Trip Start Sep 12, 2009
Trip End Oct 03, 2009

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

only one internet cafe in granada!
so took the bus from cordoba
there is a sadness as you leave cordoba
we passed over the bridge so had the classic shot of the bridge overlooking the mosque
you see mountaintop castles along the way and land is quite fertile considering the heat
granada is not what i expected
first impression, this is austria
it is set in the mountain valley and has barouque arcitecture
does not have a spanish feel at all
nor does it have an islamic feel considering it was the last kindgom
i think it has been romantiziced too much as it was the last muslim kingdom
and because of the alhambra
so yesterday went into the albacin which is what was the muslim quarter
very reminiscent of sarajevo with lots of hill climbing on cobbled steps
further up is sacremonto which is where the gypsies lived in caves
didnt go as more climbing
there are hotels where u stay in the cave but they were too expensive
found the new granada mosque which was built after a lot of controversy but the doors were locked... went to the cathedral where ferdinand and isabella are buried but return of the camera police
so with the fall of seville and cordoba in the 13th century granada was the last muslim kingdom.. it lasted another 200 years and fell in 1492 just before columbus discovered america... spain had united the many kingdoms in to two.. with the marriage of ferdinand and isabella they now became one.. this just left the muslim kingdom of granada on the peninsula.. the pope declared a holy war (how come thats not a jihad?) and christian fighters came from northern europe.. the muslim rulers felt this was a good time to fight amongst the family about the sucession so the kingdom fell.. when boabdil left on his horse and looked back one last time it is said his mother said dont cry like a woman for what u can not keep as a man.. later his descendents became beggars in morrocco..
quite a few muslim people and people in hijabs which i have not seen beards or hijabs up till now.. few halal food stores.. yesterday had nemrut donor kebab.. today had hamburger from kebab king...
sleep is a problem.. the hostel in cordoba had a courtyard and this group came late at night sitting around chatting really loud.. a fight nearly started as they woke up the whole hostel.. the place in granada is really nice but overlooking a pedestrian street with lots of restaurant patios.. they dont close till 2am then noise clearing up and the garbage trucks come.. didnt sleep till 3
so today went to old the arab baths.. bit of a turkish feel like the hammams.. also they have the caravanserai which were the square buildings where u stable the horses and the inn was upstairs... telling people im from england to get in for free. i dont sound american or look japanese!
should have done all my shopping before.. i bought too much in cordoba so was holding off stuff till granada.. they dont have charitos fan coz all they have here is ali baba stuff like from the arabian nights so not bothering as will have the same stuff cheaper in morocco
so today was the alhambra the big highlight
i booked online as they limit the number of ticket sales each day and u have an alloted time for the palace.. just my luck everywhere i go there is construction.. so the fountain of lions has been removed for repairs.. made a couple of videos again wiht my camera.. the shock factor again has worn off and i think actually the palace in seville was nicer and more elaborate.. like i said granada has been romanticized too much.. i dont think it was important in the muslim world like cordoba except for the fact it was the last muslim kingrom. the only difference from seville is the gardens and fountains.. it is said to be the garden of paradise... favourite place definately was seville and cordoba for sure as had more of an islamic feel.. only thing missing from cordoba is the azaan prayer call from the mosque to really give it the feel like in sarajevo
so tomorrow take the andalus express to algeceris which is the border with gibraltar.. the andalus express takes 5 hours.. some express! not a high speed train this time and makes local stops.. have to be at the station 7am for the train... the heat is back and most places close from noon to 4pm
have to pack and try to get some sleep

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