cat_cetera: (Don't Panic)
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Exceeded Expectations
- the Alhambra and Generalife gardens

Alhambra views

- el Albaicin and Sacromonte

Sacromonte

- the food - lamb couscous under the shadow of the Alhambra; artisanal cheeses and interesting mixed salads; ham and egg soup; YUM
- have new hair goo that gives my hair the texture and body I have always wished it had, without my having to blow dry a thing.

Good
- minimal migrainey-ness and jet lag, except today, after having ordered a soup I did not know came in garlic broth :(
- free unlimited wi-fi in my hotel room
- at Alhambra bookshop, got a book on Islamic Calligraphy (in English) and a book with pictures on the Alhambra textile collection (sadly, only in Spanish)

Bad
- with the amount of walking and the type of terrain, mostly cobblestones, should have opted for substance (Merrell walking shoes with vibram soles) over style (Chucks) in footwear
- got car sick on bus through white hill towns of Alpujarras region; followed up by rain and cold weather and soup with garlic broth
- hotel room has zero noise (yes I know, this is only a bad thing for someone whose bedroom overlooks Centre Street) and it didn't occur to me until the last night here that I could listen to internet radio streaming over iTunes for some background noise.

Ugly
- travel schedule from Calgary consisted of the following: 1. Arrive YYC 1800 Calgary time after almost forgetting passport at my house. 2. Depart YYC for LHR at 2100 Calgary time; fly for 9 hours. 3. Arrive LHR after noon London time. 4. Depart LHR for LGW by overheated bus; drive almost 1 hour. 5. Arrive LGW; wait for 3 hours to board plane. 6. Depart LGW for AGP; fly for 3 hours. 7. Arrive AGP 2300 Malaga time. 8. Depart Malaga for Granada by bus; drive for 2.5 hours. 9. Arrive Granada 0200 Granada time.

Coolest Thing I Didn't See
- One of the most famous sights of the Alhambra is a round fountain ringed by 12 lions, each one a little different. Our tour guide said a number of things about it, including that it was given to the Sultan by the Jews and the lions represent the 12 tribes of Israel (?). What I read in a history of science book was that it was a water clock constructed by one of the Sultan's scientists (the Moors, like the Greeks, had very sophisticated hydraulic automata), later taken apart by conquering Christians who could not get it to work again. Right now it is in restoration, so although we got to see the lions, we didn't get to see them in situ.
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cat_cetera

May 2011

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