Granada, situated in the south of Spain, was one the last Moorish kingdom in Spain and happens to be where my last visit has been. After more than 6 hours on a bus, I was more than delighted to find that our school had put us up in a hotel that was not only located in the oldest and most historic section of the city (the old Arabic neighborhood), but it was also a palace once, built approximately 11 years after Columbus discovered the Americas. On top of that some of my friends decided to 'coincidentally' travel to Granada at the same time and we were able to run around the city together.
Granada is famous for 2 major things (there are probably more, but they seem to fall short in comparison to the awesomeness of these two things). 1st is the mighty Alhambra, an incredible fortress/palace/town/gardens/convent built by the old Moorish kings to repel any attacks by the Catholic Kings of Spain. The entire palace was incredible and insanely intricate and decorated. Sadly the most famous patio was lacking it's giant fountain with 12 lion statues, as they were being restored... 2nd is that with any drink you buy at the bars in Granada, you are given free of charge a rather hefty plate of tapas (small appetizer-esque foods). In essence if you go to get some beers, you also get a dinner included.
Granada was all in all an incredible place, and just being in Andalusia got me very excited for my next semester in Seville!
Anyway tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I hope you all have/had a great one with lots of delicious foods! I know I'm sorry I'll be missing the fantastic food my Aunty Sandy always makes!
A market in Granada, in narrow Arabic style streets.
The church in Granada. It just so happens as my companions and I were inside taking pictures, a large crowd of well dressed people entered and a wedding began. I quickly tried to flee but my friends decided to stay and watch a few minutes before we slipped out.
Some Christmas sweets common in Granada. The majority were made of almonds and were incredible. These particular sweets were bought from a convent where the nuns could not show themselves. What we had to do was ring a bell, talk through a window/door contraption with a wheel in the middle that had dividers to prevent any possibility of seeing each the other side. They put the sweets on the wheel and we put the money, and the wheel was spun to exchange. It was all very cool.
Where we ate the sweets. You can see the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background covered in snow.
One of the patios in the palace of the Alhambra. A common thing in the architecture is to put some form of water in the middle and force the person to walk around instead of directly. It was to force people to think during the extra time to get around instead of just act.
An example of how highly decorated the walls were... sooo incredible.
A unique style palace started by Carlos V inside the actual Alhambra fortress, due to a revolt by the workers/taxpayers it was not actually completed for many centuries.
The original burial site of Queen Isabel, the Catholic queen of Spain, who curiously was buried inside the Alhambra, the last kingdom of her enemy.
A view of the Alhambra with Granada in the background.
A breathtaking garden in the Alhambra, this was in the Generalife section if you ever get to visit.
Another angle of the same garden.