I visited Spain and briefly, Portugal for an extended weekend. A lot of blogs and pages online boast the beauty of the Andalucía region – and I’m promising you, it’s truly real.
Friday, December 18, was primarily dedicated to travel time. After my flight from Edinburgh to Faro, I took a bus from Faro Portugal to Sevilla Spain. At nightfall, I arrived in Sevilla. While the holiday lights that adorned lanterns shed light on the cobblestone streets, I weaved through the festive buzz of people. The rush of the city’s energy was enthralling. I didn’t want to stop exploring the nightlife. While in Plaza San Francisco, children and parents busily darted between the miniature ice skating rink to grab a candied surprise from a nearby vendor, or ride the carousel. Plaza Nueva was donned in lights and hosted a Christmas Market with a variety of artists.
On Saturday, I visited the Alcazar Castle complex – the architecture, the detailed tile-work, stonework, and the gardens are impeccable. I spent around 3 hours here, and I can say that I didn’t see everything!
I paid to go into Cathedral de Sevilla, saw Christopher Columbus’ tomb and walked around Patio de Los Naranjes. However, I didn’t pay the extra fee to check out La Giralda.
On Sunday, I took a day trip to Cadiz. Although I only spent a day in Cadiz, I saw both the historic and the new portions of the city. The highlights of my trip we’re seeing the Plaza de Mina, Plaza de Espana, the Catedral, and Santo Domingo. In mid December it’s not quite warm enough to lie on the beach in a bathing suit, but I was more than content to have a sweater on, and enjoy the ocean’s breeze on the edge of the pier. Since Glasgow repeatedly suffered through bad spells of weather, I spent most of my time relaxing in the sun. Nearing the end of my time in Cadiz day, a storm rolled in over the coastline.
After I returned from Cadiz, I went to Aire de Sevilla. It may be overpriced and touristy, but I wanted to try it! They offer a wine bath – which I didn’t do, but my package was for the typical time in the various types of baths (ice, normal, jets, salt, and arouma therapy) accompanied by a 30 minute massage. It was crowded and full of mostly couples, however I was able to relax. My favorite bath had to be the salt, which is downstairs. It feels as if you’re entering a grotto, and it appeared to be the least popular with the crowd that evening.
Monday morning, when I left Spain to return to Faro, Portugal, I knew I would be back soon, since I want to see Granada and Córdoba in the Andalucía region. In May, I will be visiting Spain again to see a friend from home, who is seeing his sister while she is studying abroad in Madrid. I plan to take the train to Barcelona for a few days too.
Faro is a quaint little town with a historic district, and vandalized with lots and lots of graffiti. It’s especially relaxing around the harbor, and I spent some of my afternoon reading down there. I slept at Casa d’Algoa in a 6 person, but lucked out since I was the only one. I’m not antisocial, but a week earlier I finished my first semester as a postgrad student, and was amidst completing two final papers during my holiday; I was undeniably fatigued. I didn’t necessarily dislike Faro, but perhaps I was a little bored. I’d recommend if you visit Faro, you may find Praia de Faro more enjoyable, however due to my timing, I couldn’t.