From Granada, Andalusia, Spain
DAY 11, JUNE 4: REFLECTIONS ON “PROGRESS,” OUR FAREWELL TO ALHAMBRA, EXCHANGING GIFTS
AND THEY CALL THIS “PROGRESS?” MAGNIFICENT CEILING AT NAZARIES PALACE AT THE ALHAMBRA PUTS MODERN “ART” TO SHAME
When Elizabeth and I visited the Nazaries Palace at the Alhambra last night, one object among thousands of amazingly beautifully artistic creations stood out in my mind afterward. It was this magnificent ceiling in the famous Palace of the Lions.
You want to know something odd?
While I was looking up at it to take this picture, I was thinking of the image of the Eiffel Tower when taken from the bottom looking up.
Interesting, the tricks our mind plays. One is a work of art of the 14th century. The other a marvel of engineering (and I suppose art, too) of the 19th century.
Which would you pick?
If you’re like me, you’d pick the Alhambra one.
And then the industrialists and New World Order architects tells how mankind has “progressed” in the last four centuries? Really?
So think again about that assertion. For, there are many other examples in history besides this one which point out the opposite.
OUR MEMORIES OF THE ALHAMBRA
The Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Memories of the Alhambra) music brought us to Granada and the Alhambra – http://wp.me/p1jFeo-28I.
And now, here are some physical memories we will me taking with us as we get ready to leave Granada.
As you saw, Elizabeth bought me today a beautiful piece of the Nazaries Palace wall (a reproduction) at the Alhambra library shop, as my birthday gift. The original was created between 1362 AD and 1390 AD. If any of you can help me translate the Arabic inscription in the middle of it (gold on blue), I would be grateful.
And in turn, I bought her a flamenco apron so she can sway and swing her hips while cooking when we get back home. 🙂 And also an artistic Granada shirt that she picked out today at a market near the Granada Cathedral.
You can see her modeling both in front of our apartment in Albaicin.
ABOUT THE CATHEDRAL
Foundations for the church were laid between 1518 to 1523 atop the site of the city’s main mosque. It is a practice I had also observed in Peru. If the Conquistadors didn’t destroy fully the Inca religious sites, they tried to desecrated them by building churches over them. Such as Señor de Huanca church on Mount Pachatusan.
OUR LAST DINNER IN GRANADA
We just got back from a wonderful and leisurely 2-hour dinner in our Albaicin neighborhood of Granada. The Casa Maria is one of the 5 restaurants at Placeta San Miguel, which is a short walking distance from our apartment.
Maria, an “abuela” (grandma) who is the owner and runs the restaurant, took a liking to us, and pampered Elizabeth and me with attention and great food and drink. A fairly strong wind from the east made this the coolest evening we have had so far. Still in the mid 70s though. So just perfect for sitting outside.
This was the most relaxing evening we have had so far on this trip. We felt as if we were part of the little local community nestled around the San Miguel church and square (as in Hemingway’s novels and movies based on them). The pitcher of Sangria helped get us there. 🙂
SIERRA NEVADAS: “But ours came first!” 🙂
Over dinner, I recalled a conversation I had with Victor, our hotel-apartment owner. I told him I was surprised to see snow at this time of the year on the mountain peaks that are the backdrop to the Granada skyline.
“They are the highest mountains in all of Spain,” Victor explained. “There is a lot of skiing there in the winter.”
“What is their elevation?”
“About 3,500 meters.” (11,400 feet)
“What are these mountains called?” I wondered.
“Oh, we have the Sierra Nevadas, too,” I said. “In California.”
“But ours came first,” Victor quickly asserted Spanish superiority. 🙂
We both laughed at his quick quip. I refrained from “going one better,” and pointing out that “ours are bigger.” 🙂
The highest peak of “our” Sierra Nevadas – Mount Whitney – is 14,400 ft (4,400 m), almost a 1,000 meters taller than their Andalusian counterparts.
Tomorrow, we move on and fly to Vienna via Madrid. What an unforgettable time we had in Granada.
ADIOS LA ALHAMBRA! ADIOS GRANADA!