Sunday, May 07, 2006


5th May - 8th May

Granada felt a bit cooler (temperature-wise) than its eastern partner, Sevilla, but as soon as we unloaded our bags into our new home and headed out to see the city, the mother of all rainbow appeared across the sky.

Alexis, a friend from New York, who is currently living and loving Granada, took us on a tour from sightseeing to tapas. First stop: Plaza Mirador del San Nicholas, a lookout point that extends to the periphery of the Sierra Nevada and provides a magical view of The Alhambra.

History note: The Moors ruled Spain for 800 years, leaving behind a culture that still stands out in these modern bohemian times. The Alhambra was first constructed as a fortress city and later, with the expulsion of the Moors, became a royal palace for the Spanish monarchy. Visited daily by 6000 visitors, it stands high and golden brown and entertains the most vivid sunsets.

Due to the large number of visitors, the tickets to see the Alhambra were hard to come by. The committed begin to queue at 6 a.m., but we left it to luck and managed to scout two tickets. Tom is hiding in one of many gardens that surround the palace.

Zhenia smiles in a row of lush roses in the garden.

On a bright afternoon, we took a stroll through Sacromonte, situated in the north of the city. Known as the central settlement of the gypsies that arrived about 600 years ago in Granada, they settled in the caves of the mountain and as you walk on the hillside, you can actually see the caverns inside the rock. The mixture of Arabic influence combined with the particular lifestyle and temperament of the gypsies is said to have created Flamenco.

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