Many months passed – and many journeys, small and big. Now I finally found the motivation again to sit down, go through all my photos, edit and share them with you. I have to catch up on everything because I travelled a lot since my last blog post. So let’s start our little journey through time and go back one year, to March 2016. I travelled to beautiful Andalusia in Southern Spain and explored the Costa de la Luz.
From the year 711 until the 16th century the Moors (Arab people) ruled in Southern Spain. The Spanish recaptured the country in a long war called “Reconquista”. The “Catholic Kings” seized Granada in 1492. After that they began suppressing Muslims and especially Jews, who had lived together peacefully with Christians for centuries before.
The Muslim culture left a great fingerprint on Andalusia, and Granada in the middle of the Sierra Nevada is a wonderful place to experience it. You’ll visit the “Alhambra”, an impressive red stronghold where the Moorish emir lived. The Nasrid Palace inside is a beautiful piece of architecture with Arab religious writings carved into the stone walls.
Please note: You should book the ticket for the Alhambra via Internet in advance. The entry to the Nasrid palace is strictly regulated. While you can spend the whole day inside Alhambra, you can only enter the palace at a certain time. If you are not there on time, you will not be able to get in. Also good to know: In Summer it is incredibly hot in Granada – but in March you should bring a warm jacket! (I didn’t and I was freezing.)
A later Spanish king, Carl V., thought it might be a good idea to build his own palace inside Alhambra and destroy many of the original buildings for it. (What a jerk.)
But the Alhambra isn’t the only thing worth seeing about Granada: Exploring the city and the former Moorish quarters, the “Albaicín”, is a must.
A good change after sightseeing in Granada is a walk through the National Park of El Torcal (Paraje Natural Torcal de Antequera). There you will see impressive stone formations that were formed by erosion.
The next day we visited the pretty old quarters of Marbella. (The touristy harbour area with all the big expensive cars and ships were not after my fancy.)
And it seems Maria and Jesus are everywhere… 🙂
Ronda is an ancient city high up on the edge of a cliff. First I wasn’t sure if I should visit the old bullfight arena. Even if there wasn’t a show at the moment I would support this bloody tradition by paying the entrance fee. But I was too curious, and it was definitely interesting. You should make that decision for yourself.
From our hotel in Torremolinos (a tourist city near Málaga) we could do day-trips by car to all these spots. The longest drive was to Tarifa, the most southern point of continental Europe. A wonderful spot for surfing. From here you can see the African coast on the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar.
We also drove further up the Atlantic coast to Bolonia, famous for its huge sand dune and the ruins of the Roman settlement “Baelo Claudia”.
I loved Andalusia. And Tapas. Don’t forget to eat Tapas! 🙂