Sunday, April 2, 2017

April Fools' and Moor

On April Fools' Day we drove to Granada to see the Alhambra.  Wayne has wanted to visit there since he studied about it in College.  I've also wanted to go since my college days and learning of the Moorish designs.  We got the rental car out of the garage (an ordeal in itself), maneuvered the 5' wide, pedestrian packed streets out of Seville, drove 3 hours, parked and walked to the ticket gate.  APRIL FOOLS'   There were no tickets, no more entries allowed.  In fact there were no more tickets available until May unless one wanted to get in the 4am line the next day as described to us by the guard.  I guess we've become a little cavalier as well as naive.  On the positive side, the drive was beautiful with surprises of snow capped Sierra Nevada mountains around Granada.

The Alcazar

We appeased ourselves for the previous day's disappointment and visited the Savilla Alcazar.  The Alcazar is a royal palace still used by the royal family.  It was originally built by the Moorish Muslim kings and is regarded as one of the best examples of mudejar architecture on the Iberian Peninsula.  So, there!, Alhambra.  The buildings open one after another into courtyards filled with the aroma of orange blossoms.  There are 17 1/2 acres of gardens.  To us the most beautiful room was was the Hall of Ambassadors in which a semi-spherical vaulted ceiling has golden pendants made to look like stars in a night sky.  Hopefully, my pictures will do a sufficient job to illustrated the various tiles and plaster work which is almost lace-like in appearance. We were surprised that the Moors ruled here for  700 years.  That is not an occupation.  That is a permanence that remained in architectural design, influenced music and language.    

Night Life in Seville

It is true that Spaniards disappear during the afternoon to reappear at night.  Most places close and stop serving lunch at 4pm. This suits are napping time just fine.  They open again at 8 or 9 for dinner and shopping.  The above picture was taken at 10pm to show how many people are still out, eating and strolling.  The temperatures are perfect for encouraging this.  It has become hot in the sun during the day but cool at night.  

Pictures at Flickr 
Video at YouTube