02 August 2009

Rediscovering The The Red (One)

Every guidebook, website and tourist information brochure I´ve read has said that if you only visit one city in Spain it should be Granada. As it happens, I´m in the process of visiting much more than one city, so the above paradigm doesn´t really apply to me. But since I happened to be passing through the area, I decided to stop in for a quick squiz.

The reason you´re supposed to visit Granada is that it is home to the Moorish stone fortress known in Spanish as 'La Alhambra'. It´s a curious name, because 'Alhambra' is derived from the Arabic name, which means 'The Red (One)'. so, presumably the Spanish would translate as something like 'the the red one'.

Well, however superfluous the extra articles may or may not be, the monument they specify was certainly spectacular. Built by successive generations over a period of several hundred years, beginning in the Xth century (research this number first, don´t write Xth in the actual blog, obviously) it ended up abandoned and neglected when the catholics reconquered Granada. Sometime in the 1900s, an American travelling historian named Washington Irving 'rediscovered' it and the process of restoring the Alhambra to its former glory began. Quite how he managed to claim credit for discovering a giant stone fortress built on the side of a hill in the middle of a major city is beyond me, but that´s American travelling historians for you.

The other cool thing about Granada was the generous helpings of tapas. I stopped in at a bar around the corner from where I was staying and ordered a glass of red. Taking a leaf out of old Washy´s book, I 'discovered' an entire dinner plate of free food in front of me. So I ate it.

Far from home




Garry with 2 Rs
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