Monday, November 13, 2006

Espana - Granada - Monday November 13, 2006

Granada was our first trip away from Marbella and after a couple uncertain moments where we were trying to figure our the Spanish roadsigns we had a very pleasant two hour trip up through Malaga and on into Granada. Fortunately, there were a number of signs pointing the way to our primary destination the "Alhambra" a huge fortress built on a mountain side by the Moors over 1,000 years ago. The photos don't do it justice as there are so many magnificent views but one of the photos above shows Fran at the top of city facing side of the fortress with the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background. The Sierra Nevadas are the highest mountain range in Spain and already hold a significant amount of snow. Another photo shows the view from atop Alhambra looking down on the interior walls and showing the outlines of living accomodations.

We learned in history class about the "Crusades" and the conflicts that raged through the Middle Ages, but it is here that these lessons come to life. The Alhambra is on a site that once was Christian, then Moorish when the Jewish inhabitants helped the Moors drive the Christians out, then reverted back to Christian in the 15th century as the Jews and Moors were either driven from Spain or converted to Christians. The Alhambra structure reflects Moorish as well as Christian styles although clearly the elegance and style of this huge structure is from the Moorsih tradition.

Seemingly unrelated and housed in the second story of the round coloseum like structure was a display about the life and times of Christopher Columbus. Pretty interesting as it covered not only the successes of Columbus but his failures and wanderings before he died.

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