Thursday, May 23, 2013

Alhambra-Part 1

The highlight of our trip to Granada was seeing Alhambra, which is the most visited place in Spain.  Alhambra was constructed in the 800s originally as a fortress and then was converted to a Royal Palace for the Nasrid Dynasty which was an Arab Muslim Dynasty.  Alhambra is built in the moorish design, we saw lots of arches, keyhole arches, tons of arabic writing on the walls, etc.  It was one of the most fascinating places I have ever been.  Besides the palace, the grounds of Alhambra are massive and has one of the most interesting gardens.  We spent close to 5 hours wandering around and had a great time. Pictures won't do it justice, but here are a ton of them!!!
Can't pass up an opportunity to pose!

View from the grounds of Alhambra, overlooking the city of Granada.

The kids loved racing leaf boats down this little gutter!

As I stated, originally it was a fortress.  It is set up on a hill and overlooks the city.

Where's Ethan and Cade??

The carvings were amazing--this picture doesn't do it justice!

Some of the rooms had these designs carved into the stones--it was unbelievable!

This is inside the Nasrid Palace and is one of the most famous courtyards.

This whole room was covered with the most intricate scrolled carvings--the picture below is a close-up.

Don't worry--there are still LOTS more pictures to come from Alhambra--don't the kids look like they are having SOOO much fun??

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Granada-Part 1

Two days after my parents got here we headed to Granada for 2 days--it was FABULOUS!!  I felt a little bit bad for my parents--they had flown in Sunday night and had a crazy long flight and then got here to find there luggage had been lost and had NO idea where it was.  So Monday, after sleeping in and getting switched to the time change, we headed out to go shopping for at least one new outfit and then Tuesday we left--luckily when we got back Wednesday night there luggage had been delivered.  Granada is about 4 hours away from us and is a big college town--however the most famous thing it is famous for is ALHAMBRA (next post is all about alhambra)!!  We spent the first day walking around town and it was so charming.  The most interesting thing we saw, is there is a huge cathedral in the center of town and it is where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella are buried.  It was fascinating to see their sarcophaguses and then go underneath and see the actual coffin.  Sorry--no pictures were allowed, but it was so interesting.  I remember learning all about Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand so it has been fascinating to see where such important moments in history have taken place.

Part of Alhambra in the background


Cute Cade!
Grandma and Kailey

One of the other famous sites is this huge Cathedral--it was gorgeous inside.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Antequerra, Spain

My parents came to visit us the middle of April and we had a FABULOUS time with them.  We took advantage of them being here to go visit a couple of places we haven't been.  One of the places we went was Antequerra, Spain where we visited El Torcal.  El Torcal is a nature reserve, in the mountains, that has some of the most interesting rock formations.  We had a lot of fun hiking around a bit.

Cade eating as usual!

El Torcal was COVERED with rocks all over--the kids loved it!

We passed this city, can't remember the name, but it was just so picturesque with the castle looming over the city.
 We also went to go see the Dolmens, they are ancient burial mounds/caves dating from 3 B.C.--apparently when they first opened these up, they found the bones of several hundred people.  I have to admit, it sounded cooler than it actually was--they ended up just being like a big cave room--they needed to have left the bodies in there in order to up the coolness factor!!

Inside one of the dolmens.

Inside the dolmen--looking down a HUGE whole!

 Overall, we had a great time and it made for a nice side trip!