Saturday, October 19, 2013

Granada Again!


I mentioned the Generalife the other day, which, while beautiful, is not Granada's main attraction - that would be the Alhambra.
This place is proof we really don't make things like we used to... It has been around since the middle of the 11th century, and what's more amazing than that is all the detail. Every inch of this place is beautifully and carefully crafted. It's a stunning attempt to created paradise on Earth - Arabic inscriptions, painted tiles, and light pouring in. It was designed for the inhabitants - the outer walls are all plain brick!

After the Catholic Reconquista, the Alhambra was somehow forgotten about and fell into disrepair. How could you forget about a place like this? I can hardly believe it. It was rediscovered by European travellers in the 19th century. How amazing would that have been, to be travelling around Southern Spain, perhaps reading tales of old mentioning a splendid palace, only to stumble upon the ruins? Or maybe the voyage was inspired by Irving's Tales of the Alhambra, and after a long journey by steamer and carriage, and hours of walking in the heat, finally seeing what was before only in your mind's eye?

And how awesome would my 19th-century travelling adventurous wardrobe have been? Giant hat and high-wasted skirt trailing on the ground, a comely shirt and serviceable yet fashionable leather satchel for my kit. 

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