As promised here is the guest post I've been looking forward to, from Marina at Destinia. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
A day trip around Seville.
With the holidays looming many people are wondering what they will do this summer. Most choose spend a couple of days at the beach, relaxing and trying out a new water sport. For those planning to visit the beaches of Andalucia, in Southern Spain, Seville can be an alternative day trip for when the sun hides in the clouds.
Seville is the capital of the Southern region of Andalucia. Located a short bus ride away from the province of Huelva and less than two hours by train from Madrid, visitors can spend a short break in the city enjoy the sites of this historic city.
The Barrio de la Santa Cruz is the city's ancient Jewish Quarter. In this district visitors can find the main attractions. The Alcazar, the Archive of the Indies and the Cathedral are located there.
The main attraction are the Cathedral and the Giralda, two historical buildings. The Cathedral is built in a Gothic style, and inside visitors will find the tomb of Christopher Columbus, several art pieces and an historical Sacristy. The Cathedral and the Cathedral's plaza are lit at night, and visitors can enjoy a walk along the orange tree lined streets. The nearby Patio de los Naranjos is a patio where guests can take a walk and see the remnants of an ancient mosque while enjoying the sweet smell of oranges.
For a day out, visitors can visit Isla Mágica, a large theme park. There are many roller coaster rides and water rides.
The Royal Alcazar is an ancient Moorish Fort. This building has Baroque, Gothic, Moorish and Renaissance elements, and visitors can walk around the large halls and the patios.
The Torre del Oro, the Tower of Gold, was built during the reign of the Taifa Kings. The tower is part of the city walls that protect the city, and the Tower of Silver, an octagonal tower, is located nearby.
The Plaza de España is located in the grand María Luisa Park. This square is one of the most visited places in the city and is located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. There is a series of 48 tiled alcoves decorating the walk near the river, each one representing a Spanish province and decorated according to that province's traditions. Visitors can enjoy a day walking around the large park and enjoying a boat ride in one of the row boats along the Guadalquivir River.
Seville is known for the Feria de Abril, a fair celebrated two weeks after Holy Week. During the fair the city fills up with casetas, marquee tents where locals and visitors enjoy tapas and wine while listening to live music. Many of the city's inhabitants are dressed in traditional clothes, the traje corto for men and traje de flamenca dresses for women. Many of the casetas are private and only those invited can enter them, and many others belong to political parties and local organizations and shops where everyone can enjoy flamenco music and even try to dance flamenco.