What a great weekend we had! We travelled east from Málaga to go to Granada, under the sunny sky and warm weather that is common in southern Spain. The trip is only two hours but there are no similarities between these two cities. Malaga is by the sea, and more of a modern city, with a lot of tourists from the cruise ships that stop daily by its shores. Granada, has a very rich history, and when walking in the city, everything we see breath a romantic air, and a mixture of Islamic, Jewish, and Catholic heritage, that gives Granada its own distinctive character.
As soon as we arrived to the hotel, we went to see “La Alhambram,” a fortress constructed in AD 889, on the remains of the Roman walls. However, the fortress was converted into a royal palace in 13333 by Yusef I, sultan of Granada. Later on, it was acquired by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492, as they established their kingship and the Catholic religion over the area. What we see today at La Alhambra is only a small part of what these palace really was. The decoration is typically Mudejar art, which is basically the eastern elements added to the Islamic forms that were all popular during the Reconquista in Spain. This decoration is intricate, and elaborate, a true work of art and a pure expression of beauty. The pictures do not depict the details of the work on ceilings, walls, doors, etc.
After a few hours at the Alhambra we walked down to the town, through little alleys and beautiful walls decorated with bougainvilleas. The rest of the afternoon we were free to walk around, eat at the local restaurants, or shop at the many little stores in town.
The next morning, after a very good breakfast, the students had to choose four sites to visit. Some went to the Cathedral, others enjoyed the view of the La Alhambra from Plaza of St. Nicholas. Many of us took our pictures there, with the La Alhambra on the background. Others enjoyed tea at one of the tea houses at the Albaicin, the Medieval Moorish part of Granada, that along with the Alhambra, became part of the World Heritage Site in 1984. Other students visited the Gypsy area of Granada, that is north of the Albaicin, to shop at the many little stores in between alleys and narrow streets.
Yesterday, we left Granada at 5:00pm. While everybody was tired, we had enjoyed the most visited place in Spain, according to many experts. What a wonderful weekend!