After visiting good old Ferdy and Izzy’s tombs, we went to the Alhambra, one of the most popular sites in all of Spain. And let me say, it was more than I had imagined and indescribably beautiful. Also known as the “Red Castle,” La Alhmabra was a Moorish fortress and palace. We walked around for hours with our mouths hanging open, gazing at the intricacy and beauty of the massive building. Like I said, indescribable, so I’ll let my pictures do the talking (I completely maxed out my camera’s 4GB memory card in Granada):
BTW: The Spaniards LOVE Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón), and Spain claims him as one of its own (despite the fact that he specifically requested not to be buried under Spanish soil). Time after time I was given the impression that Spain takes great pride in their role of the discovery of the American continent, since it was the Spanish who funded and manned his voyage, and Columbus set sail from Spain. He planted the Spanish flag and claimed all new territories in the name of Isabel & Ferdinand. That also explains why he called the land “Hispaniola” when he first landed in the Dominican Republic. The word is similar to the Roman origins of the word España (came from the Latin “Hispania”).
One of my favorite fun facts I learned while I was there was that Ferdinand was the warrior, but Isabel was the brains of the outfit. That’s why, on their tomb, her pillows look like they are sunken more than his are. It’s a sign that her head is “heavier” because of her intelligence. Hee-hee!
What can I say about you? You’re beautiful, charming, seductive, romantic. You inspire art, creativity, music. No wonder many famous writers and artists throughout history have come to spend some time with you.
Granada is beautiful by day, but absolutely captivating by night. After the Flamenco performance by the Spanish Gypsies we all made a trek back down the mountain. But we went down a different way than the path we’d used to climb, and our group leader took us to a small plaza that had this spectacular view of the Alhambra and Granada. When I first caught a glimpse of the sight, my breath caught in my throat. I walked to the low wall surrounding the plaza, as did my companions, and we all just sat there, quietly gazing at the scene that had been presented to us. I immediately whipped out my iPhone and started snapping pictures, trying to capture the moment, but they don’t do it justice.
The air was cold. My breaths were visible as little cloud puffs. The Alhambra was glowing, and the city was a blanket of twinkling lights much like the stars high above. The night was very clear, and I was able to see Orion and other constellations. It was serene and beautiful, and as my friend described it, “romantic in every sense of the word.”
I then claimed that if a hobo were to propose to me at that very moment I would have no choice but to say, “YES!” Laughs were shared. We eventually, reluctantly, had to leave, but those few minutes when we sat on a wall drinking in the beauty of Granada has been embedded into my memory as one of the greatest moments of my time in Spain so far.
*Journal Entry: Feb. 19, 2012*
GRANADA: DAY 1
I went on a trip with my program this past Friday & Saturday to Granada! It was about a 3-hour bus ride there, and the scenery and landscapes that I saw as we drove were beautiful. Forget strawberries! Olive fields forever. As we neared Granada there were more and more mountains, and then we started catching glimpses of snow-capped ones as well. Granada started out as a fortress, so that’s why it was built at a high altitude (like Toledo and Gibraltar).