the name says, it takes place once a year in April. Millions of people from as far away as you can get descend on the city for dancing, drinking, gathering with friends and family, and more drinking.
It’s an icon of Seville, as everyone gets fancy to the nines in their traditional dresses and suits. It’s an image that’s known around the world, and will appear to be one of those true stereotypes that everyone dresses traditionally if this is the only week you ever visit the city.
One of the towns we spent a few hours in was New Braunfels, Texas. This place reeks of German history and heritage, and I personally have a familial connection to it.
‘Twas a gorgeous Saturday in Seville, so why not head just several miles outside the city to the town of Santiponce? While it’s mostly just known as a little suburb of the city, it’s also home to some of the most well-preserved Roman ruins in all the world. So, we jumped in the car with our friend, Pepe, and made a move to the northwest.
Most people – at least, most people we know, including us – have never even heard of Italica before. Yet, here it stands, over two millennia past its birth, as a fantastic example of what a striking Roman city once was.
It’s that time of year. Carnival, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and all that. Here in Spain, a lot of the same lenten traditions apply as in much of the Christian world, but in a much more serious manner which dates back hundreds of years.
You may have seen images like the above in the past. Men and women in pointed hoods, walking the streets with crosses or candles, and wondered, What the heck is going on? Well, it’s Semana Santa here in Seville and in many Latin American and Southern European areas. Semana Santa actually means Holy Week, so you can stop wondering about that right now.
When we were back in the U.S. tackling our Spanish visa situation, we were afforded a whole lot of time to spend with our family. While we get to see them often, thanks to Skype and Whatsapp and Facebook and all of that, we don’t actually get to sit down and enjoy life as often as we did when we lived in America.
Despite our ever-connected world, all of that technology just isn’t the same as the real thing.
A good old-fashioned day trip! If you read this blog, you know we love to use our extended stays as bases to take all sorts of day trips.
Our friend and Spanish teacher, Ana, knew of a great restaurant in a little pueblo, so we used that as an excuse to take a day away from Seville and head out for some food, nature, and relaxing adventures.
As we made our way to the east coast during our epic Fabric of America road trip, we thought we’d swing through the historic city of Savannah, Georgia. Ang’s sister was living there at the time, and we’d heard nice things about the town, so why the hell not?
I’m big on pretty cities, and Savannah is supposed to be full of that Southern Charm, alongside some great walking and what is apparently the town with the largest number of squares in the entire U.S. How about them apples?