Córdoba and Sevilla, Spain

May 13-15, 2017 | Jenni took a weekend trip down to Córdoba and Sevilla with one of her best friends from San Antonio (and fellow teaching assistant), Clara. Sorry, Tim! ;)

Stop #1: Córdoba

May is the best time to travel to Córdoba.

The Fiesta de los Patios (literally Party of the Patios) takes place mid-May, and Clara and I arrived when the festivities were in full swing. This fiesta has more to do with flower-ing than partying, however; the whole town overflows with flowers, leaves, and ivy, as each participating household competes for the coveted title of #1 Patio.

Colorful plant life cascades from windows, rooftops, and basically every other nook and cranny you can find, but the main attractions are located within protected interior courtyards. We took one look at the massive lines of people (spanning multiple city blocks) waiting for a glance at the inner patios and decided to ogle at exterior flowers only.*

The blues, reds, purples, and yellows of the flowers, along with the rich greens of the leaves, contrast beautifully with the whitewashed walls characteristic of Andalusian homes.

*Later in the day, we did get to walk through one small patio that hadn’t received an award – still waited in line, but just for a few minutes. We enjoyed getting the inside scoop on what the patios are all about, but in the end, we actually preferred the flower arrangements outside on the streets!

Aside from all of the flower-gazing, we spent half an hour or so in the famous mosque, La Mesquita of Córdoba. As soon as we walked inside (after realizing we happened to be there during a no-entrance-fee time window – booyah!), our attention went straight to the ceilings. As you can see, there’s a reason why this mosque is considered iconic.

Our time there reminded me of my visit to La Alhambra, the Moorish palace located in Granada. Both structures have strong but elegant archways, intricate Islamic calligraphy carvings, and courtyards with small pools and greenery.

During our stay in Córdoba, we also went on a lovely run along the river, took lots of photos, and meandered our way all over town. A couple meals – of crackers and meat and cheese – were eaten on the rooftop terrace of our hostel as we soaked up some rays while chatting about our adventures.

We saw this napkin at a random café we popped into for coffee and croissants. It says, “Live the day as if you’d invented it.”

Stop #2: Sevilla

While neither of us had been to Córdoba before, I had the pleasure of calling this my third trip to Sevilla. In that sense, it was fun to return to the city as a semi-knowledgable guide. (I knew enough to be dangerous, at least.)

We hit all the classic sites like Las Setas and the river, with Plaza de España being the overall favorite. In addition to our more touristy endeavors, we spent time watching some street flamenco, eating delicious gelato, and relaxing in the awesome Airbnb that Clara had booked for us.

The whole trip was fantastic for several reasons.

I got to travel with one of my best friends to two gorgeous Spanish cities. We spoke plenty of Spanish while navigating each city, ordering food, and bantering with shopkeepers.

We shared the philosophy that it would be best to save on most meals in order to splurge on local specialties like rabo de toro (braised bull’s tail) and alcachofas con miel (artichoke with honey).

Instead of getting too caught up with excessive planning, we went with the flow and found a nice balance between sightseeing and relaxing.

Best of all, we had a blast together and made the most of our 3-day weekend :)

– J