The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Alhambra

I got to Granada at 5:00 p.m. and found the apartment we had rented without a great deal of difficulty. The apartment owner's mother was there patiently waiting for me, and she gave me a couple of keys so that we can get back in. Now, it was just a matter of time until Renaud and Jessica got here from Madrid.

As it turned out, there were no trains or buses running from Madrid to Granada. They finally had to rent a car, And they didn't get to town until about 10:00 at night. It was far later than they had anticipated. They called me on the cell phone, and we eventually got them sorted out so that they finally arrived. All was well.

The next day we had hoped to visit the Alhambra, up on the hill and across the valley from our apartment.

Unfortunately, we got a late start and, once again, their GPS led us astray. Not knowing the lay of the land here in Granada, we missed out on going to the Alhambra. that day. Instead we explored Granada, getting to understand this beautiful city a little better.

King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, those two who financed Columbus' trip to the New World, lived here. There is a statue of Queen Isabella and Columbus right next to the huge, impressive cathedral. They are both buried (entombed) in a church next to the cathedral.

Grenada is a beautiful city to explore. The cathedral is huge, but unfortunately we were not able to go it it. We did explore the shops and alleyways of Granada, finally going up on the hill overlooking the city where I snapped this picture.

The next day we discovered the short walk from our apartment to the Alhambra, a matter of walking down into the valley, following the river to the Plaza Nueva, and then a footpath up to the citadel. The entrances to the Alhambra are filled with all manner of flowers.

And not only flowers, but fountains as well.

Water was very important to the Moors who built this complex.

We took an excellent tour, led by a young lady who knew all about the palaces and the plants. One important thing about the Alhambra, is that the Moors did not believe in painting images. Instead, they decorated with geometric designs.

The Moors built some amazing things there. Here is the courtyard of the Fountain of the Lions.

We had a good time exploring the Alhambra complex with our pretty guide.

The place is certainly a feast for the eyes. I liked the palace of the sultan.

We were there about 4 hours, and we were pretty hungry by the time we got done. We walked down the footpath into the modern city and hunted around among the many tiny pubs and eating establishments until we found just the perfect one for a light meal: beer and a sandwich for 1.50 Euros. I could not believe it.

Later, we walked up the hill to our apartment and had a rest and a bit of a nap, waiting for the sunset. Watching the sunset over the hills beyond Granada is apparently a popular thing to do here.

As the sun went down over Granada, the Alhambra was even more impressive, especially after they turned they turned on the illumination.

By that time Jessica, who likes to eat, was saying it was time to go find supper.

By that time it was 10:00, the perfect hour for eating in Spain. How about an octopus tentacle. Umm! I joke, but it was actually pretty good.

The next day Jessica and Renaud headed on south in their rental car. They have a hotel booked at the Mediterranean Sea and will fly back to Holland from there in a few days. As for me, I sat around the apartment all day reading and snacking. Tomorrow I head off to Cordoba. Life is good.


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