Granada is a such a beautiful place - we wish we could spend more time here! When we arrived yesterday afternoon we had a few hours before dinner at the hotel. We decided to explore, so we walked down a little dirt road past the outer wall of the Alhambra. It was a very steep cobblestone walkway with beautiful views of the Alhambra. At the bottom of the mountain we came into the city center of Granada. At first we were in the old city area with small cobblestone streets and cute shops, but as we kept walking it opened up into a city that looked more familiar to us. We were with the Visual Arts Professor, Judy McLeod, who is so much fun, and we got a little lost so we took a cab home. It was a great adventure.
This morning we met the tour guide, Graciella, who led through the Alhambra fortress complex. It is the most visited site in Spain. The construction began in 1238 and it was finished in the 1300's. The Alhambra is a royal city, or citadel, and it is surrounded by 3km of double walls with 13 watch towers. Hambra means "red" and the stone other building materials are red, which explains the name Alhambra. The outside of the main palace is square, but once you walk in, it is round and looks like a Roman coliseum with beautiful columns and perfect acoustics. The gardens in the Alhambra were like none we have ever seen - check out our pictures to see this beautiful palace.
-Many students never sleep. They do the tours all day and then go to the clubs all night...then when they are back on the ship it is time for classes so we all get down to business
-We have an "on ship time:" a set time when you have to be on the ship and your passport must be turned in at the Purser's Desk. If you are late you have to stay on the ship in the next port - you get "dock time." Every 15 minutes you are late you get 3 hours of "dock time" - don't be late!!
-We stood in the same room where Christopher Columbus stood when he said goodbye before he sailed and discovered America in 1492