We rode a night train to Granada in order to cut down on our travel time. On this trip, we had really nice couchettes on the train, 2 people per room. I couldn't sleep because it was hot, but we could hardly wake up Michelle, who rested very well. This was over all a much better experience than some of our other night train rides in the past.
Granada is known for its Moorish castle / fortress / palace called the Alhambra, and it's the main reason we went there. We had only a short time there since we were on our way from Madrid to Málaga, and it was a rainy day, so we didn't get to explore the Alhambra and Granada properly. Perhaps on the next visit, we'll spend more time there.
A drizzly rainy day was perfect for exploring the Alhambra. Here are Scott, June, and Michelle in one of many sculpted paths inside the Alhambra.
Cannons guard the palace walls.
Me, in the center of the palace of King Charles V (Palacio de Carlos V). It's a big circular building with an open top and the large courtyard in the center. It's a bit of the Hapsburg empire in the center of a Moorish complex. Very out of place, but very impressive!
A look at some of the Moorish castle walls and the city in the background.
The Moorish architecture shows heavy Arabic influence from Northern Africa. The lacy walls are covered with intricate carvings of geometric designs. Writer Washington Irving brought this place to life in his "Tales of the Alhambra".
A large courtyard with a reflecting pool. You can see the typical Moorish columns with yet more delicate wall carvings. Three of us are at the base of the largest arch.
This is the most photographed courtyard in the Alhambra. It's the Court of Lions (Patio de los Leones), known for the sculptured fountain featuring 12 lions at the base. A complex system of shallow ducts carries the water all over the Alhambra. This is the heart of the palace where the sultans enjoyed their harems.
June is peeking in to another courtyard and listening to the explanation from the electronic audio guide. These things were everywhere in Europe, and a great way to get some background info on the places we visit.
A nice courtyard with shady trees.
More sculpted gardens and fountains. This one is the Jardines del Partal. The person in the photo is a fellow tourist who happened to step into the picture.
After the Alhambra, we took a taxi to the Catedral, which is one of Spain's architectural treasures. It was built in the 1500's and boasts to be the fourth largest church in Europe. This is a photo of one of the amazing guilded chapels in the church.