Friday, February 27, 2009

GRANADA..The Royal Chapel and The Alhambra

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It was a noisy night but beds were comfortable. Best thing is we’ve got a fantastic shower in our room. The last of the roommates turned out the lights about 6 am! But then we bothered them in the morning as we got up about 8 am.

This morning we walked to the Plaza Nueva and caught the bus up to the Alhambra to pick up our tickets for tomorrow morning and also get the lay of the land. Returning down the hill by bus we got off and starting walking the area. We headed towards a church, it was closed but we saw an interesting street and headed up the narrow alley. Before we knew it we were on a bridge that offered a great view of even another church further up and we continued to walk after stopping for some photo opportunities. We used the mini tripod for a joint photo and ended taking shots of three different couples before we meandered on up the hill.

Suddenly we looked to our right and discovered that we’d been slowly walking along the base of the Alhambra and we eventually reached a plaza with fantastic views from the base. Amazing what you can find without trying!

Leaving that area we stopped at an Alimentacion (grocery store) for some supplies and food to cook for ourselves at the Hostel tonight before heading back to the Hostel. Along the way we discovered the entrance to the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel.

Took advantage of the empty room when we returned and both showered and washed our hair…wonderful hot showers! Then we spent an hour looking for Mary’s suitcase keys that eventually were found where they were suppose to be: in her purse!

Walked to the Royal Chapel and found that it was closed for lunch; used the opportunity to walk all the way around the Cathedral…it’s really BIG. Did a lot of “window shopping” for things we’d like to buy but didn’t and then enjoyed the Royal Chapel; known as the Capilla Real. This lavish chapel holds the bodies of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand, Philip and Juana their successors and also Isabel & Ferdinand’s son Michael. The main altar is one of the greatest Renaissance works in Spain.

We’re going to see if we can slip inside the Cathedral at 7:30 this evening for Mass. Otherwise it’s another fee.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Never made it to the Cathedral last night, maybe tonight; enjoyed the kids in our room part of the evening and then they headed out to enjoy the night life. One must remember that 2 am is like 10 pm to Americans so we tried to ignore the noise as the evening progressed. Everything quieted down about 2 am as they all had to leave early this morning. We were up about 7 am; ate a light breakfast downstairs (included in the package) and headed out to catch the bus to the Alhambra on the hill. It was so nice to know exactly where we were going this morning; one of the advantages of taking our time in each city is that we have time to scope things out the day before.

Arrived at the Alhambra just before opening; picked up our audio tour systems and arrived at the Palacio Nazaries (Moorish Palace) in time for our 9 am entry. This is the only building that has a required time to enter and after we completed that we spent the balance of our four hours touring both of the Museums housed In the Carlos V Palace, the Alcazaba (the original Moorish Fortress), the church and the extensive gardens.

The Lions around the base of the fountain in the Palacio Nazaries courtyard are now being restored and we only saw one of them in the Museum.

Mary agreed that this was worth the trouble to come to Granada for. The photos will also include one of the “National Bird”; slang for the large cranes found in all European cities; some graffiti that is almost modern art that is found on vacant walls everywhere and a photo of the snow covered Sierra Nevada Mountains (the original) that sit above Granada. One of our young friends here at the Hostel is leaving today with a very large backpack for a month of hiking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains from village to village. He is from Florida. Also met a young man from Tokyo who is on a fifty five day tour around the world to celebrate his graduation before he starts his job; his last stop will be in Los Angeles. We’ve really had fun with these young people from around the world. You will also notice one photo of Mary that I took from the top of the tallest tower; she stayed behind and I climbed that one by myself and found a wonderful view of the Cathedral in the city far below. Hope you’re enjoying Granada with us. Tomorrow is a rest day and then on Sunday we go back to Madrid.

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