Memori Andalusia 5 – Granada

Sierra Nevada

The sceneries along the way from  Cordoba to Granada were splendid, and the traffic was easy. As we approached granada, barren mountains became visible. It was nice to see something different, as we were used to tropical forrests covering the mountains in Malaysia. 

Approaching Granada from the highway

Approaching Granada from the highway

We booked accommodation at Motel Sierra Nevada, encouraged by the  good reviews about this budget facility. It was a motel integrated within a caravan park, conveniently located for public transport and facilitated with ample parking spaces. It was clean and it suited my needs. Just parked the car there and as usual, explore the city on foot and using public transport.

The snow-capped Sierra Nevada in the background of Granada

The snow-capped Sierra Nevada in the background of Granada

The motel was located close to the central bus station and a major supermarket. The duty manager spoke very good english and I received lots of informations to plan our short stay in Granada.

Al-Hambra

We took bus no 3 from the bus stop next to the motel to the bus stop at the Granada Cathedral and from there a minibus No 30. The minibus took us all the way to the ticket office of Al-Hambra.

Ticket Counter

Ticket Counter: Tickets were 14 euro. Electronic narrator was 7.5 euro, I think. But you can also booked a guided tour

We were adviced to go early in order to secure an entrance to al-hambra at it was sunday. So, we left the motel at 7.30 in the morning and conveniently secured tickets after having our morning coffee at the cafe nearby.

Nice wal to the entrance. Glad to be here, said Hana

Nice walk to the entrance. Glad to be here, said Hana

It was 9 am and our entry to the palace was half an hour later. So we slowly strolled the beautiful gardens along the path to the palace. It was about a kilometer to the palace entrance from the ticket counter, and it was cold in the morning of march.  It reminded me of the old days Colorado – sunny and cold in spring.

The remains of workers' quarters outside the palace

The remains of workers’ quarters outside the palace

Al-hambra was a palace on the hill equipped with all facilities. Surrounding the palaces were housing quarters for workers, military etc.

Decorative walls and arches are everywhere

Decorative walls and arches were everywhere

All structures – arches, walls, in fact anything – were decorated. They were beautifully stone-carved. Millions of man-hours must have been spent, all were skillfully done.

Beautifully crafted calligraphy and geometries all over the walls and ceilings

Beautifully crafted calligraphy and geometries all over the walls and ceilings. The craftsmanship was superb.

Walls, pillars, arches were all decorated it such a finesse

Walls, pillars, arches were all decorated to their finesses

Water and its soothing effect had its role in  Andalusian palaces. It can be commonly found –  streams of running waters, falls and fountains.

Fountain of the lions

Fountain of the lions (Note the eye – statue of living things were made slightly incomplete)

Shadows glittering in the waterways

Shadows glittering in the waterways

Also typical of Andalusian palaces were gardens and courtyards in the palace interiors.

well-manicured gardens

well-manicured gardens

Spacious gardens in the palace

Spacious gardens in the palace

From the upper part of the Al-Hambra, we could see the snow-capped Sierra Nevada. It was fantastic, and I felt like staying there forever.

Parts of Al-hambra (millitary quarters) with Sierra Nevada on the background

Parts of Al-hambra (millitary quarters) with Sierra Nevada on the background

On the other side we could see the city.

Views from Al-Hambra: the city had walls on the perimeter

Views from Al-Hambra: the city had walls on the perimeter

Staring at the beautiful decorations of the walls,  arches and ceilings, and the beautiful gardens, waterways and fountains, I was both impressed and amazed.  But at the same time, my engineer’s logic was contemplating. Was it at all necessary? It looks like such an extravagant thing to have. Then my sufi soul was feeling sad. My critical mind started to correlate between the fall of the last of the Muslim government in Spain with the luxury that they were in… Mmm it was a subjective thing. It was not always right to evaluate the past by looking at the remnants of what they had. But those were the thoughts that I had at that time. A mixture of excitement, amazement, sadness,… I just let those feelings lingered for a while before saying to myself, it was all history… and we have to move on.

Granada

After spending half a day at Al-Hambra, we took the bus back to the city. From the cathedral, we walked around looking for souvenirs while appreciating the architectures. It was getting late in the afternoon and we were hungry, and we found our treat…

Delicous Kuskus served at a Morrocan restaurant

Delicous Kuskus served at a Morrocan restaurant

After late lunch, we continue walking through the streets, with shops mostly manned by Arabs of Morrocan descends.

Dates were ripening

Dates were ripening

enjoying the sun - a mediterranean lifestyle

enjoying the sun – a mediterranean lifestyle

Then we continue towards the Albaicin (the old Arab quarters). From the streets, we can see the magnificent Al-hambra at the hill-top.

A walk to the old Arab Quarters

A walk to the old Arab Quarters – Plenty of attractions

Think multivariable

Think multivariable

The Fall of Granada

Tariq ibn Ziyad crossed the straits between Morocco and Spain in the year 711 to end the tyrannical rule of King Roderick, and offered the more lenient conditions of Islamic rule to the Iberian peninsular with its capital Cordoba. The whole region had benefited from the more than 700 years of Muslim civilization in Andalusia –  education, technology, cultures etc. This continued for over 700 years. But then the caliphate was fragmented into small kingdoms and one after another fell. By 1240’s only Granada remained, but lasted only until 1492.

 

About Dr. AA

I am an educator, professional trainer, safety consultant, researcher, social worker, outdoor enthusiast, and a thinker.
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