Alhambra and Hammam

After failing at seeing Holy Week processions for the previous 5 days, we bumped into a small one on the street Monday evening on our way out to dinner. A statue of risen Jesus followed by a Mary statue, with about 20 attendants with a couple of kids waving incense censers.

Yesterday, we got picked up with a small group for the 2 hour drive to Grenada to see the Alhambra. It was pouring rain. The bus left us downtown, on our own for lunch, so we went over to the cathedral to see the tombs of Ferdinand and Isabel before stopping in to a tavern for coffee and a sandwich.

At the Alhambra, we met our guide and started the tour. It was raining as we went around the grounds seeing all the outdoors stuff, then as we were about to enter the palaces, the rain let up and the sun popped out.

The Alhambra is probably the biggest attraction in Spain, and tickets are difficult to find. Tour operators buy them up in bulk. I did try to book with a company I found on Trip Advisor, but they refused me because their tour was for cruise ship passengers only. Whew! Close call! Cruise ship passengers are the worst tourists in the world. Fortunately, I found a small bus tour that picked up close to where we were staying.

The Alhambra is a large palace complex, with some of the world’s most beautiful buildings. The Arabic buildings are very simple and plain, unassuming on the outside, but inside are covered wall-to-wall with ornately carved plaster, lots of geometric patterns and highly stylized Arabic script.

The later Christian kings and queens were more ostentatious on the outside surfaces of their buildings.

Standing in the rain, we got quite chilled. Near the end of the tour, we saw the royal baths and decided another visit to the hammam would be in order. The Malaga Hammam is much like the Cordoba one, but where Cordoba was decorated in the motif of the Mezquita, the Malaga baths are decorated like the Alhambra. In addition to the hot, warm, cold and steam baths, they had a hot stone room, huge slabs of heated marble that you lie on and let all the muscle tension melt away.

That was our last night in Spain. Moorish Andalucía was a precursor to the next 2+ weeks in Morocco. We are currently in Lisbon waiting for our flight to Casablanca.