...unfortunately. The time here is going by so fast...thanks in part to my classes only on Mondays and Wednesdays...and also the traveling almost every weekend. This past weekend we went to Córdoba for a couple hours to see the Mesquita on the way to Granada. Mesquita means Mosque in Spanish...which confused us since the inside looked very Christian - Jesus on the Cross and everything. The tour we had was in Spanish and boring so we didn't get much out of it. Córdoba was rainy and we were all tired so it wasn't that great.
From there, however, we went to Granada which I loooooooved. It was the very last city in Spain to be under Arab rule, and is home to the Alhambra. It is situated in the middle of the Sierra Nevada, so snow-capped mountains surround the city. Although the city is obviously under Spanish rule, the Arab influence is very very evident as you walk through the city...especially the side streets where small shops sell Arab/Spanish jewelry and accessories, clothes, and smoking paraphanelia. Granada is stereotypically kind of a gypsy city; the gypsies seem a lot like the hippies of the U.S. My friends and I had a lot of fun out on the town Friday night, then got up for our tour of the Alhambra.
The Alhambra is a very old fortress/secluded palace-ish place on the highest hilltop within the city. It was built by the Arabs and was eventually taken over by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. So, like the Mesquita in Córdoba, it use to belong to Islamic rulers and then switched to Christians. And also like Córdoba, our tourguide talked in Spanish...and never stopped. So boring. She would talk for 15 minutes, then move us ten feet and talk for 20 minutes. I stopped paying attention after a while... It was a really beautiful place though, we saw all the very intricate architechture, and I got a little bit of the history. You can click on the link below to see the pictures.
After that, my friends and I got pizza (HAWAIIAN :) ) and spent the rest of the day walking around the city. Madrid, up until then, was my favorite city. Valencia seemed exactly like Madrid but a little less modern. Granada was completely different - it had the feel of a huge modern city, but has retained sooo much character at the same time. I really enjoyed this city and hope I can go back someday...I really recommend seeing it. The pictures will be available soon!
This weekend we are going to Sevilla - which is, according to a lot of people, one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. This weekend also happens to be the weekend that my friend Juan will be in Sevilla with his school program from Barcelona, so we're all excited to see him as well. Since I've found a way to post pictures you'll be updated as soon as I get back.