Granada Cathedral and Alcaiceria Market

We are back home and although we had a good flight home it was still 24 hours from the time we got up until we arrived home. It is going to take a while to get back on Alberta time. I have fallen behind on my blogging but I am going to continue posting until I have it completed. Thank you for following along with us so far and I hope you will enjoy the rest of our trip.

Saturday, November 21

We spend another day in Granada, as we want to visit the Cathedral and the Alcaiceria, which is a reconstruction of the Moorish Market that burned down in 1843. This market is a maze of narrow streets and colourful shops that are absolutely crammed full of merchandise. We purchase a few souvenirs and Bob has a few laughs at my rather pathetic attempts at bargaining.

IMG_2488The Cathedral is right beside the market so that is our next stop.  Upon entering the front door this is the what we see.FullSizeRender  Here is a closer view of the magnificent dome over the altar.  FullSizeRender_3This cathedral has a very ornate very large organ. FullSizeRender_4I spotted this stand with several huge medieval books but it was in a roped off area so I couldn’t get any closer to get a good look.FullSizeRenderA bit further on down one of the side aisles I was thrilled to find a display of these ancient books. They were behind glass but I was able to get a much better look at them.FullSizeRender_4The lighting wasn’t the best, but there were several cabinets with books inside. While I was absorbed in studying the calligraphy and painted images, the lights in the cabinets shut off and it was too dark to see them anymore.  I had no idea why the lights shut off and although we returned a couple of times to check if the lights had been turned back on I was out of luck. I am glad that I at least had the opportunity to see what I had.

We have seen similar skull and crossbones in almost every cathedral we have visited. They are on tombstones embedded in the cathedral floors.FullSizeRender_2The pillars and ceiling are quite ornate and the space they enclose is immense.  Notice how small the people are.
FullSizeRender_3This is a view of the back side of the Cathedral, seems I didn’t take one of the front. If you want to know a bit more about the Cathedral check out this link.  It also has some nice pictures.DSC01159There is a suggested walk through the Albaicin, on the hillside opposite the Alhambra so we head out to explore it.  The beginning of the walk was quite nice.FullSizeRender_3I quite liked this ‘Granada’, or pomegranate, on the front of one of the buildings we passed on our walk.FullSizeRender_2We do find this lovely little garden and one other garden attached to a little museum along the way.  In the museum garden there are several orange trees loaded with ripe oranges, and we ‘borrow’ one to eat later.FullSizeRender

We spent a fair amount of time checking our map and trying to figure out which way to go. The route was not well-marked and we had to backtrack more than once. It was a long walk up lots of steep roads and really for what we saw we weren’t sure it was worth the effort and time, but at least we got some exercise.FullSizeRender_2

This is a view of the Alhambra from a viewpoint on a terrace by some restaurants near the end of our walk.FullSizeRender_4

On the way back to the bus we pass this building with its ‘street art’ and bricked up windows.  We saw so many apartments and buildings like this, empty and/or abandoned, right beside occupied buildings and shops. I sure wouldn’t want to be living in an apartment next to an abandoned empty building.  FullSizeRender

Seville to Algeciras

Wednesday, November 11

On our way to Algeciras in Southern Spain we stop for a visit to Cadiz. Our faithful iPad GPS has bit of a panic attack as it thinks we are trying to drive into the ocean!  Seems it doesn’t know about this big new bridge yet!imageCadiz juts out into the Bay of Cadiz and is almost entirely surrounded by water.  It also claims to be Europes’s oldest city. Legend says Hercules was its founder but historians credit the Phoenicians with establishing the town in 1100 BC!  Cadiz is also where Christopher Columbus first sailed from to discover America.  We once more find a parking lot almost by accident.  Parking near the old town part of Spanish cities is always difficult because the streets are so narrow that there just isn’t much room for cars.  This abandoned building in the center of town right next to well kept occupied buildings is something we have seen everywhere in Spain.
imageHere is an interesting link to abandoned villages in Spain that are for sale.

The 2008 economic crash was a major factor in so many buildings being empty and/or abandoned in Spain.

We visit an old fortress that now houses several art studios and exhibit spaces.imageI quite liked this fellow.imageIt was a lovely day and we wanted to enjoy the sunshine so we wandered the streets instead of visiting another cathedral or museum.  This gull kindly posed for me with the Cadiz Cathedral in the background.imageThe fish market is always an interesting place to visit. Being born and raised in Alberta far from the ocean, I have no idea how one cooks, or eats most of the fish we see, but I think more fish is eaten here than beef, chicken or pork.image

We stop for tea at a little Pastelaria and sit with a view of this lovely pink building with this balcony and its pink flowers. I love just watching people as we sit and relax for a bit.image

The streets in the old town are very narrow, and we manage to get a bit lost looking for the Torre Tavira which was the city’s watchtower in the 18th century.  It has been converted into a camera obscura and I wanted to see that.  By the time we found it we realized we as didn’t have time to see it as the next tour was in an hour, and lasted forty five minutes.  We need to be on the road again before then, so reluctantly I leave without getting to see the camera obscura I was so curious about.  If you are curious too, check out the information here.

We walk out towards the fortress on this long causeway but don’t have time to visit it either. It is time to head back to the car and continue on to Algeciras and our next apartment.


Thursday, November 12 Algeciras

We have a quiet day today, do some laundry and relax in our new apartment.  We have a penthouse on the seventh floor, with views of the mountains from the balcony on the west side and we can see Gibraltar from the balcony on the East side of the apartment!  It is pretty spectacular.image image