Today we traveled to Seville! Our day began with a walking tour of Seville's Barrio Santa Cruz. Seville is known as one of the great cathedral and university cities in Europe, a center for bullfighting and flamenco, and also happens to be Kansas City's sister city! In fact, we even drove down Kansas City street. Of course I loved this. Our tour led us to Seville Cathedral, and I immediately recognized the bell tower, La Giralda, as the model for one of the towers on the Plaza in KC. We were able to climb the tower and had a beautiful view of the entire city. The choir also gave an impromptu performance in from of the church. After breaking for lunch, we then headed to learn Flamenco from local dancers. This was quite an interesting experience, and after our hour lesson we were able to watch an actual performance which was full of passion. It was another wonderful day in Spain!
Visiting Granada and exploring the Alhambra may have been my favorite day of this trip so far. While seeing the Mezquita yesterday gave me a taste of wonderful Moorish architecture, the Alhambra was truly spectacular. We were given a guided tour of not only the Alhambar, but also Generalife, the country estate of the Nasrid Kings. The gardens were beautiful. I could have spen hours just admiring the view and all of the architectural details. After this wonderful visit we headed to the Albaicin, the old Moorish quarter, and ate lunch and went shopping. The evening consisted of another choir concert, this time at the Conservatory of Music back in Cordoba.
This morning we boarded the bus and headed to Cordoba. Along the way we made a stop to see some beautiful windmills. It was a beautiful place to take pictures and get to see amazing views of the countryside. The choir took a group picture in front of an old castle as well! When we finally arrived in Cordoba, which was the northernmost city of the Moorish empire, and were given time to wander around. We wandered through the Juderia, Cordoba's ancient Jewish quarter, and also visited the Mezquita. This was definitely a highlight of the day. The Mezquita is a medieval Islamaic mosque that was converted into a Cathoic cathedral. It is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture and from the moment you walk inside it is easy to see why. We then checked into our hotel in Cordoba and will take a day trip to Granada tomorrow.