Mi Querida Andalucía
Sometimes, I swear I lived another lifetime in Andalucía. Nowhere else in the world do I experience such a profound sense of tranquility and an immense love for my surroundings. Today is El Día de Andalucía, Andalucía Day, so I write to share my adoration for Spain’s southern region.
The love affair began in the summer of 2006, when I got to call the spectacular city of Granada home for a month. A month may not be a long time, but Al-Andalus had me falling head over heels in love, especially after taking weekend trips to Nerja, Frigiliana, Sevilla, and Córdoba. One month there, and I was ruined for life — never again would I be able to leave Spain behind.
When I made my much-anticipated return to Spain in 2009 to study abroad as a college student, I chose Madrid over Andalucía because of its size and the study abroad program offered, but I was sure to return south when possible, taking five Andalucían trips during my school-year in Spain. With each, I fell deeper in love with the region, and I also noticed each time a distinct sensation of feeling like I was going home, to a place where I belonged. Attribute it to the laid-back lifestyle, my first trip to Spain, the California-like climate, the friendly people, the multitude of amazing things to do there, or, perhaps, a past life as an Andalú, but there was just always something about that place. I vowed to myself then that I would somehow find a way to live in Andalucía again.
Looking to get to Frigiliana and the Nerja region? Read about getting to Nerja with Nerja Taxis.
So, when I made the decision to return to Spain last year to teach English, Andalucía was far and away my top choice for placement, to the extent that I doubted whether I would go to Spain at all if I were placed elsewhere. But Andalucía it was, and, as I anxiously awaited my city placement, I secretly prayed for Sevilla, and my prayers were answered. I spent last year fulfilling my dream, learning and experiencing Andalucían culture and traditions, and, of course, falling even deeper in love. The festivals, the accent, the architecture, the landscapes, the food, the music, the people, the lifestyle…everything.
Although this year I decided to return to bigger Madrid, Andalucía is still as near and dear to my heart as anything could possibly be. The two times I’ve returned to Sevilla so far this year, I can’t even begin to describe how in awe with the place and how at peace with everything I felt.
There really is no place in the world like Andalucía.
Sevilla para nacer. Granada para morir. Málaga de mis amores, cómo me acuerdo de ti. Cádiz es un blanco pañuelo y un suspiro en la bahía. Huelva es fandango y bandera de Aracena a Punta Umbria. Córdoba es mora y cristiana, pueste de San Rafael. Almería y sus parrales. Olivares de Jaén. Quién reniegan de sus tierras deberían de ser castigados. Mi orgullo es ser andaluz, por todos los cuatro costados. El amor de mis amores. El amor de mis amores, lo que mas quiero en la vida y ésta es mi tierra señores y se llama Andalucía.
– Federico García Lorca
Pro tip: Ronda can be easily reached via airport transfers from Malaga.
So feliz día, el amor de mis amores. I may not actually hail from el sur, but my heart certainly does.