Princess Jasmine’s Palace? No, Just Alhambra

Granada

We arrived in Granada as part of our summer 2008 trip. Getting there was quite an experience. We waited at the train station for what felt like hours. My eyes were exhausted from the air conditioning in the bus… and I complained about that cool, flowing air, all the way to the underground… when I shut right up, as I was blasted with the hottest air I think I’ve ever experienced in my life. We waited for the train in a dry, sticky heat, one that no amount of fanning with our maps could wear off.  We finally got on board and heading to our overnight cabins… still no air conditioning. We couldn’t cool down, wandering car to car, until finally, we arrived in the dining car. Cool air awaited us, and we happily spent 40 Euros each just to eat a burger and sit in there for a few hours.

train food

When we got off the train, we headed to our hotels to freshen up, then headed to what might be my favourite castle ever – Alhambra Palace. It was GORGEOUS.

granada 2

Pretending to be Jasmine, awaiting my magic carpet ride…

The entire way through, I was reminded of Princess Jasmine’s castle, and swore Disney used it as inspiration.This may actually be the case; though I found no proof online, and it IS in Spain, the Palace was originally built for the final Muslim emirs (a high position in Arabian offices) in Spain, for the court of the Nasrid Dynasty.  Sounds like “Arabian Nights” to me! I didn’t find all of this information out until years later, when I decided to research (My appreciate for history has, thankfully, grown exponentially over the years since this trip) to castle… I must say, though, I’m pretty impressed with 17 year old Kylie for picking up on those architectural similarities!

granada1

In one of the many Alhambra gardens.

That evening, we attended an overpriced Flamenco show. we sat in a small , low-ceiling’d room and watched a few men and ladies (the former very flamboyant, the latter wearing too much makeup and not enough dress) dance around in what is coined as “flemenco” dance.  It was very interesting, and entertaining, particuarly due to the unlimited sangria.  I am not sure I would attend again, however. We only had one night in this beautiful city, and I would have liked to explore it more.

The following morning, we had a chance to visit the tombs of Isabella and Ferdinand, the Catholic monarchs who granted Christopher Columbus permission to explore the new world (originally seeking a trade route to Asia, of course). That was strange… my first tombs. I couldn’t help but wonder what the bodies/bones looked like after over 600 years, but we didn’t get to look… naturally.

tomb

The creepy tomb of dead monarchs, part 1

We also had a chance to visit the Catedral de Granada, this beautiful, 46 meter tall Cathedral, all white, very large and echo-ey. Have you ever stopped to think about how magnificent it is that builders were able to create places such as these, so very many years ago, without all the technology we have today?  I’m sure I wasn’t thinking it then… but I’m thinking it now.

granada cathedral

The magnificent beams in the Cathedral.

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