Sunday, October 19, 2008

A day in Granada, Spain

(This is long overdue...but it's beter to be late than never).

We just about to enter the Province of Granada.

Granada was first settled by native tribes in the prehistoric period, and was known as Ilbyr. When the Romans colonised southern Spain, they built their own city here and called it Illibris.

The Arabs, invading the peninsula in the 8th century, gave it its current name of Granada. It was the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492, at the hands of Queen Isabel of Castile and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon.

Inside garden of the Generalife.

One of the most brilliant jewels of universal architecture is the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th C.

This is part of the ruined palace. You can see how they built it, composed of compartments. The blue horizon is just the range os Nevada.

This mighty compound of buildings – including the summer palace called Generalife, with its fountains and gardens - stands at the foot of Spain's highest mountain range, the Sierra Nevada, and overlooks the city below and the fertile plain of Granada.

This is the plain of Granada. We took the view from the top of the ruined palace.

Because it was the last city reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492, Granada has an unmistakable Arab flavour. Its cuisine, crafts and urban layout are a consequence of the city's glorious history. Fountains, viewpoints, and the villas surrounded by gardens typical of the city, add to Granada's unforgettable charm. Not in vain was one of its oldest districts, the AlbaicĂ­n, declared a World Heritage Site, together with the Alhambra and the Generalife.

We were sitting in the plane and alas! Got the top view where we stand. It was really a tough day when we climbed the top...not to mentioned my 5 month old tummy :-)

Walk through beautiful gardens, charming narrow streets filled with flowers, sit down in one of those typical taverns to have some of that famous ham and local wine, and breath the centuries of history around us...

Here, we deserved a share of Spanish cuisine...Gracias!

A week of sunshine in Spain

Hello friends. Sorry, it's been long time since my last post. I would still like to publish this post during our late summer vacation for my archive.

When the tree leaves are falling in Holland (just beginning of autumn), in Spain just turned to yellow due to the heat of the sun (end of summer). We've been in Costa del Sol, the southern region of the Spaniards.

It was a relaxing time in a small town of Nerja. Nerja is the most easterly resort on Spain's Costa del Sol before this Mediterranean coastline becomes known as the Costa Tropical. We took a 50 minute drive from Malaga airport to the town. We just rented a car for easy mobility and since we're looking forward to travel going to Granada, about a one and a half hour's drive inland from Nerja.

Many foreigners have bought holiday or permanent homes here and visitors flock here in the summer months giving the resort a distinctly international feel. Yet the town centre retains much of its old world charm with narrow, winding streets, whitewashed houses and balconies overflowing with brightly coloured bougainvillea and geraniums.Wandering through some of its charming streets and looking out to sea beyond its the local fishing boats is a far cry from some of the better known resorts to the west of Malaga.

View at the Balcon de Europa.

The focal point of Nerja is the Balcon de Europa which is a man-made promontory stretching from the centre of town out into sea.It also provides a stunning viewing point from where you can see along the coast in both directions and high into the Sierra de Almijara mountains inlandA major part of Nerja's appeal to tourists is that it has maintained its white village charms.

The mini-train
we took a ride but we're not well satisfied...(was a short-ride of 30 min).

At Plaza Cavana, just behind the church, there's a mini-train (or "wally trolley" according to the locals) that takes a regular tour around Nerja.

A street just down of our apartment.

Heading further east you'll find an area of winding streets with a fine selection of Nerja restaurants and tapas bars as well as some interesting shops.

A narrow street in Frigiliana.

Just seven kilometers north of Nerja is the typical pueblo blanco of Frigiliana which sits high on a mountain ridge overlooking the sea with spectacular panoramic views. The village is a tangle of narrow cobbled streets lined by whitewashed houses, their wrought-iron balconies filled with planters of brilliant red geraniums.

We also visited the fascinating city of Granada with its awe-inspiring Alhambra Palace. From this historical city is drive on for another hour and you'll be in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, one of the famous ranges in Europe. Later I'll post about this city.

Though this entry is really overdue but then somewhat relevant to me not to forget...

By the way, happy new year to all !