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Archive for April, 2016

If you live in this planet, you probably have already heard about Game of Thrones! The HBO original series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series is one of the most acclaimed TV shows all around the world.

The series has been nominated for many awards including 4 Golden Globes, 7 Writers Guild of America awards, 18 Saturn Awards, and a Peabody Award. It has received 86 Emmy Award nominations, including five consecutive Outstanding Drama Series nominations, with 26 wins. Game of Thrones received many nominations, with awards recognizing various aspects of the series such as directing, writing, cast, visual effects, or overall quality.

Scotland, Northern Ireland, Croatia, Iceland and Greece are some of the countries used as locations for some seasons of the tv show. But for the most recent ones (5th and the brand new 6th seasons) Spain was chosen to host the production of this amazing adventure and convert some historical places of the country on the movie set for the known world.

To start following the steps of this adventure, a visit to El Alcázar de Sevilla, is a good point. The location was used for the scenes on the Water Gardens, Dorne.

Nowhere in the world could have represented the Water Gardens of the Kingdom of Dorne as the wonderful Alcázar de Sevilla. This palace is converted through the magic of television in the palatial private residence of Martell, the Dornishmen rulers in the capital of his domains, Sunspear. And when you consider the heat that hits the Andalusian capital, name comes the trick. To Game of Thrones, scenes have been shot in lush gardens, among fountains and also inside rooms that are breath-taking world heritage.

Doran Martell and the arena snakes can be seen on the series at the same space where, for five centuries ago, walked the catholic monarchs and, long before them, the caliphs who built it! The baths of Doña Maria de Padilla, La Gruta de las Sultanas, El Laberinto, the fountains… all is shown on the small screen, so open your eyes and don’t miss anything!

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The fictitious map

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Where it’s really located

Still in Andalusia, the city of Osuna hosts another location of the series: the Plaza de Toros de Osuna, which is the fictional Meereen arena.

The bullring (plaza de toros) in Osuna is one of the stars of the fifth season of Game of Thrones. One of the emblems of the Sevillian town becomes the Meereen arena for the crowded scene ever recorded in this series (and the most expensive in the history of television), with the presence of Daenerys and Tyrion, in addition to so many extras…

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Besides the bullring, a must-stop place for Game of Thrones fans in Osuna is Casa Curro, the first restaurant in town that offers a thematic menu dedicated to the series with breakfast as the Stark or Targaryen.

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The fictitious map

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Where it’s really located

The next spot is the Puente Romano de Córdoba, or if you prefer, the Long bridge of Volantis!

The magnificent roman bridge in Córdoba becomes by the grace of Game of Thrones in Volantis long bridge, which crosses the Rhoyne River (or – in real life – Guadalquivir river).

The images were shot at this Córdoba monument with several cameras and a drone! Some special effects make it look even longer.

Córdoba roman bridge was built by the imperial troops in the first century BC to replace a wooden one that was in place. After the Islamic reconstruction, it has 16 arches, one less than it originally had, a length of 247m and a width of 9m. Spectacular as few!

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The fictitious map

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Where it’s really located

Series sixth season, that started last Sunday, April 24th, comes with Spanish locations taking a prominent role, with Bardenas Reales in Navarre, Almeria, Girona and Peñíscola all gearing up for debut appearances.

Check our next post for more details on those new locations!

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Honeymoon in Spain!

After the so expected day arrives, and you both say “I do”, it’s time to take your passports and start enjoying the honeymoon! This special occasion will be remembered forever, and Spain has plenty of options to offer the most unforgettable trip of them all! See below some suggestions to all kind of tastes and interests.

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Classic sites

If the goal is take this opportunity to know a new country and visit its most important and well known cities, you can’t miss Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla! Besides the cultural, historic and beautiful points of interest, all those big cities have a great hotel and spa offer, with special amenities and all the details thought specially for the recent-married couple!

In Madrid, the capital, you can visit Puerta del Sol, the Prado Museum, the Royal Palace, Puerta de Alcalá, take a walk or ride a rowboat in the Retiro Park, taste all the flavours of Spanish cuisine and enjoy all the Madrid night, its flamenco shows, pubs, restaurants and roof tops!

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In Barcelona, you can go to the Gothic Cathedral, the Olympic Barcelona, the Montjuïc Hill, Passeig de Gràcia, where Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Batlló and Casa Milà are located and, of course, the Sagrada Família, Gaudi’s greatest work and undoubtedly Barcelona’s most identifiable monument! Barcelona is also a beach city, so chilling out watching the sea is a great possibility as well!

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In Sevilla, the highlights are the Roman Bridge, the Jewish Quarter, the Synagogue and the Mosque (famous monument in the Islamic west, built on an ancient mosque and the materials of the Christian basilica of San Vicente). And you can also visit Córdoba or Granada from there! Andalucia is the home of flamenco, so a flamenco show can’t also be missed here!

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Besides that classic sightseeing, there’s also always special activities that can be add on the trip, like visiting wineries and tasting some local wines, going to the nearby cities and diving on more stunning landscapes and history!

Small cities and villages

If the couple, on other hand, is looking for some less crowed places, some small cities nearby the biggest ones can be a good choice!

The villages (you can read our previous posts about them here – part 1 and here – part 2) are charming places with small streets and alleys, balconies with flowers, mountain landscapes…but of course, comfy accommodation for honeymooners!

Not so “hidden” like the villages, but also small cities to have a different experience than going to the classic destination, places like Toledo, Montserrat or the romantic Oviedo can be considered.

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Total relax

Finally, if you both want only to relax, be in a nice resort or charm hotel, Spain is also the destination for you!

Enjoy the beach at Valencia, Málaga, Ibiza and San Sebastián! Beach during the day, good restaurants by night, spas, massages, scuba diving…a dream coming truth!

In Valencia you can visit Plaza de la Reina, see the Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias, the Fallas museum, Plaza de Toros, la Marina Real, and of course relax in one of the beaches, like La Malvarrosa!

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In Málaga, explore the birthplace of Picasso, its pretty streets, leafy boulevards and lush gardens. Don’t miss the Picasso museum! The Costa del Sol beaches are spectacular, like for instance, the Playa de la Malagueta!

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In Ibiza, all the island breaths relax and fun! Discover the most picturesque places of the island, a mixture of exquisite beaches and historical architecture, of old traditions and of course, the famous night life!

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San Sebastián, also known as Donostia located in the Basque country, is one of the most attractive cities on the Cantabrian coast. The museum of San Telmo, the Peine de los Vientos (the wind comb) and the Kursaal are examples of how the city brings together modern and traditional features.

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No matter the kind of travel you are looking for your honeymoon! Spain has everything and more to became the place of those memorial moments!

 

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Casares

Located on a hilltop between the Ronda mountains, the Costa del Sol and Gibraltar, Casares is one of the most beautiful villages in the province of Málaga, a fact which leads to the status of being a Historic-Artistic Site in 1978. The origins of Casares date back to Roman times, when Julius Caesar ordered its construction as a show of gratitude for having been healed by the waters of the Baths of La Hedionda. However, the current town dates from the time of the Arabs. Outstanding among its historic sights are the ruins of an Arab castle, the church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, from the 17th century; the convent of Santa Catalina, from the 16th century; the caves of Ballesteros, the caves of Hedionda and the Sima de los Huesos (abyss of bones).

Casares is a pleasant white village to stroll around. Visit Blas Infante birthplace, Iglesia de San Sebastian, near the square or climb up via Puerta Calle Arrabal, to the Castle, a ruined church, Iglesia de la Encarnación, now Centro Cultural Blas Infante and the old cemetery. There are also number of signed walks just outside the village. Further afield there are beautiful and well-kept beaches such as the Playa de la Sal. There are also golf courses in Casares and neighboring towns.

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Cadaqués

Situated right on the Cap de Creus peninsula, Cadaqués is one of the most symbolic places on the gironese Costa Brava. Its rocky coast, fringed by beautiful beaches and quiet coves, forms one of its main attractions, together with the incredible landscape offered by the Cap de Creus natural park. At the head of Cadaqués bay you can enjoy its historic quarter, with a Mediterranean air and deep seaside flavour. The source of inspiration for internationally famous painters and artists for decades, today this centre enjoys an intense cultural life, as witnessed by its many museums and art galleries, among which the Salvador Dali house-museum is outstanding.

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Setenil de las bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas is a town (pueblo) in the province of Cádiz, Spain, famous for its dwellings built into rock overhangs above the Rio Trejo. It has a distinctive setting along a narrow river gorge. The town extends along the course of the Rio Trejo with some houses being built into the rock walls of the gorge itself, created by enlarging natural caves or overhangs and adding an external wall.

Modern Setenil evolved from a fortified Moorish town that occupied a bluff overlooking a sharp bend in the Rio Trejo northwest of Ronda. The castle dates from at least the Almohad period in the 12th century. However, the site was certainly occupied during the Roman invasion of the region in the 1st century AD.

The full name of Setenil de las Bodegas dates from the 15th century, when new Christian settlers, in addition to maintaining the Arab olive and almond groves, introduced vineyards. The first two crops still flourish in the district but the once flourishing wineries—bodegas— were wiped out by the phylloxera insect infestation of the 1860s, which effectively destroyed most European vine stocks.

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Olvera

At the tip of the “White towns route“, the city of Olvera is located in the province of Cadiz, in the northwest of the Serranía Gaditana area, also near the borders of the provinces of Seville and Malaga.

The hills surrounding Olvera are full of olive groves that are said to provide the best extraction of olive oils in Andalusia. In recent years it has received the award of the “Denominación de Origen de la Sierra de Cádiz”, which is a standard that is recognised by participants including nearby towns of Setenil, Algonodales, Alcalá del Valle, Torre Al-Haquime etc.

Of great interest within the municipality is a large colony of Andalusian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) to be found within the natural reserve of the “Peñon de Zaframagón”, a huge rock outcrop that is located 14km to the northwest of the town centre.

The main monument of this city is itself. A phrase that exemplifies this reality is “OLVERA is a street, a church and a castle, BUT what a street, what a church and what a castle!”, for that reason Olvera was declared “A Protected Area of Artistic and Historical Importance” in 1983.

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