Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pomegranate, a.k.a. Granada

Hola! It is late afternoon here in Granada and I just finished walking up a steep incline from the Plaza Nueve to the Hotel Alixares, across from the famous Alhambra (red castle). Sweat is now pouring down my cheeks. As Kaylene is shopping in town, I decided to take a break to enjoy some quiet-time to absorb the sites I´ve seen in the past few days. There is a lot to absorb, as my days are seemingly joined into one!....oh....my time is running short on the Net....I´ll return later.....Salut!

I´m back....
During our 3'day stay in Granada, we went to the most visited monument in Spain, the Alhambra, as well as, the Royal chapel, cathedral and the old muslim barrio, Albayzin.

The Alhambra is a magnificent fortress-castle which has been the home of both Muslim and Catholic royalty, most notably, Isabella I and Fernando II, the Catholic Monarchs.The stories which took place within the walls of this structure are many and some extraordinary. One intriguing story is about how the Muslims lost Granada to the Catholics (Isabel and Fernando). Apparently, in this soap opera-like life, the Sultan Mulay Hassan had a fair and favorite christian concubine, Zaroya, who was also favored by other men. Whenever, a man would dally with his lover, he would be sure invite them for dinner so that he could be decapitated!! My, my....what extreme measured he took!! These actions caused quite a stir within his own family. His son, Boabdil and wife Aixa fueded with him, leaving the Muslim power vulnerable. Isabella and Fernando saw this behavior as a perfect opportunity to take Granada and the Alhanbra swiftly and easily. What drama as the Catholics took over Spain, city by city!

The Alhambra was a summer home for Isabel and Fernando. The grounds include, the Alcazaba (towers), Palacio Nazaries (Royal Palace), Palacio de Carlos V and Generalife (gardens - prounced heneraleefa). Touring this site takes several hours, so plan a day for this adventure if you want to experience it for yourself. Also, book in advance. Tickets are no readily available and many people have been sadly turned away. Oh....it´s time to go.....I´ll finish later.....Hasta Luego!

I am back again.....
The Capilla Real (royal chapel) and adjoining cathedral are historic monuments rich with Spanish history. Isabella and Fernando´s coffins lie in the crypt below marble horizontal figures. Next to their coffins are also those of Felipe El Hermoso (Phillip the Handsome), Juana La Loca (Joanna the crazy) and the grandson of Isabella and Fernando, Miguel. Interestingly, because felipe was the son of the Holy Roman Emporer, Maximillian, his coffin and Juana´s were raised just a bit higher than Isabella´s and Felipes!

On the hill facing the Alhambra is an old Muslim quarter, Albayzin. It has many winding streets, churches, mosques and small restaurants. Kaylene and I stopped at the Kiki Bar and enjoyed lovely fried eggplant, salad and other delicious tapas.

After lunch, we trekked back to the city central, enjoyed a coca cola light( different than diet coke). The rest of the day was slow-paced as we were preparing for an overnight train-ride to Valencia. See you there! Chau! Love, LeeAnn

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kaylene shopping??? There's a shocker!!!