|I posted the pictures of the Alhambra tour from my first full day in Granada and then my Flamenco experience.
The second full day I went over to the café next door to my hotel. They have very good internet service and have PEPSI. I have been having trouble finding Pepsi. Coke is everywhere and I will drink it in a pinch but I will always go out of my way to get a Pepsi vs. Coke. They also have a wonderful puff pasta filled with chocolate. So I hung out there until well after noon that second day updating my Travel Journal. I finally got to feeling guilty not to have done anything.
The Alhambra is closed on Monday but there were still a bunch of buses dropping people off and picking people up. So I went over to see what they were doing. I never did figure that out. All I could tell was they were walking around the wall so I decided to see where that got me. I went around the back side while most of the tour groups went around the front.
I followed the Alhambra walls until they took me down into the city's central business district. It was a very pretty walk with forest on one side and the neat old walls on the other but I was walking on cobblestones in sandals so that was tricky. When I got to the bottom there were lots of restaurants, bars and shops. It was around 6:30 so the shops had opened back up after siesta. I stopped and ate at a Turkish restaurant. Then I did some looking (since I can't buy anything but Dad's post cards) then walked over to the central bus pick up area and took the #30 bus up to the Alhambra and walked back up to my hotel. That #30 bus is set up to pretty much go back and forth from the city center (in front of the cathedral) to the Alhambra. Granada has done an excellent job accommodating the tourists.
I slept in on Tuesday (the third full day) and when I finally got to moving I went over to the Alhambra to see the Alhambra museum and the art museum in the Palace of Carlos V. That is in an area that is free to the public. I also took a couple other pictures of the Alhambra which I will post in a separate posting. Then I caught the #30 bus down to the cathedral, intending to see it and the chapel adjacent to it where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella are buried. At the time when Isabella wrote her last testament Seville was the center of the Spanish World and Granada was a backwater but she took a personal pride in running the Moors out of their last stronghold so she wanted a cathedral built in Granada and she wanted buried in its chapel. It turned out she died before the cathedral was even started so the Chapel Royal was built beside where the cathedral was to be built. I had forgotten about siesta so when I got to town most things were closed - not the restaurants - they don't close - so I finally found a place serving authentic Andalusian garlic soup. It was a broth based soup with an egg poached in it with bits of ham and croutons. Very good!! I don't know how authentic to Spain tilapia is but it was done in a good olive oil.
So I finally did get into the cathedral. I wanted an audio tour device so I had to leave a driver's license, passport or 20 Euros. The last time I left my driver's license as collateral I almost left it in Chartres so I left the 20 Euros. They gave me a receipt and told me I had to bring that receipt and the audio thing back to go my 20 Euros back. Well, of course, about 45 minutes into my tour I realized I had lost my receipt. I back tracked and could not find it. You can see from the pictures the floor was black and white so a green ticket should be fairly obvious. I backtracked and could not find it. I went ahead and finished the tour, went completely through my purse to see if I had put it there and as I was walking back to turn in the device and start begging for my money back I found it on the floor where I had looked several times before.
My heart really wasn't in this cathedral visit. First it is partly Baroque in design and I hate Baroque. I am also really sick of cathedrals at this point but I knew it was definitely a different style so I went. This was built several hundred years after the ones I had seen in France and it was by a Spanish architect that put a new spin on Roman architecture.
The sanctuary in this church is built in the round. The height of the ceiling is twice the diameter of the circle. This is classic Roman architectural design. It is hard to tell this in the pictures because of the size of the thing. For years this circular chapel was used for worship while the rest of the cathedral was going up around it.
Pure baroque architecture does not use traditional Roman structure but this cathedral does use Roman features but also incorporates baroque features as well - I always thought of baroque as "over the top" - in my opinion if it is a mess (looks non-harmonious) it is baroque. One test for baroque is the use of both painting and sculpture (or sculptural relief carvings). You can see that in the pictures of the sanctuary and several of the chapels off the outer aisles. There, see - those Greek and Roman, Medieval and Renaissance/Baroque Architecture classes did eventually come in useful for something besides raising my GPA.
I also went in to see the Royal Chapel where Ferdinand and Isabella's tombs are exhibited as well as King Philip and Queen Juana. It is in a separate building. There is access between the Royal Chapel and the Cathedral but they make you buy a separate ticket and enter in another door. The Royal Chapel also has a museum with works of art in addition to various items owned by Ferdinand and Isabella including her crown. No pictures were allowed in the Royal Chapel.