Andalucia – Alhambra

We were a little sad the day we left for Alhambra – Immi and Bertil were returning home after spending 2 months in the area.  Our last 3 days in Andalucia would seem a little “empty” without them!

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The only tour tickets we could find that fit our schedule, were at 4.30pm.  So we arrived in Granada (an hour’s drive away) in time for some tapas….

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….and were serenaded with some flamenco music!   Then we climbed up further, where

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we could get a magnificent view of the “Red Fortress”, resplendent with snow covered mountains in the background!

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We were really taken with Granada and regretted not studying it more before planning our trip.  So, if we are ever back in that area, we will definitely plan on staying there a few days.

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Unlike Córdoba, where we arrived early and missed a lot of the crowds, at 4.30pm there was no way we could miss them!  I won’t go into the history of the fortress, as you can read as much as you like via the above link.  However, I will mention that Napoleon gave orders for it to be destroyed (if he couldn’t own it, he didn’t want anyone else to!). We can thank the saboteur who refused to follow through with those orders for the privilege to be able to tour such a magnificent piece of history!

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From atop those towers, one had a magnificent view of the Old City of Granada.

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I loved the “layered” glimpses; an arch framing another arch, framing a magnificent wall with windows and tile-framed doors.

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It was always a challenge to be able to get a photo without people in the way.  But I didn’t mind getting this gentleman in the photo – being framed by such magnificence!

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It was a gorgeous day, with hardly a cloud in the sky.  Only a certain number of people are allowed to come through during a certain period.  If you are late for your allotted time slot – too bad!

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I would have wanted to sit a while – and absorb the intricate sculpture of the ceilings, but we had to move on so as to finish within the set time.

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Most of this fine, embroidered decoration has first been set in a reverse-like tile mold and then used to decorate the walls and ceilings. A laborious task!

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I was so looking forward to seeing this area, Patio de los Leones.  Unfortunately part of it was undergoing some renovation.  So I had to get what I could – between all the people (who were probably wishing that I would get out of the way, too)!

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Oh! There is that handsome man again! Perhaps he is stalking me?

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We then climbed higher to take in the magnificent gardens.

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The sun was low in the sky and so the light for this part of the tour was perfect!

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DSC_5549In the Muslim culture, the presence of water is very important and significant as the source of life.  Of course it is also needed for cleansing. However, it is always “silent”.  The gentle sound of trickling water came later with the Christian influence.

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The timing was perfect.  I had also made reservations to see a Flamenco show, so we had time to get something to eat.

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Just in case someone is interested, there is a hotel on the premises.  One can get a room for just 400€ a night.  I believe that with that one can tour the “premises” for free!

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We found a restaurant with this terrific view.  What the food lacked, the view made up for!

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We then got a taxis (although it wasn’t far away, we didn’t want to navigate the narrow back lanes at night ).

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I had researched the internet for a good Flamenco show and this one was highly rated. Plus, it was in a cave!  Sounded interesting.  And we were not disappointed.

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We really didn’t know what to expect; would we get bored after 5 minutes?  Would the performers engage us?  We need not have been concerned. The energy was palpable and the performers put their souls into the performance.  Here are just a few shots……

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Here you can see what a “work-out” it was for her.  But one didn’t get the feeling that she was just resting from the physical exertion; she had just given her heart and soul to the performance!

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Flamenco dancers are not only female.  This young man was phenomenal.


Our time in Southern Spain had come to an end.  Madrid. Valencia. Frigiliana.  They were just small glimpses of a country I wish we had visited decades ago!  God willing, we’ll be back!

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And so on our last day, we decided to return to where we had begun our time in this area.

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It was kind of a crazy day; it looked stormy to the southwest, but in fact it turned out beautiful!

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We enjoyed another delicious lunch and lingered over coffee


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So we found ourselves again in the wonderfully modern Madrid airport .

♦—♦…♦—♦

And we were on our way to see the grand-kids.  Yippee!

2 comments

  • Hilary,

    I am enjoying your posts immensely! I was even talking to my mom about them the other day. Especially these ones of Spain, that is on the top of my list for Europe for places I want to still go. I saw a travel show that featured the exact cave pub that you photographed in Granada also, fabulous. Your photography is great too! Keep it coming!!! Miss u!

    Belinda L. Read

    4504 Gila Bend Lane

    Fort Worth, TX 76137

    Belinda.read@charter.net

    Like

    • Thanks Belinda. I appreciate the encouragement. How interesting that you saw the same cave featured! I loved that performance. Hard to put into words. Spain took us by surprise and we would love to see Barcelona and the northern areas. So many places to see in the world, and so little time! Take care!

      Like

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