Hey all! Sorry it has been a while since I’ve posted last, but today I have a ton of photos to share with you all! Unfortunately, WordPress is giving me a headache with my photos from Salamanca, so I will upload all of my photos on Facebook as well so you guys can see those, since there was some pretty cool stuff there!
Anyways, this past weekend we had our last excursion as a class (Sad!) on a voyage to Granada, and Córdoba as well! Both are found in Andalusia, a southern autonomous community of Spain. Both cities are known for being cities that first were primarily inhabited by Islamic people from northern Africa. The first city we went to was Granada. We actually ended up leaving at around 7:30 because it was an 8 hour drive there! We got to take a pretty nice coach bus rather then the tiny bus that brought us to Cáceres when we were picked up. Upon arriving in Granada, we stopped at the hotel for 30 minutes to decompress and prepare for a few hours of exploration. We started at the Royal Chapel, where the bodies of Ferdinand II and Isabella I, two of the most powerful monarchs in the 15th and 16th centuries, lie. They didn’t really allow photos, but thanks to a teeny camera in my GoPro, I was able to snag a couple photos of the inside of the chapel.
After that, we went and explored the cathedral in Granada. It was huge! There were also old versions of the songbooks that the choir used that were about the same height as I am! Crazy! After exploring the chapel and listening to what our professor, José Julio, had to say about the cathedral, we were done for the day. José Julio offered to take us up to a street where we could watch the sunset over la Alhambra, an old Arabic fortress/ palace that is pretty much the poster child of what you should think of when you think of the city Granada. It was absolutely beautiful! The street was crowded with families, couples, and many others watching the sunset and people trying to sell their handicrafts.
The next day, we went and toured the Alhambra. I think I will let the photos I took speak for themselves there. But we first toured the Caliph’s palace, then Carlos V’s Palace, the guard barracks, and finally the gardens. After that, we had about an hour and a half to get lunch. My friends and I found this restaurant, and split a GIANT paella, as well as a couple of liters of sangria! It had to be the best sangria on the planet. As Pierce put it so well, it tasted like boozy Kool-Aid. What’s there not to like?!
After lunch, we got back on the bus and made the 2 1/2 hour journey to Córdoba. While on the bus, I went into a pretty heavy food/ wine coma thanks to my consumption of probably about half of our huge platter of paella. We got there around sundown, and checked into the hotel. After that we had about 2 hours to ourselves, where we just hung out since we were just so exhausted! At 9:30, we had dinner, which consisted of all tapas. Some of the tapas we ate included eggplant fries and honey, Spanish omelette, and a fried fish called joputa (it is a short way to say hijo puta, or “son of a bitch” in English. Interesting name for a fish if you ask me!). We had the rest of the night to ourselves, so we went for a walk for a while, and came home at 12:15 to root on our beloved Cyclones in the Big 12 championship game. It was definitely time well spent!
The next day, we went and toured Medina Azahara, an old Arab city-palace constructed by the order of the Caliph of Córdoba back in the 900s. It’s mostly just ruins now, but still a worthwhile visit! We then went back to the main part of the city, and had another 1 1/2 hours to ourselves to eat and walk around. For lunch, I tried gazpacho, a soup that is a concoction of tomato, red and green peppers, onions, olive oil, vinegar, bread, and water. But here’s what’s so interesting about this soup: gazpacho is only served chilled! Nonetheless, it was absolutely delicious. I could live off of that stuff. After lunch, we went and got ice cream and then met up with our group in the Patio de los Naranjos, the courtyard of the Grand Mosque. For those of you who haven’t heard of the Grand Mosque, well it is an enormous mosque that in the middle has a cathedral as well! It is a very interesting building, and a must see if you are ever in Córdoba!
Well, that’s about all I have to share. Enjoy these photos! This weekend, I will be traveling to Barcelona, where I will meet up with my aunt Kathy and cousin Carolyn. Chao!