Saturday, February 16, 2008


As we drove to Granada, I realized how many olives Spaniards actually consume. I knew it was a lot, but this was crazy. We drove for about two and a half hours. It was straight olive groves, on both sides, the entire time. And this was just one section of olive trees, there were other groves in other places. But almost all the trees were smaller than the one at my Dad’s. That was kinda weird.

Granada’s visit was focused around the Alhambra. We went there first, so we could enjoy the last few hours of daylight. This was basically a palace complex. We normally spend about an hour and a half exploring a new place. We had two hours, and I didn’t see everything. I didn’t even go in some buildings! This place was absolutely massive! But my favorite portions were the Muslim palace and (surprise, surprise) the gardens.

The palace was incredible. Almost every ceiling was tiered—it’s not like Christian/Catholic palaces, Muslims generally don’t depict humans in their artwork, so everything was geometric designs. It was really cool.

After exploring the palace buildings for an hour and a half, we made our way over to the gardens. They even had their own name in this palace, Generalife. I really wish I could see them in spring. They were beautiful—in winter. Seeing all these places in winter, and seeing that they’re still this beautiful when everything should be dead, really makes me want to see them in spring. They would be absolutely gorgeous then. But there were fountains, of course, sculpted shrubbery and trees, and flowers galore. My absolute favorite thing about the gardens was Las Escaleras de Agua. It was a staircase with a stream where the handrails would be. I’m not really sure why, but I absolutely loved this! It was really fun to walk along and run your fingers through—plus the water was freezing, which is somehow a good thing. Unfortunately, we were being herded out of the Alhambra at this point (closing time) so I didn’t get a picture.

After the Alhambra, we went up to a lookout to watch the sunset. It was incredible. The Alhambra was all lit up, and the city lights were on, there were gypsies (yes, they were actual gypsies) playing guitar in the background. It was absolutely beautiful—plus, it was really nice to just sit and relax after walking around.

Dinner was Kebabs. Now, these are not the kebabs we think of back home. No stick involved—it’s a sandwich! It was more like a pita than a kebab. But this thing tasted oh so good! I definitely need to track down kebabs in Alcalá.

Next morning we tracked down the gypsy market. It took a while to find, but it was pretty cool once we did. It was a bunch of little alleyways with stores and merchandise flooding the street. People were talking to ya, trying to get you to come into their store, and trying to convince you that you really did want to buy their skewers, or jewelry, or purses, or fabric. They had a bunch of random stuff.

And then our five day journey came to a close. We ended our tour of Andalucia and headed back home. I was incredibly glad to sleep in my own bed and get over the cold I had acquired. Overall though, I loved it, and definitely recommend Sevilla to any and all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The olive groves in Italy are the same...on the seven hour train ride from Rome to Lecce, almost all the scenery is olive groves! It was pretty neat to see, actually. Enjoy Spain my dear cousin!