Saturday, July 3, 2010

Granada




Took off yesterday morning for Granada. A 5 hour drive which we made in 4. And then we had to drive around the entire city to get to the parking lot a block before the hotel we already passed. It was...an adventure. And very strange. But the hotel is gorgeous and there is an amazing view of the Alhambra and the snow capped Sierra Nevada from mom and dad's room. Strange that there's still snow in such amazingly hot temperature.
We were completely late for our appointment to the Nasrid Palaces at the Alhambra, but somehow we got in anyways. It is a beautiful and well vegetated palace. Hedges and roses and orange trees everywhere. And the intricate carvings all over the walls are breathtaking and completely overwhelming. The geometry and interlocking shapes of the tiling and ceilings are just as crazy and imaginative.
After exploring the grounds thoroughly, we had a nice bottle of wine, an assorted cheese plate, and a divine creation of eggplant. It was slices of perfectly ripe and firm aubergine, lightly fried with a honey sesame dip. Such strange flavors but absolutely delicious. And the restaurant was right next to the Alhambra with one wall that opened onto old tiled ruins. The juxtaposition of the old ruins and the new, terraced dark wooded restaurant was startling. And a constant reminder of the history all around.
We walked over to a restaurant on the other side of the valley/river, which turned out to be a trek. 26 minutes is a shorter walk on flat surfaces than it seems when you're climbing steep cobblestone steps. But the view of the Alhambra lit up at nighttime is spectacular, and worth the trek. But with all the twisty and unmarked streets, I don't know how people navigated this city before GPS!

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