Senses Soar in Spain
What an exciting two-week adventure I had in Spain. All of my senses where captivated by this stunning country; seeing La Sagrada Familia, hearing the stamping and clapping of performers during a live flamenco show, feeling the sand between my toes on the white beach of San Sebastian, tasting my favourite desert (churros) where they born and smelling the oranges and all the delicious byproducts that are made from them in Seville, yep Spain really provides an immersive holiday for all 5 senses…
I was lucky enough to visit Spain on a coach tour – which meant that I got to see all the amazing attractions Spain had to offer, without having to stress about tickets, lines, and availability of accommodation– everything was already organsied for me. I also had some free time to roam around some stunning scenery. I visited Spain mid July – the weather was beautiful. Yellow shining sun and sparkling blue sky. The first city on our itinerary was bustling Barcelona. I couldn’t believe I was walking through Las Ramblas, getting lost in the Gothic Quarter and craning my neck to capture all of the incredible beauty that is La Sagrada Familia. Antoni Gaudi was an architectural genius and some of his other works can be viewed around the city. There are many metropolitan buildings around the city of Barcelona, some have their entry ways covered in tiles, shapes and wonderful colours – the Gaudi twist.
Whilst I was in Barcelona our tour group was treated to a live flamenco show. This evening was phenomenal. Dinner and drinks were included along with a fantastic live performance. I had read a bit about flamenco before and was extremely excited to see it in real life. There were 3 different performances which showed the various emotions a dancer can express when dancing the flamenco. Each dance told a story of passion, love, or heartbreak. The swishing of the dancer’s skirts, the upbeat rhythm of the musicians and the stamping of the dancers, musicians and audience with their hands and feet was a thrilling experience that stunned and captivated our entire group. We went wild with applause after the show and were so amazed that a human being could dance that quick and passionately!
After a bewildering performance of flamenco in Barcelona it was time for our group to take things down a notch and relax in the stunning town of San Sebastian. Delicious eateries, bright bars, and colourful shops are all backed by crystal clear beach, and rugged mountains just waiting to be explored. My only regret of San Sebastian is that I wasn’t here long enough! There is so much to enjoy here, I could have stayed for a week. I was only in San Sebastian for an afternoon, so I grabbed some friends and set out to explore what this gorgeous city had to offer. Mount Urgull was first on the list, and off we went. I was dressed ready to soak up the sun and sand, but I wanted to earn my sunbake, so I hiked up Mount Urgull in sandals, bathers and sun dress. The view from the top of this green forest mountain is remarkable – it offers a breath-taking panorama view of Stunning San Sebastian. The area surrounding Mount Urgull is gorgeous too as it is dotted with ruins of an old church and fort. After working up a sweat in Spain’s summer it was high time to visit one of the main attractions of San Sebastian – the beach! Such white sand and clear water. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking along the beach, dipping my feet into the refreshing water, and letting the sand exfoliate my feet. Reluctantly I made my way back to the bus with one last glance at the beautiful city and one last lungful of fresh sea air.
Onward to Seville we travelled where my taste buds and nostrils were treated! I was so excited to hunt down the famous Spanish dessert and my guilty pleasure – the churro! Luckily, every 4th café in Seville sells them – so I was spoiled for choice. Not only did we smell the churros before we saw them, but we ordered them and slowly savored the delightful fried pastry coupled with hot chocolate sauce. I was in heaven as this one of the main things I was excited about when it came to visiting Spain – sampling my favourite dessert in the place they were first created – one could say I now have a degree in Churrology (a term coined by our trip manager)
Last of my senses but certainly not least – smell. What better way to awaken that sense than by browsing through beauty shops in search of that perfect souvenir. It was a request from my mum – “something orange from Seville” so I set out on a mission to find some hand cream and or lip balm infused with the citrus fruit. I wandered into a shop that sold all sorts of souviners, and right up the back there was a section filled with orange everything! Bath salts, candles, air freshener – I didn’t know where to start and was happily taking my time as the smell of all of those orange products was absolute bliss. The shopkeeper was very helpful and let me try some hand cream (rather she grabbed my hands and smothered them in cream for me) and I left her store with an armful of goodies and the best smelling hands in Seville.
Every time I think of Spain I always feel a smile creeping onto my face, I can still see Gaudi’s wonderous structure, I can still hear the clapping and stamping of those astonishing flamenco performers, can still feel the sand and salty water on my feet in San Sebastian, still taste the crispy, chocolatey churro, and of course can still smell the sweet freshness that is the Seville orange hand cream. Spain really does engage all 5 senses in many ways and I highly suggest you do your senses a favor and give them a holiday they will always remember.
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