Sunday, 20 December 2015

Grenada

14 December

We rented a car and headed off to Granada to see the Palace of the Alhambra, it's name in Arabic means Red Castle... To say that would be impressive, would be an understatement of note.  We started off at the Nasrid Palaces - as you have an set time to visit this, the rest of the grounds one can take one's time..

As one walks towards the Palaces, one passes the Church of Saint Mary..
 The Palace of Charles V, which has a circular interior as will be seen lower.


 The Watch tower, which is the oldest part of the Palace...
 The gardens as one enters the Nasrid Palace..
 Charles V's humble abode...
 Finally one enters the Palace.. One is immediately impressed with the ornate carving's on the entrance and the walls...



 The ceiling is decorated with wooden carving. There seems to have been a raised dias of sorts..

 The walls are decorated with mosaics, and more carvings..

 The floor, which is sadly worn, is still quite impressive each of the little stones, is a coat of arms..
 Yet another elaborately decorated room, and this is still the entrance...
 On to the next set of buildings.. This courtyard has a fountain in the middle and is as elaborately decorated as the interior part of a building..
 The ceilings in the next chamber were decorated with carved wood.






 Yet another stunningly carved ceiling.





On to another courtyard, this truly was a Palace...










 This next room, was the Emperors room, which was more impressive than the rest of the palace - a true achievement...








 As one exits the Emperor's chamber and this is the view...
 The newer part of the palace, not quite as fancy as the rest...
 This next stage is the court of the Lions. The ceilings in this section were decorated in a 3D form - this had the added bonus of killing all sound and allowing anyone walking along these corridors to talk, without fear of being overheard..




 Later remodeling efforts, proved to be to a lower standard than the original...

 Vaulted ceiling, with the sound deadening ceiling..
 The fountain in the center is supported by a pride of Lions hence, the name..
 Yet another elaborately decorated ceiling..




 This stained glass pane, is one of the few remaining original ones found on the site, it was recently decorated.. The room with the stained glass ceiling over looked this garden..

 Next on to the Baths.. Philipp looking over Grenada.






 Next we went to the Generalife palace - where the King would go to get  away from all the bustle of the palace. The Royal orchards are in the foreground - with the Palace walls and towers in the background. The entry to the Generalife palace is via an exquisite garden..  By this stage, I have taken over 200 photos( and only a few have been uploaded)..


Once inside the Palace, there is an impressive garden with a fountain..

 The smaller Generalife gardens and Palace






Squirrel!

 The paths in the gardens are paved with motifs and coat of arms. The Generalife palace tour almost done...



 We then went back to the central part of the complex as we wanted to see the watch towers and the oldest part of the Palace.

 A close up of Charles V's palace

 Despite the exterior of the building being square, the interior has a circular courtyard, which is quite impressive.. After this we went to the watch tower and the oldest part of the complex - this is where the army was stationed..
 The wall to this defensive structure was decorated..
 Looking from the watch tower to the entrance to the Nazrid palaces and Charles V's palace.
 Looking at the oldest part of the Alhambra - the Alcazaba.

 The living quarters in the old section..


 A panorama shot of Granada




Once we were done, we went for the obligatory Hoponhopoff tour... We stopped at a small square and had lunch.. We got back on the tour bus and got off near the Cathedral and then walked back to the car...  
Pomegranate gate
 One has to wonder if why they put that sign up...
 The square opposite the Royal Cathedral..
 The main cathedral - we had to pay to get in and instead opted to go for some hot chocolate and Churos....
 We got back to the car and opted to go home via a scenic route - we went through the Siera Nevada national park, crested the summit and headed back...


 We went past La Calahora, up the hill and back to the boat...

The following day, we set off to Gibraltar - the starting line of the main trip...

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