Real Alcázar of Seville : Spain’s Piece of Westeros
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Real Alcázar of Seville : Spain’s Piece of Westeros

June 20, 2018. We’ve been in Seville, Spain for just over two days now. I’ve developed a gnarly infection on my big toe, rendering it the shade of a plum. I’ve also got athlete’s foot and have been fiddling with it, and now I’m pretty sure I have athletes foot on my hand.

Also, no one told me Seville is hot. Like really hot. The heat index is somewhere between “Oh my god” and “What the fuck.” It’s like opening the front door and walking into a mouth. Back home, we have high noon and it begins to cool down later in the day, when outdoor activity becomes manageable once again. Logically, it made sense to sleep in, avoid midday , and try to do our sightseeing in the early evening to avoid sweltering heat. Well, this city doesn’t have high noon, it has high 4. Someone set Seville’s thermostat to HELL because it was 99 degrees out at 4:30pm.

I always understood the theory of the Spanish “siesta,” the dead period in the late afternoon where entire cities turn into ghost towns because everyone is taking a nap. From my previous visit to Madrid, I was told that siesta was because lunch is the most important meal of the day. It is customary to go home for lunch with the family, which can last two hours or longer and often includes alcohol. I can see why you’d have to nap after that.

But Madrid wasn’t hot like this. I didn’t know the primary reason for siesta was because people seek shelter from the extreme heat. We noticed heavy duty Roman blinds on all the windows of each of the houses, used to block the late afternoon sun.

This all being said, we didn’t get to see as much of the city as we’d originally planned on because this was the first time that the heat actually got to us. The ridiculous heat makes it even harder to be out of shape; I found myself even more exhausted than usual. I asked Leah what she wanted to visit the most, and her answer was the Real Alcázar. We’d wanted to check it out on Monday evening, because most museums in Spain are free on Mondays. Alcázar happened to be free after 6pm. However, we were unaware that we needed a reservation, so we were unable to attend that evening and had to come back the following day.



The Real Alcázar is a UNESCO protected royal palace built by the Arabs during the Moorish invasion of Spain, dating way back to the 10th century. Over time, it has been further developed inside and out by the Spanish kings that occupied it during their reigns in the Middle Ages. It is the most well maintained Muslim building in the region, and is a stunning example of  Moorish architecture. The royal family still use part of the Alcázar as a living quarters, but most of the property is open to visitors.

As soon as you walk in, you’re slapped in the face with Game of Thrones feels. I remember saying,  “Holy shit, I feel like I just stepped into Dorne.” Where’s Oberyn Martell? Where’s Ellaria Sand? I want to sleep with them both at the same time in one of these palace rooms. Make my dreams come true, Seville. I probably felt this way because tonight I found out that the Real Alcázar actually was the Kingdom of Dorne. This Spanish Palace was the shooting place of the most luxurious kingdom in all of Westeros. It was “A place where people enjoyed themselves,” said Frank Doelger, executive producer of Game of Thrones. Due to historical stature, its mind-blowing that the producers were even allowed to film there.


Scenes of Dorne taken from Game of Thrones


Interior scenes of the palace in Dorne


As captivating as it was in GOT, it was even more charming in real life. I’m a people-photographer. Always have been. But this was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever had the opportunity to photograph. Of course, it’s impossible to capture the artistry and detail of the palace in an image, but these are by far the most beautiful architectural photos I’ve ever taken.


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Welcome to the adventures & misadventures of a solo female traveler. Detailed itineraries, fresh discoveries, photo recaps, and all the storytime so you can live vicariously thru my journals as I weasel my way across the world.