08 February 2011

New Beginnings.

I am in my fourth week here in Granada and I just started school yesterday. I have five classes this term and they all seem like they will be really interesting and challenging in different ways. Mondays and Wednesdays: Translation from English to Spanish, Civilization and Culture of Spain and Civ. and Culture of Hispanoamerica. Tuesdays and Thursdays: Spanish Literature of the Renaissance and Baroque eras and Spanish Writing and Oral Enhancement. So far, I really like all of my professors, they are all quirky in their own ways and seem to like teaching Americans...because the majority of my peers are Americans at this school. I can't really say much else about school since I've only had two days of actual class, but it does feel really good to have a schedule again and a constant flow of Spanish in my life.

In the past few weeks, I have visited the Cathedral of Granada...twice actually...and the Alhambra. I went to the Cathedral a second time because I forgot my camera the first time and felt that it was worth it to pay the 3 Euro again to get some good pictures. :) The Cathedral is so beautiful! It is so different from the one in Sevilla because it's all white and feels very heavenly because of the brightness inside. The organs and alters are all quite magnificent and unbelievably detailed! The Cathedral here is actually where the Great Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabella, are buried! I haven't gone to see that part yet, it is different entrance and another fee, but I will get there soon. It's so neat to see all these things that were made in the 1600's and done with such precision; it's astounding!
Although when the Cathedral is compared to the Alhambra, it barely holds a candle in beauty and fascination! I went to the Alhambra last Thursday with my friend, Colleen, who also goes to the Centro de Lenguas Modernas.
A little history behind the Alhambra: it was built in the 1200's as part of the Nasrid Dynasty...a Moorish Dynasty who's rulers descended from one of Muhammad's disciples. It was used by the Moors as a palace as well as a fortress for over 200 years until 1492 when it was surrendered to the Catholic Kings in the Inquisition, as the last Moorish stronghold in Spain. For the next hundred-some years the Alhambra was used by the Catholics as a palace and underwent some alterations to better suit the Catholic agenda. To put it plainly, it's the most magnificent man-made structure I have ever seen! The part of the Alhambra that is a palace and was used for living quarters has walls and walls of detailed "carvings"...I put that in quotes because Colleen (who's an art major) thought that the walls where made by molds of some type to create the amount of perfection they have...and intricate tile patterns. Some of the rooms we walked in through were literally breathtaking. Both of us could not stop looking and inspecting everything; like it was all going to disappear or I would never remember it. We spend about three hours touring the Alhambra and the Generalife gardens and it was just a fantastic day! History can be so impressive and the amount of detail the buildings contain is just unreal; I couldn't help but think what it would be like to live there and have all that made especially for your pleasure! Emperors sure knew what luxury was, even back then!

Well, I feel like those are the most interesting things that have happened in the past weeks, but I will do my best to keep you all updated better in the future. Hopefully Colleen and I are going to go to a Flamenco show this weekend!
Here are some pictures.


Outside of the Cathedral

The main alter

Nasrid Palace, the Alhambra

Detailed archways

Me in the Generalife Gardens

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