Granada esta Brillaba

alhambraGranada is the most beautiful place I’ve seen so far. The walled fortress of Alhambra, the last Arab outpost in Spain, has no equal as far as I know. Though I haven’t seen Versailles, I would choose the ornately carved marble walls and very zen reflecting pools and fountains of Alhambra over any palace. Sadly I can’t live there now, but if I were around in the early 1800s before Washington Irvine told the world about Alhambra and brought the Spanish government to treat it more like a palace than a forgotten old building, I could have lived there as many vagrants and hobos did. [pictures]
I’m now 4 months through my trip, and I’ve razed 32 cities in my quest for edifying gastronomic, visual, audible, tactile, and smellable experiences. Time moves at a slower pace when one lives in a day to day fashion for 4 months in so many cities. Because most things I see are new things, there’s a certain significance to every hour and step I take that I don’t have in my own neighborhood. I can’t help but pack every day with new things. Foods, streets, museums and people are all very unpredictable.
The best days are wandering days… those first couple days in city when I get my bearings, find where most people go to get groceries, and generally where all the good things are.
Seeing museums are great, but meeting random characters on the street or in a hostel can be a far more enriching experience. My favorites are the Natural History Museum in Vienna, the Vatican Museum in Rome, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and the Hundterwasser Museum in Vienna. But these are just crap compared to events like these:
DSC02517.JPG I was walking back to the apartment after I saw Alhambra [photo gallery] down a hill. On either side water from the palace flowed, and I decided to have a seat on a bench and listen to the water flow down the hill down its specially grooved ravines. It was about 5:30, and the afternoon breezes were dancing with the sunlit ferns on either side. ahhhh. I then saw an old man with a small dog (a common combination in Europe) walking up the hill towards me. Every now and then he would stop, mutter something, look at his dog, and point off the road into the ferns. His little dog would then scamper off into the bushes and the man would continue, chatting to himself as if his mouth were full and he was a Spanish auction caller of days gone by. As he passed me, he calmly said ‘Buenas tardes,’ then continued muttering to himself or his dog.

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