Europe 2013-Citizens of the Republic of Ushington visit England, France and Spain travel blog

Olive trees-as far as the eye can see


Views of the old city wall

Alhambra in the background






Typical Albaicin quarter balcony


Narrowest street in the Albaicin quarter

Part of the water system perfected by the Muslims


Views of the Alhambra and city, from San Nicolas View Point



Generalife summer palace



Stone sidewalk decoration


Generalife summer palace

Darro river walk


Remnant of bridge that connected the Alhambra with the Albaicin quarter


Corpus Christi festival celebration


Another train ride today. This was from Seville to Granada and took about 3 hours. The Spanish countryside is very beautiful, with olive trees as far as the eye can see. As we neared Granada, we could see the Sierra Nevada-a snow covered mountain range that contains the highest mountain in Spain.

We had a bit of time to settle in before we went for a walk in the Albaicín (old Arab) quarter, with our charming guide, Carmen. This area of the city is high on a hill. We are glad that we took a taxi up the hill and walked down, rather than doing the opposite. There are many good viewpoints from which to see the Alhambra. There are examples of Moorish architecture and very narrow winding streets.

There was an ingenious system for bringing fresh water into the city from the nearby river, and remnants of this are still in evidence today.

The quarter dates from the 11th century. After the Muslims were expelled, many of their houses were taken over and converted into Carmens – houses with high walls, a view of the Alhambra, and very rich inhabitants.

We also took a walk down a street in the Sacromonte district, which is home to the city’s Roma population. Our guide made sure to differentiate between the people who lived and worked here, and those young girls who tried to sell tourists rosemary springs in front of the cathedrals. The houses were literally dug into caves, some of which are now turned into shops.

Our walk ended at the Darro River, which was used to supply water to the Albaicin. The water flow was blocked, to create a reservoir, from which pipes took fresh water to the city. The used water went into a part of the river below the barrier. When it needed to be cleaned, the barrier was removed and the fresh water rushed in and cleaned away the waste.

As we wandered back to our hotel, we ran right into one of the Corpus Christi festival parades. The street was crowded with people of all ages as a group of men carried a statue of Mary along the road. They were followed by a band that played sombre music.

We ended our day with some drinks and tapas with Carmen.

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