Alhambra and Valencia - Oct. 22

October 22nd 2019
Published: October 23rd 2019
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Alhambra - a sprawling hilltop fortress encompassing royal palaces, serene patios, reflecting pools as well as fountains, orchards and gardens. The buildings existed since the 9th century but became a royal residence in mid 1300’s of King Muhammad Ibn Yusef Ben Nasirn Known as Alhamar (Muslim sultan). Alhambra name means red castle or vermilion because of the red colour of the bricks and astones. The Alhambra became a Christian court in 1492 with the expulsion of the Muslims by the Christians. I apologize for so many pictures - you may not believe it but I maintained restraint on the number of pictures I took. There were so many beautiful rooms and fountains and gardens and of course pictures don’t do any of it real justice. Our guide Carlos is the best guide we have had so far; he talked slowly and clearly and imparted the information in an simple narrative that was so easy to understand.

We have been blessed with weather this week. It only rained on us one day and it wasn’t serious. In Granada it is much cooler than Cordoba or Seville but we are close to the Sierra Nevada mountains. Rain is forecast for later today

Pomegranate tree - pomegranate in Spanish is Granada
in Valencia - we shall see just how much.

Now we are in the bus travelling to Valencia. The landscape is changing as we climb up and over the Sierra Nevada mountains. The mountains are sometimes very rocky with craggy peaks and sometimes are more ombré sandstone or limestone. In the sandstone areas there are caves where I saw a few instances where residents had taken advantage of natural caves and carved the facade of their houses into the stone using the cave for the interior of the house.

It’s a long way and after two and half hours we stop for lunch at a Spanish style service centre. This one has a cafeteria style restaurant where you go along the line and pick out all the things you want and take your tray to the cashier. I had slow cooked quarter chicken leg, a salad and a sweet that is some sort of Spanish tradition. No idea what it’s called but it looks like a cupcake. It is cake with holes poked into it and some thick pudding type stuff that goes into the holes and lays on top. It was ok but probably won’t try it again.

It is raining but we are on the bus so staying dry. Back on the road the landscape changes again. Now there are more food crops. Oranges, pomegranates, grapes, vegetables of all different types and the inevitable olive trees. Fields are not large but are rectangular lined up like flat dominoes. Where the region between Madrid and Cordoba was pretty much completely barren, this area going towards Valencia is more populated with more businesses. It seems there is little actual manufacturing done around here and the air is very clean and clear as a result. The clean air is one thing I noticed right away in Spain. By the time we arrive at the hotel at 7 pm it is not longer raining - we are blessed again.

It’s been a long day on the bus and we decide to do our own tapas thing in our room, which BTW is absolutely the best yet. We have a separate sitting area with a sofa, desk and chairs, a big bathroom, closet and regular bedroom, but we have a gigantic patio. It is huge and we are only here one night so wont have the opportunity to make good use of it. Lynne and Anne come to join us for bread, cheese, meats and red wine. This will be our last homemade tapas night so we have to clean it up. Two more nights and we will be headed home. The time is going fast. Tomorrow we have a city bus and walking tour before heading for Barcelona. I am anxious to see the Goudi fantastic architecture in Barcelona. And it appears that we will be able to do that. I have been worried all week about the riots and rebellion in Barcelona by the Catalonians but the tour company says everything is still a go.

I am going to post this blog even though I haven’t uploaded all my pictures yet. My iPhone will not transfer pictures to my iPad so I will add them to this blog later

11,500 steps even though we were in the bus all day.

Additional photos below
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Jasmine tree

Cypress hedge

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