Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One Fine Day: A Visit to the Alhambra

The magnificent Alhambra, Granada's Moorish palace.

Within the palace's walls, Columbus sold to Isabel and Ferdinand a sea voyage to the Orient. From our friend Rick Steves' Spain 2007:

"Imaging the scene: the king, the queen, and the greatest minds from the University of Salamanca gathered here while Columbus produced maps and pie charts to make his case that he could sail west to reach the East. Ferdinand and the professors laughed and called Columbus mad-not because they thought the world was flat (most educated people knew otherwise), but because they thought Columbus had underestimated the size of the globe, and thus the length and cost of the journey."

The rest is history...

Its lush gardens.

"Water-so rare and precious in most of the Islamic world-was the purist symbol of life to the Moors. The Alhambra is decorated with water: standing still, cascading, making secret conversations, and dripping-dropping playfully." - Rick Steves.

Looking at the banister...flowing water.

Honey-combed ceilings.

The Alcazaba, the oldest part of the complex.

A view from the top of the Alcazaba.

Washington Irving, the American author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, also penned a biography on Columbus and Tales of the Alhambra.

Charles V's palace, "financed by a salt-in-the-wound tax on Granada's defeated Muslim population." - Rick Steves.

Granada at nightfall.

Admittedly, I didn't even know all of this existed until my travels to Spain. One of the many reasons I travel is the educational aspect and to broaden my horizons. This was by far one of my favorites on our Spanish itinerary.

Next, one more stamp is now on my passport.

No comments: