A long day in Granada
Trip Start Jul 20, 2012
24Trip End Aug 18, 2012
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The drive to Granada and the Alhambra Palace was uneventful as the highway was quiet and the route was well marked right to the visitor parking lot. The city of Granada sits in a large valley with suburbs spread in all directions. The population of over 237,000 people does not seem right as the sprawl of the city and the congestion of the old city suggests many more people. The Alhambra Palace is a walled fortress situated on a ridge looking over the old city. It is amazing to see the elevation changes here in the heart of the city. We did a fair share of walking in the historic quarter and we all have sore legs to show for it. There are streets here where cars seem to scrape the sides of walls and houses as they make the way along
Our visit to the palace and grounds took the better part of 6 hours with a break in the middle for dinner. There are extensive gardens and patios with ponds, fountains and streams. Almost all of the buildings, whether they were for private use or served official functions, had covered side aisles and central courts that were open to the sky above. The detail in the wall and ceiling decoration was incredible. The entire Palace grounds were originally served with running water via an aquaduct. Over time, the humidity from the water system caused much of the stucco work to soften and crumble. As a result, much of what we see today is the work of modern craftsmen who have duplicated samples of the original artwork. we were lucky to tour the gardens and outside spaces in daylight and see the interior spaces at night (with lighting to enhance the beauty of the artwork).
We left Granada just before midnight having covered about 11 or 12 miles (based on Jon's pedometer) uphill and downhill in 37C heat. We arrived back at the villa just before 1am and everyone got a good nites sleep.
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