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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Granada, Alhambra and Albaicin

This was the coolest part of the trip. We got to Granada in (what we thought was) plenty of time to find our hostel. We would book the hostels via internet each day for the next night. The average hostel cost about $25 per person. Sure, you had to share a room, but that's how you meet the most interesting people. Mark and I were usually the oldest folks in the hostels. But we were always made to feel welcome. Hostels invariably feature free internet, local tours, an open kitchen and a homey atmosphere. This compared to the "Five Star" places we stay in during the recruiting tours where the internet fee alone costs more than a stay at a hostel. Different kind of travel.

The Makuta backpacker's hostel in Granada took us FOREVER to find. It was in the Albaicin neighborhood, hard against Alhambra. Here is a picture of the neighborhood taken from the walls of Alhambra. Our hostel is in the picture, but I'll be switched if I can find it.

So Alhambra. First off, in Arabic "Al" means "the." So calling it The Alhambra is like saying The The Hambra. Just like Chai Tea Latte. What do you think "Chai" is?

Oh, and Hambra means red, for the color of the bricks.

Anyway, the place stood against the Spanish reconquest for over two centuries until that fateful year of 1492 when the last Moorish King, Boabdil The Unfortunate ceded it. As he fled toward the south and still existent, but dwindling, Moorish territory he paused on a hill to look back one last time at his beloved Alhambra. His mother, ever the supportive parent, was quoted to say "Weep as a woman for that which you could not defend as a man." Thanks mom.

It was while walking the narrow cobblestone ways in the palace I heard a disturbance behind me. Kind of a rumbling, bumbling, stumbling sound. I need not have looked. It was my erstwhile companero rolling down the sloping path. I didn't even have to look. His claim was he was distracted by a certain pair of pants.

I saw her too and I didn't fall! (Grace under pressure.)

We spent six hours there and could have spent another day. If you go either book tickets online a couple days before you intend to go or get up early to queue for the limited number of tix they sell each day. We got lucky.

1 comment:

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