Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Granada - La Alhambra

Last weekend I visited Granada and first on the list was a tour of the Alhambra.  The Alhambra was formally a Muslim palacio / fortress.  It has arguably the best and most detailed architecture in Spain. Everywhere I looked was ornate but not overly gilded or gaudy.  The Alhambra was home to the King of Granada, and his wives of course.  Apparently his favorite wife got the biggest and best room, according to my tour guide.

Granada was the last Muslim-ruled city in Spain, and the influence is obvious.  The Alhambra was covered in Arabic scrolls, and built in estilo mulsulmano.  All of the little shops sell moroccan-esque chachkes; hookahs, tea pots, jewelry, colorful anything and everything, uber hippy clothes.  There are also teterías (tea rooms) everywhere with Moroccan tea and sweets...delicioso.

Granada was probably one of my favorite places that I've ever visited.  The scenery is ridiculously amazing; it's surrounded by snow-covered mountains, yet has palm trees, the beach nearby, and of course the view of the Alhambra.  It's smaller than Sevilla, and has a more laid-back, younger feel.  Also, according to a local - it's "the coolest city in Spain." Judging by the tours, views and nightlife experiences, I think he may be right.  I would have really liked to study in Granada too, but I love my Sevilla...I think it's a grass is greener on the other side situation.  Nevertheless, that is definitely not the last time I'm visiting Granada.


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