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


Unfinished Christian palace of Charles V-the niches would have held statues

Central round courtyard

Lots of beautiful flowers and gardens


The gate of wine-but not for entering the Alhambra-just for moving from...

Gate detail

Entrance to Alcazaba-a military fortress


Soldiers quarters-all that remains


Views from the top of the tower








Courtyard with orange trees

Beautiful wooden ceilings-typical of the Muslim architecture


Christians added more tiles

Another courtyard-with typical low fountain

Stucco detail-it would have been painted originally





Stalactite plaster ceiling-retaining some of the original colors

Courtyard outside the Hall of the Ambassadors



Ceiling of the Hall of the Ambassadors-representing 7 heavens of Islamic belief



"Allah is the only conquerer"

Entrance to the court of the Lions


Column details



12 lions hold the fountain. They are believed to represent the 12...

Lead inserts in columns for earthquake protection


Ceiling detail-palace of the Lions


The only remaining original wooden door




Ceiling detail


Roof of the bath houses


Ceiling of the room in which Washington Irving wrote Tales from the...


Old aqueduct


Gardens of the Generalife-summer palace



Christian fountain-it is raised off the ground







Fernando-our wonderful guide

Delicious salad for lunch-Granada

Young olive flowers-not usually blurry!

300 year old olive tree

Wild poppies-growing all over France and Spain

Irrigation system for the olive orchard

Immature almonds

Untitled 81

The key to the Molino de Sangre

Molino de Sangre- Mill of Blood

Donkeys were used to move the wheel that ground the olives-they were...

And on their break-a snack from the corner cupboard

River view from the mill

Press for extracting the oil

Other end of the press

More modern water driven grinder-waterwheel is underneath

Pressed oil was placed in large pottery containers


Preparation for oil tasting

What we got to taste

We took a taxi to the Alhambra, where we met our guide, Fernando. We spent about 3 hours exploring the complex and gardens. Alhambra was a city in its own right, comprising a military area (alcazar), judicial area (hall of the ambassadors), and living and working area (medina).

The Christian palace of Charles V was built in the Alhambra to symbolize the triumph of Christianity over Islam. Many parts of the structure date from the 14th century. Much has also been destroyed.

Fernando asked us to focus on the walls and ceilings, many of which are still original. In the court of the lions, we were privileged to be able to see the newly conserved fountain, which was only completed about 7 months ago, after years of restoration.

The details are becoming a blur-I took lots of pictures of beautiful wooden ceilings and tiled walls, and don’t remember what they all are. All the stucco work was once painted in hues of red, blue, green and yellow. Some of the colour is still visible, but it must have been very grand when the walls were all coloured.

There are also lots of lovely gardens throughout the complex.

In the late afternoon, we went on an olive oil tour, in which we saw olive trees about to flower and a 15th century olive oil mill that was in use until the early 20th century. We participated in tasting of several olive oils, as well as some Andalusian wines.

Early to bed tonight as we are being picked up at 0730 for our flight to Barcelona.

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