Thursday, February 19, 2015

Granada, Day Two

Wednesday in Granada...we had a slow start to the day. Didn't get outside until close to 10:30 after a FULL cooked breakfast (something Lloyd has been dreaming of) and of course cleaning up the kitchen. We have grown tired of the usual breakfast fare around the Mediterranean...can't take all that sugar and white flour on a steady basis. These folk sure like their pastries! (So do we but not every day)

We decided to wander around the parts of the Alhambra that are open without a ticket, which turns out to be not a lot. However our wanderings did serve as a useful orientation for our full visit to the site tomorrow (Friday). We left the hotel, walking along the less busy street behind, to the Plaza Nueva. This plaza is actually quite old in comparison to others, being established in the early years of the Christian rule in Granada. The church at the end of the plaza (its bell tower was the minaret of the original mosque) marks the point where the river disappears underneath. 

Beyond that is a lovely narrow valley with houses on the left, and the Alhambra above on the right.

There are lots of old properties for sale. Lloyd poked his camera through a broken shutter...this is typical of old Mediterranean homes built around a central courtyard, a style that goes back to Roman times.

We walked up the river valley and then over and up to the Alhambra. We were able to go inside the Palacio de Carlos V (Palace of Charles V), a monumental building that is square on the outside and round in the middle, open to the air. 

Construction started in the mid 1500s but was left unfinished for centuries. The roof was finally completed in the early 20th C. Intriguing are the pillars and balustrades carved out of local conglomerate.

The Puerta de la Justica (Gate of Justice) through which free entrance is gained to the grounds. The outer gate:

The zig-zag interior:

Inside the grounds:

A "Spanglish" sign...(we haven't seen as much of this as we did in Asia)
A view of the Albaicín district of Granada. This was the site of the original Moorish settlement in the 800s. The streets are still narrow and winding.

A view of the Sierra Nevada

Down below, towards the centre of town, I noticed this receptacle for old clothing..."Know that your used clothing is the fabric of life".

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