Saturday, September 6, 2008

Andalusia Spain . . .

Andalusia is Spain's southernmost region, bordered by Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha. Its coastline faces the Atlantic to the west and the Mediterranean to the south and east. I have been reading that the Andalusia region is considered to be Spain's most varied region and offers dramatic desert scenery with some of the richest and most varied flora and fauna in Europe. Known for its warm Mediterranean weather it offers the beaches of the Costa del Sol, skiing in the Sierra Nevada and famous sherry tasting in Jerez. I am also learning about the region's varied and complex history filled with conquests by successive invaders who left their mark in this region. The Romans built cities in Andalusia, Baetica, in Córdoba and Itálica near Seville. It was here in the region of Andalusia that the Moors lingered the longest. Physical evidence of these Moorish influences are seen in some of the regions most popular sights such as the Alhambra in Granada or the Mezquita in Córdoba. They are also evident in the music, culture, art and on the faces of the Andalusians.

Many guidebooks and websites on Spain consider Andalusia a region where all of Spain's stereotypes meet. Bullfighters, beaches, flamenco, white villages, cave houses, fiestas, religious processions, tapas and sherry, art, Moorish influenced architecture, nature reserves and most especially the easy going way of life of the Spanish people. Maybe this is why I chose Andalusia to be my first experience visiting Spain.

I have also read that Andalucians are well known for their emotions and passion. A good example of this can be seen in the art and dance called Flamenco. The flamenco is a dance that is considered to be the soul of Andalusian. It is a passionate, expressive, energetic, lively and rhythmic dance that reflects the pain and sufferings of gypsies. If you read THIS post about Slow Traveler Maria's story, you will know that I will enjoy writing my entry on my plans to see my first Flamenco live performance. I love that story! Thanks again Maria.

Visiting Andalusia Spain will be quite different I think from my other travels to Europe and this excites me! In addition to my love of visiting Italy every other year, I really enjoy doing things that are new and different. And I think this trip will not disappoint me. Actually I know it won't.

So as you can see my upcoming trip to Andalusia Spain will be new, unique and filled with emotion and passion. Just the way I like to travel! :) In my next entries, I will break it down even further as I write about Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Granada, Cádiz, Ronda and Malaga . . . and don't forget about the churches, the art, the culture, the people, the food, the special souvenirs I'll be bringing home and the music . . . Stay tuned!


  1. Wow! Amazing photos! I can't wait to read about your trip. I hope you get the chance to take lots of photos.

  2. Hi Girasoli, the photos are definitely cool and it gets me excited everytime I watch this video! I'm going to try my best to take a lot of if I can figure out an easy way to organize them on the road. If all else fails, I'll take photos of signs so I'll know exactly what I took a photo of! :) That systems tends to work for me.

    Thanks again! Have a great weekend!

  3. That was a great read! Hope your weekend is going well. :)

  4. Hi Lesli, thanks so much for your comments. The weekend went really well . . . hope yours did too!

    Have a great week!

  5. Hi Kathy,

    You have described Andalusia beautifully! It is the heart and soul of Spain. I always compared Andalusia to Southern Italy where emotions run high, where people are full of passion and live their lives out in the open, sharing it with their neighbors.

    I haven’t done too much planning on the Spanish portion of our trip because I’m sort of in limbo with my husband’s vacation dates. Since his schedule changes every month, I won’t know the dates until the end of this month. Because of this, I’m letting him plan our itinerary in Andalusia; after all his roots are Spanish (mine also but to a much lesser degree).

    I loved reading about your research and the things you discovered while planning this trip. The video was awesome and it does present a fantastic view of Andalusia.

    Happy Sunday!

  6. Hi Maria, thanks so much for your comments. I can now see why you really enjoyed your time in this region. It seems like a really easy going part of Spain. It's nice that your husband can plan that part of your trip for you. Very cool. And it gives you time to work on your Venice trip which I know from my experience last year is a lot of fun to do! Lucky you.

    I still have a couple of loose ends to tie up for my trip, but it's not something I couldn't figure out when I get there so I'm not so worried. This part of the planning is fun for me. The learning and understanding and looking forward to part!:)

    Have a nice Sunday evening Maria! And only 33 days to go . . . . Yay!

  7. Wow -- that is a great video! I hadn't realized that Andalusia was so varied a region. It sounds spectacular and mysterious (the Moorish influence would be fascinating!) I can't wait for your photos and trip reports -- just 59 days until you go!

  8. Hi Sandra, thanks for your comments. I think the Moorish influence is definitely going to be interesting. A co-worker went in May and she told me that she really loved looking at the architecture of the Alhambra and the gardens. I will definitely take a lot of photos and post them when I return.

    And you're leaving so soon too! I am looking forward so much to reading about your trip (either while on the road or when you return). The main thing is you spend your time enjoying yourself. That blog you did on the underground Perugia was so amazaing. I'm looking so forward to looking at your photos too.

    Have a great week! Enjoy the final count days to Italy Sandra!

  9. Wow, that sure is a beautiful place. You're gonna have a blast taking photos! Like Sandra, I think all the Moorish influence is really beautiful.

    I do the very same thing - take photos of signs so I'll remember where I was!

    I've been meaning to ask you - have you checked out teachick's blog lately on Slow Trav? She went to Guatamala and found a stray kitten and brought him home to the USA! It is such a sweet story (and the kitten is SO cute!).

    Hope you're having a great week!

  10. I can't wait to read about your Spain trip. I'm really enjoying being able to share in your travel planning too! Your blog is awesome, Kathy (and your videos are amazing too!)

  11. Kathy,

    Spain on the road airs on the week of September 20! On this link you can check if your station will carry the program:

    Also, on September 22, Batali and Paltrow are going to be on Oprah:

    I still don't see the program on my local PBS station but I'm hopeful that it will show up.

    Have a great evening!

  12. Hi Annie, yes I will definitely take a lot of photos. It will be fun. Can you imagine . . . more youtube videos. :)

    That's very cool of Teachick to adopt a stray cat in Guatamala and then bring her over to the US. I'll have to go check out her blog and read all about it. Good for her!

    Thanks for the tip. Have a great evening!

  13. Hi Anne, thanks so much for your comments. The planning stage is pretty wild! :)

    Glad you enjoy reading about my planning. It's so much fun writing it.

    Hope your planning is going well. Luck you to be heading to Florence in 3 only weeks. Whoo hoo!

    Have a great evening.

  14. Hi Maria, sorry I missed your comments last night. I got home so late, but I didn't want to go to bed without checking on my favorite bloggers and reading all the great comments. Luckily, today I had the day off and saw that I missed your comment last night.

    Thanks so much for the link. I checked my local PBS station and just like you, it's still not listed for me too. But this month's schedule is still not complete, it only goes up to Septebmer 22.

    I just checked out the video preview of the show from the link you gave me and the show looks pretty good. Other than Gwyneth Peltrow I had never heard of the other three people in this show but in the video I think they will be very entertaining to watch, espeically Mario.

    Thanks for the tip on the Oprah show, I will set up my VCR timer so I can watch it.

    I'm getting very excited with each day that passes and like Anne said in Sandra's blog, there's this sort of tingly feeling I get when I think about my three weeks in Spain!

    Thanks so much for sharing these links. I hope they post the schedule up in both our PBS stations soon.

    Have a great evening Maria!

  15. This is a good itinerary. We had a very similar itinerary. We didn't go to Cadiz but instead visited Nerja. It is a pretty touristy but we enjoy caves. The white towns near Ronda are also great.

    I loved contrasts between the Moorish and Christian heritage. You can really see it in the churches in Andalusia. I still have vivid memories of walking among the candy stripped columns in Mezquita in Cordoba and then to turn a corner and come to a catholic church.

    I'm looking forward to following your journey to Spain. It will be here before you know it.

  16. Hi Marta, thanks so much for your feedback. I always worry about doing too much when I plan trips so it is great to hear that I did pretty good! :)

    I was thinking about going to Nerja too because I had heard about the caves. I'm still learning about this whole area. I have three nights in Ronda and 4 nights in Granada. Maybe during one of these satys I can do some exploring! I'll have to research a bit more to see what more I can get myself into.

    I also think that I'm going to really enjoy seeing the contrasts between the Moorish and Chirstian heritage. Differences and contrasts always seem to interest me for some reason!

    Thanks again for your comments Marta. I know that I will really love Andalusia. It will definitely be one cool trip and I can't wait to share it with everyone.


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.