So I left Sevilla in the rain, but the bus was going to Granada and there was only some drizzle with the occasional shower. Like Sevilla, they are really into their siestas, wich is more like "lets close everything but the cafeterias, restaurants and pubs". No mercy for the silly tourists (the vast majority consists of waffling Americans; Barcelona had more French and Dutch people. But that as an aside). Actually the main catherdral wasn't all that interesting, even though it was built over a big mosque and contains thombs of the catholic monarchs. Next to the cathedral is an area called Alcaicería, which used to be a larger Arab market, but now mainly little touris shops with a blend of "typical spanish" thingies and Arab/Muslim+Catholic stuff (i.e. also a part of spanish history in Andalucía). Really the most impressive was the little basilica of San Juan de Dios. It looks rather dull from the outside, but inside ever tiny cm2 is covered with art plaster, plate gold en frescos that it almost hurts your eyes.
The day ended with more delicious food and good wine and yet another spanish newspaper that covered the voting results of the Assembly of Nothern Ireland again, with a certain degree of sarcasm.
I got a free entrance to La Alhambra because I was considered as minusválido after the ticket-man realized I wasn't a student anymore. I hadn't prepared myself for the visit and therefore took Mr Irving on the mobile guide. W. Irving has been there before, in 1829 more precisely, and has written short stories about it. There are signs with numbers at different places of interest, press the buttons on the mobile and you'll hear his blahblah, consisting of mainly: close your eyes, use your fantasy and contemplate. What? close my eyes? With all the beauty?
There is a palace from the catholic king Carlos V, who had left the splendour from the muslims intact and just let his palace be built next to the Palacios Nazarí. Either the king didn't have any taste of his own, or he placed the "empty" building next to the Palacios Nazarí as a sharp contrast and make that appear even more impressive than it already is. When the rest of Europe was still messing around in the Dark Ages, those muslims had their art well developed. Left you can see a detail of the lower sides adjacent to the ceiling. One room had a special ceiling with a nadir thought to be the going all the way up to Allah. Right underneath there's a marked piece of holy floor not to be walked on.
One of the other marvels is the patio of the lions with 124 pillars (no, I didn't count them). Water is flowing from the four directions to the fountain that is held up by the lions and then recycled back into the mini aquaducts. And yes, water was flowing that day. The four directions being interpreted as a symbol, idem water. If you want to know more about that, look it up.
The third part of La Alhambra is the oldest of the three, the Alcazaba. Despite the lousy weather the views were still ok. Further there was more, like, surprise, surprise, a church. An the Generalife, but I was way to tired to walk at least another mile. There is more information and photos from the ALhambra here.
7 hours, a bit of food and several cups of cafe solo later I went back to the hotel to relax with the newspaper (news junkie? naaah). There was an article about the feminario held in Spain over the weekend. A feminario? Yes, a seminario (seminar) for women; it's just that the spanish feminists considered the word seminar way too masculine because according to its ethymology that word is derived from semen. Yeah, sure.
For the rest of the day I enjoyed good food (as if there exist disgusting food in Spain), done some shopping, seen the Jardins de Triunfo (although I haven't figured out yet what triumph is being celebrated) and some other not worthy mentioning lazyness.
This was about it for Granada; ok, there's always more to see and to do, but I went off to Madrid the next day anyway....