Thursday, November 26, 2009

granada, the photos - by b

I pretty much agree with Kristin re Granada. The place didn't really speak to me. I thought it would (see "The Jew's Last Sigh" about our last trip to Andalucia---especially since Granada is the place of the actual Moor's actual Last Sigh)... but it didn't really. The Alhambra is the reason most visitors go to Granada at all. And it got my thoughts swirling about how places change and people(s) come and go... and the slow-burning-link between 1492 and 9-11 and 3-11. 1492 was a BIG year... kind of an inflection point in history... it is kind of jarring to read the major events of the year in wikipedia and think how little closure there really is. The idea and story and meaning of the Alhambra captured me... but the place itself... not really. Maybe it's too perfect... too touristy. Oddly the place that I liked more than anything in Granada was a little coffee shop, Casa Pasteles, that Kristin stumbled onto when she went out to find a map after we arrived. I must have drunk 20 cups of coffee there. It's kind of a neighborhood hub where we were staying in Albaycin---the hill across the valley from the Alhambra. Anyway... on to the photos:

Waiting for our train in Barcelona. A number of commuter trains came and went. The glowing lights seemed cozy to me.

We were on the 9:30 TrenHotel

Car number 6

Couchette 1. It turned out it was right next to the bathroom. The hand-drying machine: very loud!

Bona nit Barcelona

Kristin's Munichs

Guy time in the bar car. Kristin stayed behind. The boys eventually went back. I stayed for a while. The bar got pretty crowded.

Bar car again... after sunrise and about an hour from Granada


This is the bar in the train station where we had a coffee ... and shook off our train legs.

Sugar in the bar... "medio ambiente" means environment in spanish. "medio" also means half. The sugar asks whether we call it medio ambiente because we've already destroyed half of it.

More sugar ... "the past has fled, your dreams are far away, the present is your's"

We stayed in the house of an old friend of Kristin's. I remember having pizza with him in La Jolla forEVER ago.. we got there a few minutes before the person who would let us in

Making a plan with the map Kristin found. We had pre-purchased tickets for Alhambra (printed via an ATM in Barcelona) in about an hour or two

Casa Pasteles. My first coffee there. This was just a quick stop on the way to alhambra

But before leaving the coffeeshop.... look.. up on the ceiling above the chandelier.. is this a strange and hidden relic of the past? In the turbulent history of Spain both Muslims and Jews were forced to convert to Catholicism or leave (Ferdinand and Isabela's Albambra Decree of March 1492)--- there are many stories of so-called secret Jews and secret Muslims .

Weird and cool graffiti on the way to the alhambra. As Kristin said, the boys were troopers. It was decent hike down from Albaycin to a valley and up to the Alhambra.

Heading down

Heading up what might have been a back way.. very beautiful.. Cuesta de los Chinos. It felt very autumn

Lots of water. A hallmark of the Alhambra

Definitive shape


Funty having a bit of a rest

the great defender
Kristin... The Defender

dorian ran ahead
Dorian ran ahead and climbed the tower

The pre-airforce high-ground advantage. Looking down on Granada


a sign by the gate that boabdil, (muhammad xi) left through after being forced out by ferdinand and isabella in '92... he asked that the gate be sealed forever

Alhambra stray cat

generalife palace
The one spot in the Alhambra that I absolutely dug was this garden in the Palace of the Generalife. Gorgeous. Peaceful.

Walking back up to our neighborhood.. I loved this violet and green and white house.

Early morning run next day.. back up to the Alhambra (but not in)

Lots of cool graffiti... here's one piece

Reading the paper (trying to) in Case Pasteles. Big fines for making graffiti. two french 22-year-olds were fined 3,000 euros

We walked to the Sacromente neighborhood where many houses, bars and clubs are dug into caves. The neighborhood kind of ends and the countryside begins.

looking into the valley from Abadia del Sacromonte
We walked up to an abbey... Abadadia de Sacramonte

Where the ancient sign returns. The abbey gives out a (slightly defensive sounding--- but my spanish isn't that good) pamphlet saying this is not the sign of the jews or the state of israel and that the symbol can be found in many religions and cultures over history and was chosen as the sign of this particular abby. It is true. The jew's don't have a monopoly on the hexagram. Though I like the idea of there being an echo or shadow remaining since 1492.



abadia de sacramonte

abadia de sacramonte

abadia de sacramonte
Back in the center of town. This brit is making daily sketches of parts of spain. Of course I bought his sketch of the day. It is big. He also uses blogger BTW.

On the main square. I loved this watercolor with superimposed ipod earphones.

calla-te la boca
We bought the kids tee shirts in a cool little store. This is a page in one of their catalogs in the shop. the brand is "callate la boca" which means shut your mouth... the brand, of course, does nothing but.

callete tu boca
arel's tee

Casa Pasteles, Albaicin, Granada
the temple

they serve a local treat... toasted roll with butter (lots) and marmalade, or olive oil and honey, or tomato. i liked the butter/marmalade the best


and bustle

Casa Pasteles, Albaicin, Granada
thanks for visiting :-)

getting some energy to go out on our last night. brothers playing Life on the itouch

kristin cementing her lead over me in scrabble on the itouch

reading about alhambra

no pictures.. but we went out our last night kind of bar hopping. they do a sort of "freemium" thing there where food (tapas) comes with drinks. this worked for while. then we went to hear some flamenco which was my first time (flamenco is not a barcelona thing.. it is an andalucian thing) .. kristin and dorian went home and arel and i stayed out later and went for some mint tea in a cool arab spot

last day. town symbol. granada means pomegranate (granate!)

winding down. dorian reading in the sun

the airport had a red wall. dorian and i shot a bunch of impromptu videos for the zibz project. we were the last to board the plane

NEVER give your kid your camera.
never let the kid steal the camera

airfield @ granada
out to the airfield

blue and orange... even the redeye seems to work
the sky was amazing



Buenas noches Andalucia