Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Day at the Alhambra

Well, I'm finally sitting down to write the final blogpost about Spain a week and a half later.  Better late than never, right?  

When we were planning our trip to Spain, we knew we wanted to focus on the Muslim history in the country to tie it back to our Turkish Olmsted roots.  One of the main ways of doing this was by visiting the Alhambra in Granada.  Everything we read said to book our tickets a month in advance to ensure we could get a tour space, so we did that like the good tourists we are.  I don't think we needed to do it quite that far in advance since it was the off season, but I am glad we reserved them ahead of time because all we had to do was show up the day of the tour and not worry about lines or tickets or availability. 

Our tour started at 9:30 and was full of Americans (God bless the English speaking tour!) with a great tour guide.  It was originally a small fortress that was taken over by the Moors who turned it into a huge palace before it was turned over to the Christians. Eventually, Ferdinand and Isabella would live there and have visitors such as Washington Irving.

I loved the Alhambra! I thought it was beautiful both on the outside (thanks to the Christians who focus primarily on exterior architecture) and the inside (thanks to the Muslims who's tiles and Arabic script are on the inside).







Views of Granada

Mike and I were saying we could do a whole photo book of cats we've seen out and about while travelling




















Our tour guide! She spoke almost perfect English, knew a ton about the Alhambra and was just an overall pleasure to spend a morning with. She was saying that squatters used to live in the Alhambra during transition times.  I guess if you have to squat somewhere, the Alhambra isn't a bad place to do so!







Excuse the crazy hair, but we had a great morning at the Alhambra!


After the tour, it was lunch time and we were EXHAUSTED.  A three hour tour will really knock you off your feet if you're recovering from mono or are pregnant.  We got lunch and went back to our hotel and napped for the entire afternoon.  I woke up feeling like a whole new woman!

It was a good thing we did nap, though, because we really wanted to stay up and watch at least part of the Superbowl.  We found an Irish pub that was showing it, so around midnight, we, along with every American college student studying abroad in Granada, rolled into the pub.  Luckily, the owner saw I was pregnant and brought out a stool for me to sit on. We stayed until halftime and had just as much fun people watching all of the college students as we did watching the game.  Unfortunately, we made the poor decision (well, poor in that we missed a great half of the game/smart in that we got to go to sleep) to go to bed at halftime.  

The next morning, we had to drive back to Malaga to fly back to Berlin, so we took the scenic route along the coast line.  It was beautiful!! It looked so much like the Amalfi Coast and we were catching our breath at every turn.  We stopped in one of the small towns to have lunch and sat outside soaking up the sun for one last time before heading back to wintery Berlin. 

We loved our week in southern Spain.  It was a great mix of warm weather, Muslim culture, and beautiful scenery.  We got a taste of the warm weather this week and we spent the days dreaming we were back along the Spanish coast! Until next time....