Spain, Gibraltar and Morocco

A trip from March 24 through April 12, 2008

Granada and the Alhambra
Hotel View of Alhambra
What a delight!  We stepped into our hotel room in Granada, found a little balcony, and stepped out to see this view of the Alhambra.
Isabel Statue
One of Queen Isabella's best decisions was to fund Christopher Columbus.  She made that commitment just outside of Granada, not long after the last moors were displaced from Spain.  And their last stronghold was the Alhambra.
Fountain in Granada
Granada is a city of fountains.  Besides the beauty of this fountain, note the snow covered mountains in the distance.
Fountain in Granada
Of course some of these fountains become grotesque.
Street in the Albaicin
The Albaicín is an old Moorish neighborhood.  It is high on a hill across the river from the Alhambra.  The streets are narrow and cobble stoned.  They also have sort of a depression or gutter down the middle.  I very cleverly managed to slip and fall on one of those shallow gutters.  Loss of dignity, and a pair of Dockers joined my grunge wardrobe.

The Moors and the Jews were largely driven out over the centuries, with the help of the Grand Inquisitor, so many of these places are inhabited by gypsies.  I also have a sense that there may be some gentrification going on here.
View along the Dauro River
The river Darro passes through the heart of Granada.  When we were there, it looked like a creek.  All along the way, the view (to the left in this picture) is dominated by the Alhambra high above.
The Alhambra consists of fortifications, the Alcazaba pictured here, Moorish palaces and a renaissance palace built by Carlos V.  This is the Torre Vera
Cannons at the Alhambra
Lest someone forget.  This was a serious fortress for several centuries.
The Mexuar
The Mexuar is one of the oldest of the three palaces that make up the Casa Real.  This part probably dates to the 13th century.  This was probably a reception room for visiting emirs.
Patio de los Arrayanes
Patio de los Arrayanes (Court of the Myrtles) was probably built during the reign of Yussef I in the middle of the 14th century.
Patio de los Leones - Sala de los Reyes
The Patio de los Leones is a courtyard surrounded by elegant rooms.  One of the most striking is the Sala de los Reyes.   This is another 14th century construction.
Dome of the Sala de los Abencerrajes
Still in the Court of the Lions, the Sala de los Abencerrajes is notable for its domed ceiling.  The room is named for a noble family that was murdered here in the 15th century, not too long before the Moors vacated the Alhambra.
Ancient City Wall
The Alhambra has a magnificent, strategic view of the surrounding countryside and the city of Granada.  Here we see an old city wall.
Torre de las Damas
This is the colonnade that forms the entry to Torre de los Damas.
Generalife Gardens
The Generalife Gardens adjoin the Alhambra, and here the evergreens have been carved to resemble the battlements behind them.

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