Archives for May 2014

Ceuta & Sebta

Tiny Spain.

Let’s get back to the trip Mike and I took to northern Morocco way back in November. Returning to this trip actually means returning to Spain! The last portion of our trip was a visit to Ceuta aka Sebta, a tiny bit of Spain attached to Morocco*. (Ceuta = Spanish, Sebta = Arabic)

Entering Ceuta was pretty easy if you don’t mind being pushed around in a line for 30 minutes or so. After lunging at the passport desk, we were waived on to simply walk across the border into Spain. From there you can take a taxi or bus into the city center. If you are crazy, you can try to walk. Yep, we tried to walk. The distance looked a lot shorter on the map. Eventually, we hailed a taxi that took us straight to our hotel.

We spent most of our time in Sebta enjoying the European feel of our surroundings and stocking up on essentials, like black beans and tofu.

I thought this was a funny place for this man to pose.

On the way back in to Morocco we joked about the relatively relaxed border. Turns out, it was even more relaxed than we realized. A man standing by a fence noticed we didn’t have an exit stamp, so he directed us up to the window of a drive through passport lane. After a smile and stamp we were on our way. It was also fun to see what other people were bringing back into Morocco. I noticed a gigantic garbage bag full of chips and quite a few containers of Nesquick making their way back over the border.

From Ceuta we headed back to Tangier for the night before returning to Marrakech.

xo, jill

*There’s another Spanish enclave on mainland Africa.

Seville & Plaza de Espana

Final hours.

After my mom flew home, I had one more day to spend in Seville. For the most part, I took it easy. However, I did manage to walk across to the opposite side of the river. I later walked down to Maria Luisa Park to check out the Plaza de Espana. It was built for the World’s Fair in 1929

I think I spent the rest of my day shopping on the high street, trying to finish my book, and cramming packages of tortillas into my tiny backpack. Very early the next morning, I was headed back to Marrakech.

xo, jill

Seville & City Sights

Figaro! Figaro!

The rest of our time together in Seville my mom and I dashed around town trying to see all the sights. There might have been a few siestas here and there as well.

We strolled along the river and took in the Golden Tower.

We also paid a visit to the famous Seville Cathedral which is the largest gothic cathedral in the world. While there we took a peek at the monument housing Columbus’s remains. Giralda, the clock tower, formerly served as a minaret when the area was under Muslim rule. It was modeled after the minaret at the Koutoubia mosque in Marrakech.

Columbus’s remains.

We also visited the waffle over the city, also known as Metropol Parasol, to check out the view.

Our last night together we took in a flamenco show at the Casa de la Guitarra and enjoyed walking through the town after dark.

The next morning it was time for my mom to head back home. I certainly hope the trip was worth the wait!

xo, jill

Seville & Alcazar

Can’t get enough.

After visiting the Alhambra in Granada, we headed over to Seville. After checking into our bright pink room, we checked out the town and ended up at the Alcazar. I guess I just can’t get enough of Moorish design and architecture. The palace is the oldest palace in Europe that is still currently in use. The Spanish royal family uses the upstairs chambers as its residence while in Seville. Not a bad setup.

Yep, I think I could live here too.

xo, jill

Granada & Generalife

I’ve found my next home.

Generalife was the summer place of the Nasrid Emirs, and also my favorite part of the Alhambra. It was built in the early 1300s and is basically my idea of perfection. The rest of the Alhambra is amazing of course, but the Generalife grounds just felt simple and peaceful. The main courtyard garden is thought to be the best example of the Persian medieval garden style. I’m pretty sure I could have lived there.

Looking down at the rest of the Alhambra.

I suspect that fewer visitors walk all the way up to the Generalife (it’s up the hill a bit and looks down at the rest of the complex), but those extra few steps are well worth the effort.

To wrap up the Alhambra, here’s a photo of my mom and me from the day. It’s probably my current favorite photograph of us.

xo, jill

Granada & Alhambra part 2

So good.

Here are a few more photos from the Alhambra. I could have explored that place all day.

Couldn’t get enough of this view.

A little tip if you visit: Get the audio guide. It’s not the best audio guide to ever be produced, but you have little chance of learning anything without it. There is little to no signage in the complex.

And, mom? Happy Mother’s Day!

xo, jill

P.S. It has become quite clear to me that a four day window to share these photos was way too short. My new goal is to continue to post everyday until I’ve shared the entirety of the trip.

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