With crystal teardrops her beautiful expression — halfway between ecstasy and sorrow — touches pilgrims. Rick Steves' Europe. It's what conquering civilizations do: build their palace atop their foe's palace. Spain was a predominately Muslim society living under Muslim rule. To extend the magic, grab a prime table at one of the several historic Albayzín manor houses — called carmens — for dinner. Under the castle, and facing the church, is the town's main square, which once doubled as a bullring. Some of the larger tents are sponsored by the city and open to the public, but the best action is in the streets, where party-goers from the livelier casetas spill out. Within a generation, Spain's king, Charles V, was the most powerful man in the world. You'll pay a bit more, but I can't think of a better way to cap your visit to Granada. This one of my favorite shops. Like the palace, the gardens reflect a mix of cultures. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, But if you were really interested, that movement would tell him something, don't you think? Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. The gardens are full of tropical flowers, cool fountains, and — in the summer — hot tourists. Pontius Pilate is about to wash his hands. They are cooling themselves like this. Concepción: …it's made with our oranges. Isabel: Its narrowness and whitewashed walls. Driving is tricky — it's a one-way system; if you miss your hotel, you'll drive all around again. Isabel: It was magic time. Because she's a busy mom of two young kids, Concepción sometimes sends her equally excellent colleagues Alfonso and Mercedes to lead these tours. Concepción does no tours on Sundays or holidays. Towns like Arcos, with "de la Frontera" in their names, were established on the frontier that was on the front lines during the centuries-long fight to take Spain back from the Muslims. Sevilla has soul — and we feel it in its lacy Moorish palace, massive cathedral, lavish royal tombs, labyrinthine Jewish quarter, and its people-filled streets. For centuries part of the city's fortifications, it came with a heavy chain draped across the river to protect the harbor. Concepción: The Queen of the City you mean? For many travelers, the quintessence of Spain is found here — Andalucía. Their marriage united the Aragon and Castile kingdoms, allowing an acceleration of the Christian and Spanish push south. Back then, on a child's day of baptism, the parents would stop here first for a good exorcism. I'm from Barcelona. A 100-mile drive back inland takes us to the city of Córdoba. From the St. Nicolás Terrace, as the sun sets, locals and visitors alike enjoy both a historical backdrop and a convivial moment. It's a flamboyant city of larger-than-life lovers like Carmen and Don Juan, where bullfighting is still politically correct, and where little girls still dream of growing up to become flamenco dancers. Today's Granada is a delightful mix of both its Moorish and its Christian past. A short hike takes us to a broader beach that appeals to different tastes. And the region's leading city is Sevilla. Columbus even traveled a lot after he died. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. But decorating with religious messages is fine. The women concentrate on graceful turns and a smooth, dramatic step. At Rick Steves’ Europe, we have two things in abundance: a passion for providing practical information for better travels, and talented people on our staff. There are plenty of hotels, and sun worshippers enjoy themselves in spite of the congestion and lack of charm or local culture. But I enjoy the heart and soul of this multi-faceted region in the interior. A century or so later — just after Columbus' New World discoveries — Queen Isabel built a more European style wing to the palace. In fact, its name — the Generalife — meant essentially that: the Garden of Paradise. Okay so we'll start talking at that little piece of poop there, okay? Spanish wine has moved up on the respectability ladder lately. While the rest of Europe slumbered through much of the Middle Ages, the Moorish civilization was wide awake. This barrio entered for the first time this year. The mosque stands next to one of Europe's most romantic viewpoints. I find this strip of Mediterranean coastline generally overbuilt and very commercialized. Rick: You're Spanish? Tour Account › Travel Forum › Home / Travel Forum / Spain; Please sign in to post. Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2014. A wonder of the medieval world, it's remarkably well-preserved, giving today's visitors a chance to appreciate Islamic Córdoba in its 10th-century prime. They ruled Spain for five centuries, inspiring a Europe-wide crusade among Christians to reconquer this land. And here in Andalucía, no special meal starts without the porcine gold standard, jamón ibérico. Muslim rule stretched as far as France. And some of our most vocal opponents are now our best friends, because they appreciate what we are doing and who we are. But of course, there is the recent phenomenon of Spanish Muslims as well. While bullfighting is controversial, and many believe that the patronage of tourists just helps keep a brutal spectacle alive, others see bullfighting as a real and vivid part of Spanish culture. Start a New Topic. Tour Account › Travel Forum › Home / Travel Forum / Spain; Please sign in to post. Concepción: Completely. This place is a historic and venerable house of eating, attracting so many locals it comes with its own garage. Hit Spain's can't-miss art, sights, and bites in two weeks or less with Rick Steves Best of Spain! I hope you've enjoyed our look at some of the highlights of southern Spain. Blend history, culture, local friends, and great food. Although private tents have bouncers, everyone is so happy that it's not tough to strike up an impromptu friendship, become a "special guest," and be invited in. That afternoon, the Christians set up their portable road altar and celebrated the first Mass in what would later become this glorious cathedral. Ayo is a very big personality — one of the five kids who discovered the Nerja Caves, formerly a well-known athlete, and now someone who makes it a point to hire hard-to-employ people as a community service. But I think it's more correct to say it was one culture with three religions, because at the end, all the people here talked Arabian language, cooked the same dishes, and wore the same clothes. This one's missing an ear — it was awarded to the matador who also performed well. Sometimes you hardly hear the priest. Rick Steves' Europe. Her tour rounds out the rest of your Sevilla experience, brilliantly complements your independent visits to major sights, and clues you in on what's new and what's going on around town during your visit. Our full-bodied red is mucho delicioso. Rick: Why does it taste so good, the jamón ibérico? A painting in the adjacent treasury takes us back to 1236, when Christians conquered the city and everything changed. Granada, Córdoba, and Spain's Costa del Sol - Video - Rick Steves' Europe For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, see our FAQ . With exquisite carving, it's considered one of the masterpieces of 18th-century Andalusian Baroque. Taking two centuries to complete, the cathedral is a glorious mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. Rick's guidebooks are also available as ebooks that can be read on any Apple, Android, Kindle, Nook, or Kobo device, or on your computer. My Account. The party goes on literally 24 hours a day for the entire week, and any tourist can have a fun and memorable evening by simply crashing the party. These intimate concerts are performed in the very caves that once housed Granada's Gypsy community. The flying buttresses were added to shore up the church after it was weakened by an earthquake in 1696. Starting with the shawls that you can see here. Spain. The king hired Muslim workers to give Moorish elegance to what was a stark fortress. Start a New Topic. Sevilla is the flamboyant city of Carmen and Don Juan, where bullfighting is still politically correct and little girls dream of growing up to become flamenco dancers. The big draw is the beaches. It's always combined with this comb, which is incorporated in the mantilla like this… and then we wear that on our heads. An alternative community of young people — nicknamed pie de negro, or black feet, for their basic earthiness — hangs out in the Albayzín. I'm Rick Steves. This royal summer retreat, lush and bursting with water, was the closest thing on earth to the Quran's description of heaven. But the mysterious highlight is this 15th-century magic circle: 12 red and 12 white stones; the white ones with various constellations marked. To skip the ticket-buying line, reserve a time slot ahead online. ©2020 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | Sevilla's flamenco offerings tend to fall into one of three categories: serious concerts (usually about €20 and about an hour long), where the singing and dancing take center stage; touristy dinner-and-drinks shows with table service (generally around €40 — not including food — and 90 minutes long); and — the least touristy option — casual bars with late-night performances, where for the cost of a drink you can catch impromptu (or semi-impromptu) musicians at play. They are informative and enjoyable to watch. Visitors can enjoy several sections of the Alcázar: Spectacularly decorated halls and courtyards have distinctive Islamic-style flourishes. They represent the four medieval kingdoms that became Spain: Aragon, Navarre, Castile, and León — each identified by their team shirts. Sevilla does festivals with gusto. Travel with Rick on this video guide to Barcelona and Catalunya and find out what to do on your next trip. Rick Steves Spain 2020 (Rick Steves Travel Guide) Part of: Rick Steves Travel Guide (32 Books) | by Rick Steves | Sep 3, 2019 4.7 out of 5 stars 95 Sevilla - Video - Rick Steves' Europe For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, see our FAQ . Make up two supposed itineraries, one for Mexico and one for Spain. Spain. This is a good opportunity for game…well, small game; I'm having pigeon. In its far south is the region of Andalucía. When the rice is done, remove — remembering to lift with your knees — and let set for 10 minutes. After splashing on the sun-soaked beach, we'll dance flamenco in a street party, slice ham as if it's a gift from heaven, stumble onto a midnight procession, admire the splendor of a former Moorish mosque, cook paella for the entire neighborhood, shake our castanets to fiery Gypsy music, and marvel at the Alhambra. And a few dishes that have a Moorish influence. And, towering over the former mosque, a bell tower makes it clear: This huge edifice now houses a place of Christian worship. In the 10th century, when a minaret stood where the bell tower stands today, Córdoba was arguably Europe's greatest city. Read more. Rick Steves is America's leading authority on European travel. This time we're deep in the south of Spain…in Andalucía. Adjust recipe measurements accordingly. Sevilla — or Seville in English — has its share of impressive sights and we'll see its grand cathedral and plush Moorish palace. Very old churches are not air-conditioned. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, Rick Steves, America's leading authority on European travel, returns to transport viewers to the continent's bustling cities, quaint villages and picturesque countryside. You can't say you've really seen Granada until you've at least strolled a few of its twisty lanes. After the re-conquest, Charles built this Renaissance palace incongruously right in the middle of the Alhambra grounds. The intimate geometric Moorish gardens lead to the later much more expansive back yard of Spanish kings. Post questions and answers about travel in Spain. Terms of Service | Privacy, Nerja, Spain: Holiday in the Costa del Sol, Granada, Córdoba, and Spain's Costa del Sol. It held giant hymnals — large enough for all to chant from in an age when there weren't enough for everyone. Tourists can hop on for a cheap and scenic joyride. For a time near the end of its Moorish period, Granada was the grandest city in all of Spain. This restaurant has since closed (its owners have retired). Get it as soon as Thu, Nov 12. Dish out servings daintily, and garnish with a wedge of lemon. And the pride of the Reconquista and the power of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand enliven the region's great sights. ... Start by looking at Rick's travel videos on these areas (they're available on Hulu.com and Youtube), as well as by looking at other videos and guidebooks. This was a Moorish style done by Moorish craftsmen but for Christian rulers after the reconquest. see our FAQ. The Moors left a distinct mark on Andalusian culture. The stylized Arabic script — a standard feature of mosques — created a visual chant of Quranic verses. Anticipating a big business in plunder and trade, she built this to administer Spain's New World ventures. The main church is a reminder of that reconquest. Nowhere else does the splendor of that civilization, Al-Andalus, shine so brightly. I'm Rick Steves. Otherwise, there’s the Flamenco Dance Museum, which is tightly packed but allows drinks; then there's Casa de la Guitarra Flamenco, found in the tourist zone with cramped seating and a strong performance. While her images are everywhere, you can see the actual darling of Sevilla nearby at the Basílica de la Macarena. Lo Nuestro and El Rejoneo are favorites that also host live dancing (at Calle Betis 31A and 31B). It honors King Ferdinand III, fondly remembered for freeing Sevilla from the Moors in the 13th century. Stir briskly until the rice has become coated with the oils and spices. These are great quality since they are on Blu-rays. You could fit a soccer field in here. Rick: So there are all these traditional things to buy…isn't it just for tourists that they sell these? We just use them for vitamins, perfume, or that kind of marmalade the British like... Post questions and answers about travel in Spain. Spaniards consider this couple the first great Spanish royals. 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