12 September 2011

Granada, Spain: The Alhambra and Associated Beauty

Today I explored the renowned city of Granada.  A bastion of Islam in Spain until January 2, 1492, it retains much of the Moorish architectural influence, and its imposing fortress of the Alhambra is unparalleled.  The view above is of the northern half of Granada from the Alhambra.

The Alhambra, part fortress, part palace, and part garden, is fascinating--not only the architecture, but also the atmosphere of the place.  It is said that the Alhambra is 'the best expression of homesickness outside of northern Africa', and it was here that inspired Washington Irving's Tales of Alhambra.  One of the few compounds left nearly completely intact after the Christians conquered, it really makes you feel like you are back in Islamic Spain (if only the tourists would blow away!).

The gardens at Alhambra.  Extensive, fountain-full, and a riot of flowers, the hours we spent in them were not nearly long enough.

From the top of one of the towers, with the Alhambra in the background.

One of the great things about Granada is the fact that when you order a drink, you get free tapas!  The more drinks you order, the better the quality of your tapas.  Today for lunch, I made it to the prawns and caviar tapas (only three drinks, really), and I got to try caviar!

After that delicious late lunch, it was, of course, time for gelato.  I hung out all day with the girls above, Anna and Kassie from Australia, who were staying in my hostel as well.  Since they happened to be traveling to Valencia tonight as well, we are going to have an all-night party on the bus...fun times!
One more shot: just before getting on the bus, we hiked up to the Mirador de San Nicolas, which offers an excellent view of the Alhambra by night.  Stunning!

1 comment:

linda feldt said...

Love how the word Alhambra rolls off the tongue. Looks like a place I would like to see. If you are still with the Aussie girls tell them mum says hi. Did you like caviar??? Miss you love & prayers mom