Granada and The Alhambra, Part 2

Continuing on from Sunday, we arrived at the 13th century fortified palatine city of Alhambra & were handed over to the 2nd Paco for a very thorough tour.   Paco told us lots of info., but since we were constantly on the move, I wasn’t taking any notes.  So I’ll have to rely strictly on memory & what little literature I have on the place.  (Some of the literature I did pick up onsite is written only in Spanish, so unfortunately, that’s not much help to me.)

The word “Alhambra,” by the way, means “red earth,” referring to the reddish soil of the area, according to Paco the 1st.

My dictionary says the Alhambra was “a fortified Moorish palace, the last stronghold of the Muslim kings of Granada, built between 1248 and 1354 near Granada in Spain.”  It was built by the Nasrid Dynasty.  According to our literature, we also visited the Alcazaba Citadel, the Palaces of “Los Leones” and “Comares” residences set in beautiful gardens.  We toured the Generalife Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

After that, we visited the large city of Granada itself, where we ate lunch at the Hotel Carmen.  During our delicious buffet meal, we were serenaded by a group of 4 musicians playing guitars & other interesting instruments & singing Spanish songs.  One of the men then hurried around to all the tables & handed out cds of their music.  We soon learned, however, that they were asking for 10 Euros for each cd.  We figured we would have had to tip them anyway, so most of us went ahead & bought the cds.  So if anyone wants to hear “Tuna de la Universidad de Granada,” now you’ll know where to find it!

After lunch, we were all on our own for awhile to walk about the town & explore.  The town was lovely, & we took lots more great photos.  I even took one of a group of lady “yipsies”–the only ones we saw all day!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, I took 241 photos of the area, so I’ll put up a bunch & you can see the beauty of the place for yourselves.  The intricate carvings inside The Alhambra on the walls were made from a sort of limestone/alabaster/gypsum mixture (I think), & then carved before the stuff dried.  Most of the carvings are poems.  Pretty much in all rooms, the major poem starts with “There is no god but Allah.”  Paco the 2nd said that most of the decorations used to have all different colors in them, especially gold, but now they are mostly white with a little blue here & there.  The ceilings were mostly inlaid wood designs.  There was also marble in many areas along the door frames.  There was tile work on the floors.  Anyway, take a look at the photos and enjoy.

(I still have more photos to post for this day, but am running out of time & will have to finish them tomorrow.)