Portugal, Spain and Morocco 2017 travel blog

Monday 24th April 2017 Alhambra

Such an early start for us late risers. 6:15 am in order to get on the street by 8:15, yes we had to be at least 30 minutes early because ...?. Can't imagine what it is going to be like on the tour of Morocco with Mrs Punctuality! By 9:30 we are off and touring with a small group of like minded (and languaged) tourists. Great guide and after 3 hours of very pleasant commentary (he certainly knew his stuff and presented it very well) we knew all we could possibly absorb about Alhambra. Not heard of it? The most visited site in Portugal - 3 million per year. Napoleon and his thieves had got there before us so everything (even the doors) has been looted and can be found in where? The Louvre of course. What is left is an amazing set of 800 year old buildings and younger ones added since it was started. Such carpentry in the ceilings and stone work elsewhere. A group of buildings on a massive scale. The guide explained a lot of the history and tried to take us back to imagine the silk curtains, the carpets and beautiful doors. Bath houses, soldiers quarters, towers, walls, etc and terrific gardens. And it is spring now so nearly every plant was flowering to give a rush of colour whenever we rounded a corner. The 3 hours went quickly. Strolled back to town along ancient alley ways (yes narrow ancient alleyways) and yet they could fit cars thru most of them. We ducked into door ways for health reasons. Afternoon tea was a debacle - chose a cafe with no pictures of food and no English. Still that's travel with Stephen. The atmosphere will not be forgotten though. So different to what we are used to. Then a rest, time to pace ourselves. We may try to see and do everything.....well because it's there, which can lead to a grumpy (alright grumpier) old man. So time for another cathedral. This one took our breath away - and lots of money from people who could probably not spare it 400 years ago. Treasures escaped the thief Napoleon by being hidden in sacred places. Boy did they hide a lot. Enough to start another religion I think. We had an audio guide which helped us understand even more about the church. Dinner was such a treat with a wonderful waiter who had lots of time for us. Great to have a chat. Even better the food was so good.

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