DEC
2019
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Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
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Frank Bernheisel
Posted 3.17.19
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL & KATHY CAVANAUGH
All photos courtesy the authors

AND ON TO GRSNADA

We cruised all night, had breakfast at 6:30 AM, and by 8 AM the Harmony V was tied up at the quay in Almeria harbor. We immediately boarded our bus, which would take us to Granada for the day. We traveled west along the southern coast of Spain to circumvent the Sierra Nevada mountains, that rise to 11,000 feet above the sea.

The hills along the coast were dry with scrub growth. This is because the area is one of the driest in Spain, with a subtropical-Mediterranean climate, very mild winters and hot summers. The area enjoys an average of 300 days of sunshine throughout the year, with only about 40-45 days with rain.

greenhouses

The coastal winds blowing from the Mediterranean Sea make the heat manageable during the summer. In order to produce the fruits and vegetables the area exports, huge plastic greenhouses have been built on the flat land and even up the hills.

After a couple of hours' drive and a quick pit stop, we arrived in Granada, capital city of the province of Granada in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest autonomous community in the country, which includes all of southern Spain. The coach climbed about 2400 feet to reach Granada, a city of about 240,000 people and the location of our goal, Alhambra.

path

We were dropped off for our walking tour of the Alhambra, which generally prohibits vehicles. Walked through tree-lined paths, past ruins of buildings and fortifications, which led us to a small "modern" area with shops and a very narrow street leading to Charles V's palace.

palace

The Palace of Charles V is a 16th C Renaissance building the Holy Roman Emperor commanded to be built. He wished to establish his residence in Alhambra but never live here. The palace is a 207-foot square containing a large inner circular patio that looks like a bull fight ring. We did not go in.

gate

We then passed through one of the original Moorish palace gates into the complex.

Alhambra is an Arab citadel and palace and the most renowned set of buildings of the Islamic historical legacy of Spain (711 – 1492). It was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889 AD on the remains of Roman fortifications, then largely ignored until the 13th century when Nasrid emir, Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, built its current palace and walls.

palace

Granada became the royal palace of Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada, in 1333. After the Reconquista, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (1492). Alhambra is situated on a plateau surrounded on three sides by the city of Granada, left photo. Water was very important to the Muslims who built an arched vault, which channeled meltwater from the Snowy Mountains through the citadel via a complex system of conduits and tanks.

water

NEXT: TO BE CONTINUED...

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