View of the Alhambra

Today, we took a day trip from Seville to the Alhambra in Granada––a three–hour journey via tour bus.

View of the Alhambra

On the Way to Granada

This small tour bus picked us up in the still–dark morning at 6:45 a.m. in front of a closed cafe on the main street near our hotel. Not many people were awake in Seville at that hour––not at all like the early morning rush hours in Los Angeles.

On the Way to Granada

On the Way to Granada

We stopped at 8:30 a.m. at this road cafe to have some coffee and breakfast. I had ordered sweet pastries for my room–service dinner last night and there were enough left for Merrie and I to eat them for breakfast before we left the hotel, which we enjoyed along with orange juice from the refrigerators in our rooms. However, Spanish pastries are delicious and so we had some more here.

On the Way to Granada

On the Way to Granada

I did stay awake long enough on the bus ride to take some photos of the countryside. I could have been viewing California scenery, except that we don’t have these never–ending groves of olive trees.

On the Way to Granada

On the Way to Granada

More of the countryside.

On the Way to Granada

On the Way to Granada

This could easily be a hillside housing tract in California.

On the Way to Granada

On the Way to Granada

Spanish farm house.

On the Way to Granada

In Granada: On the Way to the Alhambra

The Alhambra is straight ahead up a steep hill and overlooks the city of Granada. We didn’t figure out why the Stop signs in Spain use the English word “Stop” on them, rather than the Spanish word “Alto” as in Mexico.

In Granada: On the Way to the Alhambra

Jardines de Murillo

Monumento a Colon (Christopher Columbus Monument).

Jardines de Murillo

The Alhambra

We walked a distance from where the bus dropped us off and then met up with a hundred or so other people who also were driven here from other cities by the same tour company. We were divided up into language groups. We ended up with an excellent tour conductor and we enjoyed the tour very much. You need a reservation to visit the Alhambra or else need to get in line for the unreserved slots available very early in the morning. Only 8000 visitors are allowed in the Alhambra each day––and it was truly difficult to take very good photos with that many tourists running around. I have put my photos of our tour of the Alhambra on a slide show on this website: Go to Slide Shows, Western Europe, Spain–1, “Granada: The Alhambra.” The Alhambra is the greatest of the Moorish palaces in Spain and also the last one to be under Moorish rule. The Christian Reconquista took Cordoba in 1237 and Seville in 1268, but it wasn’t until 1492 that the Moorish king, Boabdil, surrendered to the Christians. The Alhambra, meaning “red” in Arabic, can be divided into four parts: the Alcazaba, the mid–13th–century fort with great views of the city of Granada; the Palace of Charles V, a Christian Renaissance palace built after the Reconquista; the Palacios Nazaries, the 14th–century Moorish palaces; and the Generalife Gardens. In 1492, in the Hall of Ambassadors, two great events occurred: King Boabdil surrendered and, later in the year, Christopher Columbus sold King Ferninand and Queen Isabel on his journey to the New World.

The Alhambra

Granada

We saw very little of the city of Granada. We were only given a short time for lunch, which Merrie and I had at a sidewalk cafeteria. We didn’t realize that it was a cafeteria until later, but we were too tired to change to a better restaurant. I ordered a pork sandwich and it was absolutely delicious. Maybe Spanish cafeteria food is not the bottom level of restaurant food.

Granada

Granada

We had enough time to walk along this pedestrian street before it was time to go. I will have to go back to Granada someday to see all that I missed there. We got back to Seville in the early evening. After e–mailing our families at an Internet cafe we discovered in the plaza off our hotel, we ate our dinner at the restaurant in the plaza and then called it another long day.

Granada