Where would a girl with a sun tattoo vacation during winter? A city known to be the hottest place in Europe. Seville is a city in the Andalusian region of Spain. Known for its warm sunny weather, it was the perfect place for a break from the extreme cold of Paris. While I spent most of the day time partaking in siestas, sightseeing, and devouring paella, las noches en Sevilla were spent watching flamenco and having tapas.
Seville is a city full of treasures, from the beautiful Alcazar to the breathtaking Plaza de Espana and Catedral de Sevilla, there is so much to see and do. But, the highlight of my adventures in Andalusia was exploring Alhambra in the city of Granada. I decided to make the trek to Alhambra which is situated on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains because I happen to love Moorish art and have a fascination for a certain medieval queen. Alhambra is one of the best surviving examples of Moorish architecture and it dates back to the 9th century when the region was under Muslim rule. The walls are heavily detailed with the most beautiful carvings of arabesque patterns. And after the Catholic King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella overthrew the Islamic rule and completed the Reconquista, it became the royal court of this new family in power. This palace happens to be where Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, and first wife of Henry the VIII of England grew up.
As I walk through the corridors gazing at the details on the walls and ceilings, I can imagine how Catherine pranced around the palace and played in the alabaster fountains as a girl. What I can’t imagine is the sadness she must have felt when she left this beautiful palace in sunny Andalusia that is surrounded by fruit trees, a majestic mountain range, and the cerulean Mediterranean Sea to spend the rest of her days in gloomy medieval England under the tyranny of Henry VIII and separation from her daughter in the dilapidated Kimbolton Castle. Even though she was banished from the English court, this Spanish queen won the admiration and loyalty of the English people.