North America, Europe · 21 Days · 14 Moments · May 2017

Andalusia, May 24-June 1, 2017

29 May 2017

Today we traveled from Córdoba to Granada which is a two hour drive. We haven't been sleeping much so we kept it a very low key day with just some walking around and resting. Tomorrow we will do more touring.

28 May 2017

After the Jewish Quarter we visited the Mezquita with a private guide who was outstanding. We would never have appreciated it as much as we did if we had seen it on our own. If I wasn't so tired right now I would explain the significance of the Mezquita but I am exhausted so sorry! Later we had dinner at a fantastic restaurant and ended the evening with drinks in the courtyard of our hotel.
Yesterday we were in Córdoba for a very nice day. We stayed at the NH Collection Amistad which was a beautiful hotel with the Jewish Quarter just outside the door. We saw the statue of Maimonides, the old synagogue, and an excellent small Jewish Museum. The photos of the inside of a building are taken in the synagogue.

27 May 2017

Tonight we went to Olivia's concert at the beautiful church shown in the photos. As you can see the concert was advertised. It was very well attended by a few hundred people who clearly appreciated the music and gave enthusiastic applause and several standing ovations. The choir sounded great. Unfortunately...Olivia was not feeling well and totally lost her voice. Thus she was not able to perform her solo or even sing with the choir. We are hoping she will get her voice back for the concert in Granada on Wednesday.
What a great day so far in Seville! We started at the Triana Market where we wandered the stalls and marveled at all the fish, produce, meat, cheese and baked goods. While there we bought some delicious looking fruit and some pastries to bring back to the apartment. We were on our way to the ceramic museum when we received a very exciting text: Olivia asking if we wanted to get together for lunch and to hang out for a while. I guess I haven't really explained that the Lehigh Choir is touring Spain for 10 days, and that is why Steve and I are here--to hear Olivia sing. We met up with Olivia after she climbed the bell tower of the Cathedral and we went to lunch, followed by a visit to our apartment. Steve then took her to meet her bus. Later we will hear her sing.

26 May 2017

Tonight we went to an excellent flamenco show. There were four performers who performed together but also each had a star performance. There was a classical guitarist, a vocalist, and a male and a female dancer. The couple danced twice together and each danced once in a solo performance. The guitarist played several songs in addition to accompanying the dancers, and the vocalist sang for the dancers but also gave his own performance. The quality of the show was excellent and it was reputed to be very authentic. We followed the show with a wonderful dinner and saw the Cathedral all lit up on our walk home.
Today we visited The Alcázar of Seville which is a royal palace originally developed by Moorish Muslim kings. The palace is renowned as one of the most beautiful in Spain, being regarded as one of the most outstanding examples of mudéjar architecture found on the Iberian Peninsula. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence. It is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. My favorite part of the palace was the many courtyards and gardens. There is no way to do justice to these sites with a camera because you cannot capture their majesty in a single photograph. Plus you can't make all the other tourists get out of the way. Tonight we go to a Flamenco show. We are really looking forward to it.

25 May 2017

Post 2 of 2: After shopping we headed back to the Jewish Quarter for some tapas before heading back to bed. NOTE: You can slide the first photo from today (man with hand) to see the rest of the photos.
Post 1 of 2: We started our day quite late as I had to wake Steve up at 9:30. I don't think that has ever happened before. We then went to a traditional Spanish breakfast at Los Starbucks. Fortified, we moved on to the old Jewish Quarter where we walked through the streets and explored the Sephardic Museum which was very small but well-curated. Following our tour of the Jewish Quarter we had lunch at a restaurant that was formerly a Temple and Mikva, and had Jewish stars carved from the stone in the ceiling. From lunch we went to the Cathedral de Sevilla which is the largest gothic cathedral in the world. It was extremely hard to photograph so we only have a few photos from inside. A highlight was the entombed ashes of Christopher Columbus which were relocated to the Cathedral in the early 1900 from Cuba. This can be seen in the photo with the four pallbearers. After the Cathedral we returned to the apartment to cool off before heading out again for a shopping excursion.

24 May 2017

Leaving London for Seville. When we arrived we found the weather extremely hot and humid. Our apartment is in a pedestrian zone so we had to pull the suitcases a long way. Then our apartment was up several flights of stairs and the bedroom in the apartment was up another flight of stairs. We were dripping wet after sorting things out. Fortunately it is gorgeous. Steve has gone off exploring and I am writing this entry. Tomorrow begins the first official day of touring. Hopefully there will be some nice photos. Oh and there are a lot of gross pigeons here. That may be a problem.
We arrived from JFK on this BA 777. Waiting in the lounge for our flight to Seville. Tired and ready to be in Spain already!

23 May 2017

So excited to start our trip. Sitting in the BA lounge waiting for our flight to London!

14 May 2017

So excited: our trip planning is complete. The itinerary is set, the trip binder is done, advanced tickets are purchased, and transfers and private guides have been arranged. Now we just have to wait patiently for about a week before we can leave.

9 May 2017

We are exactly two weeks from taking off on a last minute trip to Spain to tour Seville, Córdoba and Granada, and to hear Olivia perform with the Lehigh Choir. I am so excited to travel to somewhere new to me, see the sites, enjoy the culture, and make memories with Steve. Seeing Olivia perform is the icing on the cake. I hope to use this journal to keep a record of our travels. Looking forward to sharing the trip!