Granada, Part Two
Trip Start Mar 02, 2013
52Trip End Apr 06, 2013
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You will be pleased to know we have another "voice" on the GPS, she is not a cyclist and rather nice. We are now all speaking our individual languages with a British accent. I am starting to appreciate this GPS thing as it has done well for us, especially in the "recalculating" department! Granada was under construction downtown and we got into some narrow, narrow roads trying to find our parking. There are also some restricted driving areas, me thinks we got into one of those too, time will tell!
The drive to Granada was outstanding! Hundreds of thousands of acres of olive trees all the way. Amazing! We took the new super highway, at times for miles we were by ourselves, the locals do not want to pay any tolls! Tony loved driving it!
After arriving in Granada, we took a taxi from the parking area to the Plaza Nueva, where we had coffee and got our bearings. We were at the base of the Alhambra. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1984). The city of Granada is itself, quite nice but obviously being restored to its past glory and with the installation of a subway, may help with the many tourists arriving to appreciate Granada's Moorish ancestry.
The Alhambra, has scheduled entry times and does take a day to see! Sixty six hundred people are allowed in each day, with scheduled times. We were allowed into the grounds at 2:00, the gardens at 5:00. You were never crowded.
It is called the most sensual piece of architecture. It was built by the Nasrid Dynasty in 1333! They created their idea of "heaven on earth". Plaster, timber and tiles, leather were their only materials, your jaw drops when you see how these were used. The Generalife, the country estate of the Nasrid Kings, began in the 13th century as well. There are orchards, pastures, flowers, herbs, fountains, water pools every inch of ground covered with something, divided by myrtle hedges, perfectly shaped and pruned. It is impossible to relate to everyone all of the details of the Alhambra , there is so much.
On a personal note I appreciated the ceilings within the castle itself, everyone different, all telling a story. I can only imagine the garden in full bloom, and I will further research that when I get home.
Heading home was busy, traffic was heavy but our journey was straightforward. We were fortunate enough to be heading west and the incredible sunset fell behind the mountains and the olive groves. Not bad, not bad at all!
We had lunch in Granada, so a bedtime snack was in order while we rehashed our day! Mike and I were very anxious to hear how Tony and Debbie felt about their revisit. We all laughed when they both replied "I can't remember any of it"! Yes, I think a lot has changed in the Alhambra after 42 years, but obviously their friendship has not!
We all loved to people watch. We noticed many things. Known as a place for romance, their was a lot of kissing going on; some needed to get a room. It is not a place for young children it is too long and difficult for them and they can not touch anything! They are very strict about that, even the marble columns are not to be touched. To walk up requires buns of steel, it was a long hard walk, but we did it. Asians love getting their photos taken and will pose and/or act out the shot! One man from Beijing came over to Mike and asked if he could take his picture with him, thrilled to hear he was from Canada. Mike figured the man had never seen a face so red before! Our conversation was crazy with him, Mandarin, Italian, French and English all of us using gestures of our own. Hopefully one of this nice mans companions had a video camera because if anyone was watching all of us, it would have been the funniest thing they had seen all day! Every country was represented, a cacophony of chatter was around you.
Granada is peaceful, it is is spiritual, it is sensual. You have mountains, water, gardens, music, guitar makers are everywhere, you can hear music...
There is an old saying and keeping with the theme of Mike and Debbie's visit "give him a coin, woman, for there is nothing worse in this life than to be blind in Granada" we all saw well, even Mike!