Land of the Alhambra

Trip Start Sep 08, 2009
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7
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Trip End Nov 24, 2009


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Where I stayed
Nuevos Nacional Hostel

Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Monday, September 21, 2009

Hey everybody!

We made it to Granada yesterday! This town is awesome also. It feels bigger than Seville but not too big. There's an endless amount of cathedrals, plazas, and cool random buildings. Yesterday we went on a walk from our hostel to the main part of town and we saw a wedding in every single cathedral. It was crazy! So many weddings! I guess it was a Saturday, after all.

We went into the big Cathedral here- the biggest Renaissance cathedral in all of Spain and the second largest cathedral (in general) in all of Spain. It was so different than most cathedrals because instead of being dim, it was completely bright. The walls were even white. We’ve never seen that before. But that is what the Renaissance was all about in Spain I guess.

At sunset time we went on a walk along a river in the old Moorish part of town. This is an area where most of the Roma (gypsy) live. It was cool to see some of the Roma out and about. They look very different than the regular Spanish people. They look exactly like the gypsies in that movie Ever After. Their facial features are very different. Many of them dress differently too. And most of them have dogs with them. It is a big stereotype that they are thieves and dangerous to be around. From what I’ve seen, more regular Spanish people on subways are thieves than these people. Who knows though… It was cool to be walking around this area because everyone was out and about at night. It’s a really popular thing to go for a "paseo" (walk) in the evening in Spain. Many families and small children were out.

One thing I should say is that Granada is famous for the Alhambra- the last Moorish palace in all of Europe. We saw a similar Moorish palace called the Alcazar in Seville (which was amazing) and another Moorish palace in Sintra, Portugal. But the Alhambra takes the cake. It’s no wonder you have to make a reservation before you even get to town and you have to pay over twice as much as any site we’ve seen- it’s a HUGE palace. Most of the Moorish palaces and mosques were overtaken by the Christians in the 13th century but this was the final one to surrender- it wasn’t taken until 1492. We spent hours this morning wandering around, looking at everything. There is so much history in that place. We got to walk around the room where all the sultans would sit in their thrones; we got to see the fountain that one sultan stacked 36 heads of family he’d killed in order for his favorite son to inherit the throne after him; we got to be in the room where Christopher Columbus presented his voyage idea and terms to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel; we got to see the royal gardens, etc, etc…  

Right now the whole town is pretty much closed down (except for some restaurants). It’s siesta time between 2 and 6pm here. Everyone closes up shop, heads home for a nap then has some food and relaxes. Most businesses open back up when siesta is over but some just stay closed since it’s a weekend. I just woke up from a nap and Andre is taking one right now. Pretty soon we are going to head out to the Royal Palace- the place King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel spent of their fortune to build. Their bodies are even buried there. We will get to see their tombs. After that we are going to head to a cool place called San Nicolas viewpoint. It’s the best place to see the Alhambra as a whole. At sunset time we’ve been told that the whole Alhambra glows red and it’s magnificent.

All for now!  -Michi

Andre:
All I have to say is that I want to bring Siesta back to the States! Sweet way to live, oh and Doner Kebab and Gelato stands... Tapas to...One thing I would not bring back is Gypsie pants, they are like M.C. Hammer pants, except even baggier and only for girls. terrible.
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