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Showing posts with the label spain

Cordoba - Capital of Caliphates, Kingdoms, and Empires

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On any journey to the Iberian peninsula, it is easy to focus all of one's time, budget, and attention to the more popular and glamorous cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon. However one cannot truly appreciate the richness of Spanish culture, without experiencing the city of Cordoba.
One of the most important cities back in the Middle Ages, yet overlooked today, Cordoba has been inhabited for thousands of years; with its earliest inhabitants thought to be the Neanderthal humans whose fossils can be found all over this area of Spain.

* Later on becoming a Roman settlement, whose people left their mark by constructing this fascinating and sturdy bridge that still stands to this day running across the Guadalquivir River! 

A Night Walk Around Old Town Sevilla

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Definitely one of the advantages of staying in a hotel right in the middle of the city center is the ability to wander around and experience the city after the sun has gone down.
A Spanish city changes at night. Somehow it becomes even more vibrant and authentic as locals, offered a temporary respite from the hustle and bustle of the daily barrage of tourists, are now free to come out, dine, and socialize; the Spanish way of rewarding one's self for a hard day's work.

* And in Old Town Sevilla, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is wonderfully lit and conducive for romance.

Sevilla Cathedral: The Largest Cathedral in the World

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In the medieval competition for recognition of the title of "Champion of Christianity", Spain certainly talked the talk and walked the walk. 
Not content with colonizing the Americas and the Philippine Islands in the name of Christ and waging a crusade to reconquer the Iberian peninsula from the Muslim Moors, Spain also built herself several iconic and unrivaled churches; among which is the Cathedral of Seville.
Also known as the largest cathedral in the world!

* And burial place of famed explorer, Christopher Columbus.

The Art of Spanish Bullfighting at the Famous Maestranza

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A few things come to mind to be as innately and inherently Spanish, as Bullfighting. Also known as corrida de toros (running of the bulls), the blood sport is an icon of Spain. And there's nothing quite like this deadly struggle between man and beast to conjure up the passion and bravado of Spaniards everywhere. 

* At the center of the bullfighting world is this massive stadium of the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Sevilla (whew, what a mouthful), more affectionately referred to as the "Maestranza".

Portugal to España. Ola Sevilla!

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After exploring Portugal's imperial capital, Lisbon, and its nearby seaside resorts and medieval towns, we prepared to make our way to España.
Portugal and Spain, together, make up the Iberian Peninsula, and have a common history of both Muslim and Christian rule; yet they also share a common history of standing apart as separate kingdoms.

* The Humberto Delgado Airport, also known simply as Lisbon Airport, is Portugal's main gateway to the world.

7 Other Things To Do In Barcelona

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The first stop on our Eurotrip was Barcelona.  I was told by all of my friends not to miss this city as the culture and history is just so beautiful.  In many ways, they say that it is even more beautiful here than in Madrid (which I hope to see in a future trip).  Now apart from seeing the Sagrada Familia and Barcelona Cathedral, here are 7 other things that one MUST do while in Barcelona.

1.  Walk Down The Las Ramblas

This is what travelling is about!  Full of great shops, cafes, street performers and interesting sights, walking around and getting lost in the various alleys intersecting the main street is such a pleasure.  Stretching on for about a kilometer and a half, this is the main tourist spot in Barcelona, kind of like how Times Square is to New York and Nanjing Road is to Shanghai.  Prepare to get culturally stimulated, just mind the pickpockets! (And there are a LOT of them)



Barcelona Cathedral and La Sagrada Familia

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1. The Barcelona Cathedral


Imposing and located on the famous Gothic Quarter next to the Las Ramblas, the Barcelona Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic Architecture.  Dark, huge and full of gargoyles, the Cathedral manages to retain some sanctity as there were more people praying in it than people taking pictures.