Monthly Archives: September 2010

Spain Part II – Granada and The Alhambra

Alhambra

Although the blog has been severely lacking in knitting content lately, I still don’t have any to share with you. For one, my thumb has just recently healed (yay for healing!) and for two I am so so so close to finishing this enormous shawl that I am test knitting and until that is done I’m not picking up any other projects! And so knitting content must wait. I decided instead to revisit my trip to Spain by moving on to part two. I wasn’t sure what to do first, all the little towns that we visited while there or the Alhambra. Mostly because I like to do things in order and all of these pictures were interspersed through different days and times, so it was hard. But I decided since I LOVED the Alhambra (and Granada) so much that those would have to come first! Part III will have all the different places that we visited around Andalucía as well as Valencia and Montserrat (you can see a little preview of beautiful Montserrat below).

Montserrat Monastery

But back on course… my sister and I just LOVED visiting Andalucía. In fact, I am dying to go back there and have already told my husband that we need to take a trip there again to see all the other little towns I missed. But by far one of my favorites parts of the trip was staying in Granada.

Walking around Granada

Walking around Granada

Walking around Granada

Walking around Granada

Granada at night

Granada at night

Granada is a beautiful little city situated in the mountains in the community of Andalucía. It has a lot of Muslim influence in its design, as do a lot of the cities around Andalucía. For instance the use of cloth to cool down the streets during the hot days.

Walking around Granada

Not only does it look neat, but it works incredibly well at keeping the streets below cooler, which is very helpful as it gets very very hot in Granada (we were there in May and it was already 90 degrees – that’s 32 Celsius – almost every day!).

Walking around Granada

Of course even with the Muslim influences, there are plenty of Catholic churches and Christian architecture around!

Walking around Granada

Granada Cathedral

Granada at night

And just as I found in Barcelona, there is plenty of interesting graffiti to look at!

Walking around Granada

Walking around Granada

We loved the food in Granada too! Tapas are the big thing there. Basically a tapas is a small plate of food that they bring out for free for every drink you buy. You might think that’s great so you can eat for free but they are tiny plates and in general only include some olives or bread. Not really a meal at all. However, what food we did have (that we ordered) was amazing. And not too expensive either. Our favorite restaurant/tapas bar was Bodegas Castañeda. My sister and I made friends with two of the waiters and were always able to get a nice seat outside (they even brought out a table especially for us one of the nights!). As you might be able to tell, we went there more than once! We also loved the gelato places that they have around… as you can tell by my sister’s face in this picture! 😀

Granada at night

And although we had a rental car, we wound up taking the bus from our hotel into the center of the city every night. It was easier than trying to find parking anyway, and my sister and I thought it was awesome that they tell you how many minutes are left until your bus comes… why doesn’t NYC have this?

Granada at night

And on the hills overlooking Granada is the Alhambra. It has a beautiful view of the city from up there!

Generalife

If you have never heard of The Alhambra, you can read more about it on Wikipedia. In short, though, it is a palace built during the Muslim reign of Spain in the 14th century and it is truly, in my opinion, one of the greatest works of architecture in the world.

Nasrid Palace

It is one of those places that just capture your imagination and leaves you completely awestruck. The Generalife (the gardens) were gorgeous! It was so beautiful to walk through and get lost in it…

Generalife

Generalife

Generalife

Generalife

Generalife

Alhambra

Alhambra

After admiring the Generalife, we walked over to see inside Nasrid palace. From the outside when you enter, it doesn’t look like much:

Nasrid Palace

But the minute I got inside, the beauty of everything just took my breath away… look at the wide views first and then check out the little details that just pop out at you while you’re there!

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

And that was just the first room! The next few completely enthralled me… it was incredible to see! The myriad details and the grandiose scope of the palace and its grounds just left me with a sense of wonder. I was in love.

Nasrid Palace

I swear I took SO many pictures and stayed for so long in each spot that the group we came in with (I believe they come in every 30 minutes) had long left spots I was admiring and the next group was already entering – and in some cases passed me by as well. I was so impressed with the Nasrid palace and just kept thinking about the fact that although it was built 700 years ago that it would still impact a person today as much as it did someone in the era during which it was built.

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

This below is a ceiling! I kid you not! Check out all the detail work on it:

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

This whole wall (over 20 feet high for sure) was covered from ceiling to floor with carved out details… the whole palace was like this. It is truly inspiring to see it!

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

This ceiling was amazing:

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

Yet another wide view and close up of the same wall to show you the incredible detail put into everything:

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

Nasrid Palace

And as we left, I got this one last shot that I think perfectly captures how I felt that day. It’s just a sense of peace and wonderment all wrapped into one for me and I love how it came out.

Alhambra

I honestly have a TON more pictures that you can check out if you visit my flickr site (click on any of the images to go to it) and a ton more that I didn’t even put on Flickr! The Alhambra really touched me in a way that other places I have visited haven’t, though, and that is why I went picture overload on it. I hope it wasn’t too boring for you all to look through and, if you haven’t guessed yet, I wholeheartedly recommend a trip to see these places in person. Definitely worth it!

NYC Tornado

Holy Tornado Batman! I’m still in shock over this severe storm we just went through here in Brooklyn! They are saying it could have been a Tornado, but it’s not official yet or something? In either case, this was insane! My neighbor downstairs had his fence come clean off and his patio door glass shattered completely! There are at least five downed trees around us not to mention the big semi truck that fell over on the freeway that I can see from my apartment. Totally crazy!

Of course I had no idea all this was going to happen… all I know is that I heard all of this thunder and lightning going off and decided that it would be cool to get some shots of this. So off to my balcony I go at 5:22pm and start shooting. This is the first shot I got:

Storm/Tornado coming through Brooklyn

So not too bad… just some clouds coming in. Whatever. Then I found saw some cool shots and some lightning:

Storm/Tornado coming through Brooklyn

Storm/Tornado coming through Brooklyn

Storm/Tornado coming through Brooklyn

And I’m taking shots and everything when I suddenly see this yellow/green blob coming in:

Storm/Tornado coming through Brooklyn

I couldn’t believe the color of this thing… I swear it looked like something coming out of a sci-fi movie!

Storm/Tornado coming through Brooklyn

Storm/Tornado coming through Brooklyn

Have any of you seen something like this??? Totally crazy!

Storm/Tornado coming through Brooklyn

You can see in that last shot that the lightning lit everything up into this pink/grey tinge. And that last one was taken at exactly 5:32pm. So exactly 10 minutes for the sky to go from the first picture to the last!

Let’s just say that the minute I got this last picture off I ran into the house and the rain started POURING and things started flying into the windows. So it sounded like water and every few seconds BANG BANG BANG. It was honestly a little scary! Couldn’t see past my windows from all the rain. And after I saw what happened to my neighbor’s door, I’m glad none of our windows broke! And I hope no one got seriously hurt in this… it was such a scary storm!

Wow, I think I’m still a little amped up on all the adrenaline… not even sure I’m making any sense at the moment! Still hoping no one got hurt!

Exactly a month later…

Wow, I can’t believe how long I’ve let this blog go by the wayside! I feel bad about this lapse in posting but things have been so busy that I honestly can’t say that I have had the time to post anyway. I also haven’t done much of anything special in the last month other than work and work and work. And not fun work either, monotonous and computer-related work… so haven’t had anything to post about. In addition I have had to self-impose a knitting break on myself because I somehow (I don’t know how, really!) sprained my thumb. It is very painful and apparently the only way for it to heal is to not aggravate it. And what aggravates it most? Knitting of course! Argh! I was very upset over this most especially because I’m also on a self-imposed yarn diet that prevents me from indulging in new yarn shopping (3 months now and still going strong… go me!) so things have been pretty gloomy on the knit-front for me. 😦

On the other hand, things are pretty good everywhere else! I started running again after taking a 1.5 year hiatus due to an injury. It’s really slow going and I’m getting frustrated at just how out of shape I really am, but at least I AM going 4x a week. I’ll just have to keep it up!

Also, Hubby and I just celebrated our second year wedding Anniversary on Sunday! We had a wonderful dinner Saturday night and spent all of Sunday with my dad and his wife who were visiting us from Brazil. It was a great weekend and we are so happy to be with each other and are very much looking forward to this our third year of marriage! 🙂

The dogs are doing well and still make me laugh every day with their antics… I swear they do it just for me… look at this shot I took today (new lens, yay!) of them while playing… they both actually stopped just to look and smile at me. I swear they were trying to make sure I was still looking, LOL!

Late Afternoon Play Session

And just because I think they are cute, here are some pictures of them I took today too:

Late Afternoon Play Session

Hitchcock’s vicious teeth:
Late Afternoon Play Session

And the messy hairs after play:
Late Afternoon Play Session

Late Afternoon Play Session

Other than that, things are pretty normal around here… I’m looking forward to getting back to knitting very very soon (let’s hope this stupid thumb heals quickly!). I promise I won’t be gone for another month, though! I’ll be back within the week to post something or another… and hopefully you won’t find it too boring, LOL! I’ll leave you with some shots of NYC and the Statue of Liberty I also took this evening. If you can’t tell, I love thoroughly testing out a new lens when I get it! 😉

Sun sets in NY

Sun sets in NY

I love this shot… notice the crane and the subway running under the Statue of Liberty… a very New York-esque shot!
Sun sets in NY

Now to read all the blogs I’ve missed out on lately! Can’t wait to see what you all have been up to! 😀

%d bloggers like this: