The Best Way to Discover Unique Parts of a City is to Get Lost

There is an old saying that to really discover a city, you should let yourself get lost in everything it has to offer. It can definitely be true and we have had a couple of instances where we literally got lost while exploring the city. Needless to say, you still have to be cogniscent of your surroundings and make sure that you don’t put yourself in danger. These days it is a little harder to truly get lost since you can always pull up a map on your smart phone, but knowing where you are on a map doesn’t always mean that you actually know where you are. Getting lost can often lead to little surprises that make for incredible memories.

Eiffel Tower in Autumn
Houses in Neighborhood
The Streets that We Walked in Paris

Walking the Streets of Paris – Not only was this the first time that we managed to get lost while walking the streets of a city, but it was actually our first trip to Europe many years ago and before the days of smart phones. It truly did make for some incredible memories, including finding a rare book store that had a first edition Don Quixote that we actually considered buying, but our common sense took over and kept us from making the purchase. There were little shops selling crepes and all sorts of different stores. We did end up buying a small porcelain statue of a boy and girl on a sled that always reminds of us of our time in Paris. We have been back to Paris since then, but this first trip was truly magical.

Winding Streets Below from the Seville Cathedral
The Driver that Got Lost in Seville
Seville Cathedral in Seville, Spain

Getting Lost in Seville, Spain – We didn’t just get lost once when we visited Seville, but actually got lost a total of three times. The first was just driving into Seville and trying to find our hotel. There were roads closed due to a parade that made it difficult to find with all of the one way streets. The second was when we tried to go back to a shop that we had found earlier in the day, but couldn’t seem to find it again. It did allow us to enjoy all of the narrow streets in the Old Jewish Quarter. It was after finally getting back to the cathedral after being lost that we ate dinner and then decided to take a carriage ride. Little did we know that once again closed streets would cause our driver to get lost and we would end up having a wonderful time just enjoying the moments in the city, although our driver wasn’t particularly happy.

Fountain in Paris
Seville Cathedral

Getting lost in a city doesn’t guarantee you wonderful memories, but you might be surprised by what you see if let yourself get off of the beaten track. We also got lost in Lima, Peru, but as soon as we reached a part of the city where we didn’t feel comfortable, we quickly back tracked to a place that we recognized. Although it takes a leap of faith to do, you might just see some wonderful sights that aren’t talked about in the travel books that you might have read.

Looking Back at Our Trip to the Beautiful City of Granada, Spain

Located at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is a wonderful city located in southern Spain. For obvious reasons, the Alhambra Palace is a definite highlight of a visit to Granada, but there is more to see than just the fortress and palace. The narrow streets, beautiful cathedral, the Royal Chapel, and restaurants and stores make visiting the city worth at least a couple of days in order to see it adequately. The city is very walkable, although many of the narrow streets can be quite steep, so feel free to stop at a local bistro for a quick break to enjoy a glass of Spanish wine.

Walking the Streets of Granada
Views from the Walls of Alhambra
Ornate Dome Inside of the Cathedral
Amazing City Views

With an elevation over 2,400 feet (730 meters) above sea level and with roads that crawl up the sides of the Sierra Nevada mountains, there are wonderful views of the city from several vantage points. Some of the best are from the walls of Alhambra, but there are many from neighborhoods as well. Even though the panoramic views are amazing, the best views can be found by walking the side streets and discovering some of the many restaurants and shops that the city has to offer. One of our favorite streets wrapped itself along the sides of Alhambra and provided a different view of the fortress.

Enjoying a Glass of Wine at a Bistro
Walking Some Steep Stairs in the City
Looking Up at Alhambra from the Street Below
Spectacular Views from Alhambra

When planning a trip to Granada, or southern Spain in general, one should be prepared to be on a relaxing schedule. No one is in a hurry and even though the temperatures can be more mild than other parts of the region, people still go out for walks late into the evening. Granada is located about an hour’s drive from the coast and an hour and a half from the city of Malaga. It was closer to a four and a half hour drive from where we stayed in Estepona. It was certainly worth taking the time to get there. If you intend to go to Alhambra, as you definitely should, be sure to buy your tickets well in advance as they do sell out up to six to eight weeks ahead of time.

View of the Neighborhood that We Walked
Entrance to the Royal Chapel
Sitting at a Street Side Café
Walking a Narrow Street Near the Alhambra Complex

We really enjoyed our time in Granada and it was one of our favorite memories of the region. We also spent time in Seville as well as Ronda, but seeing Alhambra in Granada is a memory of a lifetime. We spent several days in Granada, making our time there very relaxing and enjoying many different restaurants with wonderful food.

We Even Found an Irish Pub
Our Hotel
Fountain in Alhambra
Cathedral Exterior

Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza in Seville

The Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza is a very large bullfighting ring in Seville, Spain. Seating 12,000 spectators, it is one of the oldest and most famous bullfighting rings in Spain as well as in the world. Construction began on the stadium in 1749 and the highlight of the bullring is the “prince’s box”, which has ornate arches and columns and was exclusively reserved for the Spanish Royal Family. It is still an active bullfighting ring that has bullfights from March/April until September. Certainly there are passionate feelings about bullfighting, its cruelty as well as its cultural significance. The history and architectural design of the bullring make it worthwhile to visit regardless of your opinion of bullfighting.

The Prince’s Box for the Royal Family
Inside of the Bullfighting Ring
Painting of a Famous Matador
Walking Inside of the Bullring

We were in Spain in November, so we did not have an opportunity to go to an actual bullfight, but the bullring offers daily tours that allow you to see the inside of the ring as well as visit the bullfighting museum. The museum is very interesting as it contains paintings of bullfighting, famous matadors or bullfighters, as well as matador costumes, and even the heads of a couple of very special bulls that fought in bullfights. The bullfighting ring is actually one of the most visited attractions in the city of Seville. If you decide to take the tour, you should plan on about an hour at the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza.

Inside of the Museum
Spectator Entrance Below the Royal Box
Plaque Inside of the Ring
Painting Depicting a Bullfight
Colorful Arches