Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Alhambra

A 1,200 year old Moorish palace/fort.  It deserves its own post because it was (and still is) just that amazing.

View from Alhambra's Garden looking out across Granada

Inside the "Architect's Garden".  Massive walls of hedges with arches cut through them.  They might as well have hung up paintings because the arches framed every view so beautifully.

Vibrant roses in full bloom all over the place.

It took forever to snap this shot.  I have about 14 more with random people stepping in front of the arch or popping up from below to take their own photos.  Good thing we were here at the end of the tourist season or I wouldn't have hardly any visitor-free photos at all.

Moving to the Palace

More gorgeous fountains and long wait to get a shot free of other bobbing heads.

Incredible intricacy

Flowers in full bloom everywhere

Not only is Alhambra beautiful, but if offered some of the best and most interesting views of Granada as well.

Just past the palace is the remains of a fortress as well.

Granada in General

Mara and I spent the past weekend in Granada.  I have so many photos to upload so I'm splitting it into 2 posts: Granada the city and the Alhambra.

Granada means pomegranate in Spanish.  It is the symbol of the city.

 Along with pomegranates, the city is known for its Moorish influenced architecture (Check out the Alhambra in the next post).

Not sure what this guy's story is, but he doesn't look too good.

Pretty church

"Yours, Mine, Ours"

The main Cathedral

Exotic Spice vendor... it smelled really good.

I'm not sure what these are, but they're pretty.

We stumbled across the archeological museum.  Not sure if you can see but the humino actual is holding a cell phone and briefcase... but he's still naked.

Even the buildings without facades had fake one's painted on.

They have a saying here that translates to "When America sneezes, the rest of the world gets sick." Unemployment in Spain has hit 25%.  La oportunidad is symbolically closed.

But back to pretty things:  EVERYTHING is framed beautifully here.  Whether it is a narrow alley framing a view of church spire or trees, framing a dome, the whole city compliments itself.

Amazing sunset.

Granada by night

Thursday, October 1, 2009


My good friend Mara and I took a day trip to a small town called Segovia north of Madrid.  It is known for its medieval castle and Roman aqueduct.

The mountains outside Segovia

Oh there's just a 2,000 year old aqueduct in down the street.  No big deal.

It's very large, and not a single drop of mortar was used to build it.  All the stones are arranged such that they support each other without anything binding them together.

I couldn't resist

Not just one pretty church, but turn the corner and there's a gorgeous cathedral in the background.

Detail of the Catheral in the distance.  Personally I thin it looks more majestic from afar than up close.  When you're standing in front of it, it's hard to see everything because the street is only so wide.

But getting to it was a bit more difficult.  It's hard to see anything ahead in the small winding streets, then suddenly there it is.

A gargoyle retrofitted for mor modern purposes.

Turn another bend and the narrow streets completely open up for the cathedral.

Segovia is also known for its castle.  Supposedly this is the castle Disney used as a reference for the castle in Sleeping Beauty.  This is a postcard I bought of a view from outside the town.  Our view from inside was not very interesting - by that I mean, it didn't look as pretty as it is in my photos.

This the coolest photo I had of the castle.

Mountains in the distance.

Lots to show

Harvested Grapes with my fellow TEFL teachers and had lunch in the beautiful countryside:

Our fearless leader, Richard (program director)

The grapes are on small, individual bushes rather than rows of vines

We spent the morning cutting the grapes.  It was an oddly satisfying task.

The grapes were insanely sweet!

We harvested a lot.

The mountains and the town in the distance.

A small we drove through on the way back had a medieval castle just chilling in the middle.

The view from our lunch spot.

Sunset from the bus on the way back.