Granada and Seville

I text pictures to my Daddy and share my feelings with him during the journey. When I text the pictures of castles to him, he asks why most of them are built on the top of the hill. I tell him castles like these can be used for defense. As an officer working for Hydrological Power and Engineering Agency, the first question pops in his head is “how do they drink water”. Talking about this, we have to say ancient people were very intelligent. In La Alhambra, the tour guide tells us the first thing the constructors try to solve is the water problem. They built the channel for water drainage which can still work thousand years later. Although La Alhambra is located in a dry area, you will still be impressed by the emerald green tree and shade.


The Moors conquered this area and built this magnificent palace here, but it is thought that there have been some buildings standing here since Roman times. The name of the palace refers to Red Castle in Arabic alqala’a al-hamra. It is easy to realize that this area is under great influence of Arabic culture. The layout of the garden in La Alhambra is a typical Arabic style and this style is common in Granada. In 1492, Christian reconquest this area, so the mosque was replaced by a church. The Habsburg emperor Charles V re-shape a wing of the palaces into Renaissance building. Charles V inherited the land, wealth and power from her mother Juana, but his melancholy mind-set came from his father Philips. Philips was nicknamed as Philips the handsome. The wealth and power of his family made him so indulged in a pleasant life. However, I guess he did not find the meaning of life by the luxurious lifestyle. At the age of 28, he committed a suicide because “he did not want to live any longer and wanted to die at a young age”. [My friend says this king is very punk.] This was a big strike to his wife Juana. She did not agree to bury him. Instead, no matter where she went, she took the coffin with Philips’ body in it. Europeans called her La Loca Juana at that time, which meant she was a lunatic. Juana then also wanted to commit a suicide as her dead husband did, but that meant the heritage would pass to her younger sister, so Juana was locked and kept alive. The heritage was guaranteed and her son Charles V benefitted from it.

I book a one-day trip to Ronda. Along the road leading to the peak, the view of a sea of clouds really impresses me. I guess I will never ever forget about it. The picture even could not record its beauty by one tenth. When we back from Ronda, the road is lined by coast and beach. Some zones are free beach. In Ronda, the Plaza de Toros and Puente Nuevo are must-go places. The view is spectacular when you overlook from the bridge, namely Puente Nuevo. The gallery in Plaza de Toros can make you have a basic understanding of the bull fight culture. It is a pity that Casa de Rey Moro is closed for repairment. Otherwise, visitors can go down stairs to the bottom of the gorge and then look up to the Puente Nuevo.

Omio is a website I recommend for flight, bus and train tickets booking when you travel in Europe. You could choose Chinese language on the website and pay by Alipay. I book the train tickets to Seville through this website. The funny thing is that a part of the railway is under repairment. Passengers are asked to get off the train after one hour and then change to a bus to another stop, and then get on another train to Seville.

Catedral de Seville is a must-go place in this city, which was built between 1434 to 1517. The authority at that time said “Let’s construct a church so large future generation will think we were mad”. I think he made it. Catedral de Seville is the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. It was also rebuilt on the remains of a mosque. It is easy to identify the Gothic embellishments from outside. However, if you take a look of the exit, the mosque elements can be traced. Christopher Columbus was buried here, too. But It is still in a debate that whether the bones in the tomb really belong to Columbus.

Not far from the cathedral, Real Alcazar is located. According to Lonely Planet, this site is “a magnificent marriage of Christian and Mudejar architecture”. This UNESCO-listed scenic spot now attracts more and more visitors not only because of its spectacular scenery, but also because it is a location for Emmy Winner TV series Game of Throne.

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