Monday, 9 December 2013


When we moved to Aldalucía I already had a number of places I wanted to see and this UNESCO world heritage city was high on my list. I was keen to visit this gorgeous place also because two of my friends, who I met during my Camino de Santiago, live here and I was really looking forward to see them again.

The journey from Granada was very easy, it took us 2.5 hours to get there by bus. We met Rafael and Salvador at the bus station and drove us to the city. During the day they proved to be excellent tour guides and we covered most of the famous sights of the city. Let me show you a small selection of these.

The town is famous for its ´patios´ which are courtyards that are decorated with flowers. This custom originates from Roman times when they built courtyards in the houses and filled them with flowers to keep them cool during the hot summer months. There´s even a Patio Festival that is held every year in May that lasts for 9 days. Even though we were there in October we could still visit some of these. You can read more about the patios and the festival here.

When I lived in Barcelona I was told that the most popular boy’s name is Jordi after their patron saint, San Jordi. Here this role is filled by St. Rafael who has two huge statues, a bridge and countless other things (included half of the city’s male population) named after him.

The city is split into two by the Guadalquivir River. The river bank is also a preserved wetland where many protected birds come every year. At certain times of the year people allowed to come here for bird watching.

We crossed the river through the Roman Bridge which was built by the Romans in the 1st century and was most likely part of the Via Augusta which connected the city of Cádiz to Rome. The Moors later rebuilt it and this is when it got its Moorish look.

Finally, the Calle de Pedro Jimenez which is widely known as Calle de Pañuelo. Why? Because it is just as wide as a pañuelo, or handkerchief. Salvador even had a handkerchief with him (!) and he happily demonstrated the trueness of the name. This narrow alley opens up to a delightful little square.

Thank you for Rafael and Salvador for showing us around this lovely city.
We've also visited the famous Great Mosque, read about it here.

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