Monthly Archives: February 2008

Cooling Our Heels (Well, Ankle) in Cordoba

Cooling Our Heels (Well, Ankle) in Cordoba

Cordoba is an ancient city: one of the capitals of Roman Spain and later the center of the first Moorish caliphate in Andalucia (starting in the 900s). Our time in Cordoba started interestingly enough, as we happened to arrive in town on the one of the final days of their Carnival festivities. (These happen all… Read More

A New Sound

A New Sound

Never before have I lived someplace where I could doze in the midafternoon on a sunny terrace, lulled by the cooing of doves, when across the torpor cuts the sound of a muezzin calling in the distance: Aaaaaaaalla-hu-akbar, Aaaaaaaalla-hu-akbar. I’ve read about that sound for half my life but never heard it before. Magical.–Chris Read More

Some of Our Other Favorite Spots in Granada

Some of Our Other Favorite Spots in Granada

    Upper Albaycin: This district (a long-ago Roman settlement) was the first area of Granada settled by the Moors, starting around 1030. It sits on a hill opposite the Alhambra and predates it by several hundred years. The cobbled streets and alleys are narrow (some barely one meter across) and wind up, down, and… Read More

The Alhambra

The Alhambra

The Alhambra: everything you’ve ever heard or seen about this 12th- to 14th-century complex of fortresses and palaces is true. The views from the walls and the interior of the Nazrid Palaces are stunningly beautiful. The detail of the wall carvings (Koranic inscriptions and geometric patterns), the tile mosaics, and the plaster and wooden ceilings… Read More

Budget Travel Tips for Spain

There’s no question that Europe is expensive, especially for Americans (the exchange rate stinks). But here are a few tips that, so far, have helped us stick to our budget—80 euros per day for the two of us—in southern Spain: -What the Spanish call a “hostal” isn’t a youth hostel in the traditional sense of… Read More

Granada–The Basics

Granada–The Basics

We studied Spanish for two weeks at the not-quite-beginner level at a fabulous school: Escuela Carmen de las Cuevas. Most of this time we just went about our daily lives: studying, managing groceries and laundry, exploring the upper Albaycin neighborhood where we lived. Then we hung around for another week seeing all the big tourist… Read More

Impressions of Granada

Impressions of Granada

Granada–one of the centers of Muslim-ruled Spain from 711 to 1492–is an amazingly beautiful city. But you wouldn’t know it at first (at least not in the winter, when we visited). It’s easy for American eyes to get hung up on the ever-present graffiti, the dog poop littering the cobbled streets (no scooping here), and… Read More