Este fin de semana pasada fuimos a Granada para ver la Alhambra y La Capilla Real (which is where Ferdinand and Ysabel (Isabelle) are buried.
The trip began early on Saturday morning and most of us slept for the first 1/2. But we stopped midway for a rest stop, which for us meant a quick bathroom break and then hop back on the bus. However for the Spanish a rest stop means a 20 min parada at a real cafe where you can have cafe con leche, jamon serrano, or a cruzcampo...while you sit down and take a load off. They really do know how to enjoy the journey that’s for sure.
Granada is quite mountainous and rather dry, very different from the landscape of Sevilla. In fact our hotel was located on the mountain in the upper part of the city right next to the Alhambra. The view from up there was astounding and really gave you a bird's eye view of the rest of the city below, quite strategic ;)
The actual building was amazing because it was constructed in the Mudejar style incorporating azulejos, madera, estucco, gesso...etc. The detail and intricacy of the designs was really incredible, and each part of the building from the walls, to the windows, to the ceilings all the way to the floors were carefully planned and designed. Each of these parts featured either phrases from the Koran, geometric patterns, or natural elements and colors. The overall effect was one of peaceful interconnection with nature.
Something I found really fascinating was that the whole floor plan and focus of the Alhambra (as is true across the Mediterranean) was inward toward the manmade oasis which consisted of pruned gardens with fragrant jasmine plants and flowering trees complimented by a bubbling fountain and pebbled walkways. The garden, which united all the rooms of the house, was at once a place of relaxation and also a symbol of the family's power.
I will post some photos of the intricate gesso work and of the view because to describe them with words just cannot do them justice.
Bueno como siempre...más mañana!!