Nostalgia in Seville & Cordoba, january 2019.

“What brought you to Seville?”, i was asked.

Every year during winter, i try to escape the cold weather and visit warmer places in Europe. The most beautiful thing about living in Europe is that you can easily travel to another city, exploring and enjoying a totally different environment. I feel incredibly thankful and privileged for that.

 

Cordoue
Cordoba

Last year, i was hesitating between south of Spain (i wanted to explore Seville, Cordoba , Cadix) and Lisbon, but i chose the latter. So this year, i knew i’d choose Seville.

My favorite thing to do while traveling is to look around, listen to people, and capture moments and faces. I got to encounter very nice persons (well except for that rude bus driver on my way to Plaza de España but that doesn’t count right?), and have little conversations in English and, sometimes even in my broken Spanish.

Churros kiosks
I think the line tells you how good the churros are…

Like that lady i met that Sunday morning at a churros place (Kiosco de calentitos Macarena) right in front of the church called Basilica de la Macarena. She eats her grande churros (the largest ones) every Sunday morning before going to the mass.

Before leaving, she smiled at me and said “Encantada” and something else in Spanish but i couldn’t really understand so i said “Muchas gracias”🌞

I told him i liked his style and vibes and asked him to take a portrait of him. He then posed naturally 🌞

There’s something very striking and touching here when you speak to old people, they all say “que guapa”, something you’d never hear in Belgium 🙂

I do believe that

every single person we meet in our life teaches us something about ourselves, even complete strangers.

That trip taught me how important it is to slow down, not to take life too seriously, to stop overthinking, to be present in the moment and enjoy my own presence, to be open to new experiences that’d allow me to grow and know myself better.

I like to keep a travel diary where i write down all the places i went to, the strangers i talked to, the scenes i witnessed, the feelings, thoughts and wishes i have, the things I’m grateful for.

Real Alcazar

If you’re a nostalgic person, a dreamer, a lover of Andalusian poetry and history, Seville is the place to be. At that time of the year, the weather is nice, not the warmest here, but at least enough to get over the depressing grey weather Brussels has to offer…

Macarena, Seville

Seville is a city of contrasts, light, nostalgia, and can we talk about that yellow with all those orange trees gracing its streets and painted walls?

img_0278

I’ve always been fascinated by al Andalus as when i was a kid, my father would tell us all those stories about the origins of our family name (الغربي) literally meaning “from the West”, referring to what we call al Andalus, south of Spain under the ruling and influence of Arabs. Since then, I’ve always loved everything related to the region: al-tarab al-andalusi (Moroccan Andalusian traditional music), architecture,…

Tiles-zelije, from Real Alcazar

As i wanted to slow things down, I didn’t set any particular program, I had a few places in mind I wanted to visit. That trip has been very relaxing and quiet. I stayed in a neighborhood called Macarena, only 15min from the center of the city. It was perfect.

I visited:

•la plaza mayor, aka the mushroom (Las Setas)

•la plaza de España, where i watched flamenco dancers, lovers, all kind of tourists wandering in one of the most beautiful places of Seville.

•Real Alcazar: the lover of tiles, history, light i am can say it was my favorite place to visit in Seville. So impressive…

The Giralda, ancient mosque transformed into a church, one of the biggest churches in Europe, is very close.

In Cordoba, i only spent the day (it’s 2h drive from Seville), i wanted to visit the mezquita cathedral.

There’s something in the streets of Cordoba that reminded me a bit of Asilah, a coastal town in Morocco very dear to my heart.

Nostalgia when you hold us…

The only things which remain of Cordoba

are the tears of the crying minarets

the scent of roses, bitter oranges and dahlias

About Walada and the tales about her love, not a rhyme remains not even the parts of a rhyme…

(…)yet still we carry within us our little bitterness as before

– Nizar Qabbani, in Sorrows in Al-Andalous

Where is Cordoba, the home of the sciences, and many a scholar whose rank was once lofty in it?

Where is Seville and the pleasures it contains, as well as its sweet river overflowing and brimming full?

[They are] capitals which were the pillars of the land, yet when the pillars are gone, it may no longer endure!

– Abu al Baqa al Rundi

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