With so many possible destinations and the ability to travel easily throughout, Europe dominates almost every single Bucket list. While trying to choose a reading week destination, I dreamt of Paris at night, London at dusk and Venice by gondola. But traveling near the end of a Canadian winter meant that any place claiming a relatively cold temperature was quickly removed from my list of possibilities – and sure enough, Spain easily made its way to the top of my list. It’s hard enough to choose a European country, let alone a specific city destination, but Andalusia, Spain was a standout choice.
The Traveler’s Destinations:
As a region, Andalusia encompasses so many of Spain’s great southern cities, and what better way to experience the area than to explore as many as possible? You may not need to stay for more than a day, but these are the destinations that should definitely be seen.
Malaga: As a major port city, the efforts made to retain the city’s history while simultaneously upgrading it can be felt in every twist and turn. Throughout the core district, the roads and sidewalks blend together as beautiful granite has replaced the old gridlock, and old building fronts have been filled with brand names.
Ronda: Sitting a top a large rock face towering over a beautiful gorge, this small city feels as though it has never been touched by the modern era. The maze-like streets are so narrow that the cars that drive on them appear to be squeezing through where they don’t belong. The uneven gridlock is lined with old cafes and store fronts, without the presence of a building over four stories tall. All you need is a day to wander through both the old and new areas of Ronda, to wind through the streets and be transported back in time.
Sevilla: As a blend of both Malaga and Ronda, Sevilla was by far my favourite location. Even after spending two and a half days there, I feel like there is still so much to be seen. The beauty of the city is found in its old gridlock lined with orange trees and outdoor patios, and the students that sit in courtyards sketching for art class. Whether it was the Cathedral, Plaza de España or Santa Cruz, the city’s past remains present.
A Step Back In Time:
Alhambra: As one of the few places that you needed a ticket to see, it was hands-down worth the wait and money. Alhambra is an ancient palace and fortress situated in Granada, Spain, boasting influences from both Muslim and Catholic royalty that once called it home. Every archway is clad in beautifully hand-carved stonework, every courtyard has beautiful fountains, and every building is breathtaking. Even though it was filled with tourists, they became invisible as soon as I got lost in the details of the hidden pathways and the ingenious with which it was built.
Plaza De España: In the middle of Parque Maria Luisa stands this remarkably preserved half-circle building that perfectly exhibits the Spanish Renaissance revival. With every pillar beautifully hand painted with hues of blue, a large circular fountain situated in the middle, and even a moat throughout the interior plaza, the whole area is almost indescribable.
If this isn’t proof enough, do some more research and I guarantee Andalusia, Spain will make its way onto your Bucket List.
Erica Headley, Online Contributor
Photography: Erica Headley