Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Alhambra

As you can see below, I've gone with the general photo-dump style of posting for this sight (which, by the way, may be a bit confusing since the Blogger app I use to upload posts photos in a random order. I might go back and fix them when I'm home again with a real computer, but for now it's too laborous to adjust. My apologies for the disarray, but please to still enjoy the ambiance provided). Jason and I were just talking about how much the photos miss, though. Not only did we miss shots of details or views or scenes we admired, but the photos can't capture the smell of the herbs and flowers and cyprus trees; the sound of the water running in fountains, along the paths, and even as banisters along the stairs; or nuances of the colors and the light, especiallly when the brilliant sunlight contrasts with the cool shade of the trees or buildings. The Alhambra is gorgeous. It was my top pick for what to see in Spain, since a) I hadn't been yet and b) I teach about it when I cover Islamic art in Humanities. When we were in the midst of our travel travails on Tuesday, I wondered if it was really worth it or if we should just skip Granada and get ourselves to Valencia/Barcelona. I am so glad we didn't. It's one of the most beautiful palaces I've seen in Europe. Versailles is still the top, but where Versailles keeps it's gardens at a safe and respectable distance, the Allhambra embraces them and weaves nature and water throughout the buildings. Rick Steves describes it as the closest thing to Islam's version of heaven on earth, and as we strolled through paths lined with hedges carved into archways, with flowers and fountains, and with stunning views of the stone fortress walls, green hillsides, and the white-walled Spanish town below; we wondered if we could pick this version of heaven instead of the Protestant version we've been promised.

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