La Alhambra in Granada- Monday March 13

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Today was an extremely important experience culturally. We started off the day with an early breakfast and a long drive to one of the most anticipated excursions on our trip: The Alhambra. The drive to the Alhambra was only an hour but for the whole journey you could see the array of different landscapes and architecture in the various villages that we passed on the way there. Once we reached our destination we were able to see the Alhambra in all of its glory. On the outside of the fortress the structure very simple but, once you entered the numerous palaces and gardens you could see the complexity to the architecture and design. The inside was embellished with ornate Arabic carvings, classical Islamic tiling which was perfectly symmetrical to one another, and magnificent waterways which turned to fountains. One of our favorite structures was the Lion Palace fountain because once you entered there was a magnificent courtyard which featured one main fountain that was adorned with hand carved lions which spat water into a surrounding pool. We learned that the style and design wasn’t the main focus of the Alhambra instead it was specifically built to withstand a battle for the ages. Ultimately the Alhambra’s Architecture was influence by La Convivencia and both the Muslims and Christians that inhabited the Alhambra over the many years that it took to complete the sprawling structures.  – Parker, Izzy and Gabe

After touring the gardens, where we could see the Roman impact especially in the gorgeous fountains, we had some sandwiches for lunch. We then started heading down into town. It started raining so we stopped in some shops along the way. We could really see the difference in cultures by the things the local shops sold. They had a mixture of Arabic culture, Gypsy, and European culture. We eventually got to the city roads of Granada with the rain pouring down on our heads, and walked to the bus stop. We caught the bus and drove an hour and thirty minutes until we got to the hotel in the mountain town of Pampaneira. We checked in and got our room keys. Then we all settled down, played twister, and hung out together. Then we went out to eat in a restaurant called Casa Julio. We ate many delicious foods traditionally from Granada. We first had an appetizer of ham, cheese, salad and fruits. Then they provided an exquisite soup for us to consume, and gave us an almond-chicken dish that stood out with vibrant flavors with a touch of spice. It came with fries and we ate it all like it was being sucked into a black hole. Finally, for dessert, we were given a very yummy flan with little cookies at the bottom that gave it a nice touch. After we filled our stomachs, we headed back to the hotel to grab some Z’s.  -Colin, Zyanya and Cameron