Cape Gazette

Some statues and beauty in Spain

By Dennis Forney | Apr 10, 2012
Photo by: Dennis Forney Wandering back to our hotel one night late in Granada, we came across an impromptu parade.  It may have been related to an upcoming soccer match in the city or an early celebration of the Semana Santa holy week.  Whatever, it highlighted the clean and polished streets of the city and the colorful nights.

10 April 2012

When I tell people we went to Granada in March, they picture us sitting on a sandy beach in the Caribbean sipping rum punches and contemplating our next snorkeling adventure.

But this was a different Granada, possibly the most beautiful city I've ever visited. From its polished marble streets, sidewalks and plazas to its blend of Christian and Muslim architecture, lovely parks, orange tree-lined streets and historic statuary, Granada offers a vibrant urban experience with enough exploration opportunities to satisfy many trips.

The city is situated just north of the Sierra Nevada range in the south of Spain.  The sharp, snow capped ridges of the Sierra practically surround the nestled city and form a lovely backdrop to views in every direction.

A fine public transportation system makes it easy to get around the city of 350,000 and a national train network that runs like clockwork makes it real easy to live there without a car.

Spanish culture and Muslim history give Granada a wonderful momentum.  I'm already looking forward to returning sometime in the next five or 10 years.

Next time we go, we may give in to the pull of that African continent less than 100 miles away.  Sitting in the train station the day we left Granada, we heard the announcer calling the day's last train to Gibraltar - a four hour ride.  From Gibraltar, you can catch a ferry across the Mediterranean to Morroco and the northwestern region of Africa.

Remember that Crosby, Stills and Nash song, the Marrakesh Express?

All on board that train . . . All on board that train.

I've been saving all my money just to take you there.

I can smell the garden in your hair.

Here is some of the statuary that impressed me in Granada and Madrid.

Christopher Columbus made his plea to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella - to finance his exploration across the Atlantic - in Granada in 1492. That's the same year the Muslim King Boabdil surrendered Granada to the Spanish effectively bringing an end to the Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula which lasted for more than 700 years.  This statue near the main street leading to the entrance to the famous Alhambra fortress, where Columbus met with the monarchs, shows Columbus making his plea to Isabella. (Photo by: Dennis Forney)
This a human statue, depicting a world traveler, who set up shop on a corner near the Plaza Mayor - Madrid's famous old plaza in the old city.  He stood motionless for long periods of time and made a livjng collecting coins from passersby who appreciated his effort. (Photo by: Dennis Forney)
Later the same day - the day of a national strike in Spain - the living statue broke his act to join demonstrators in the Plaza del Sol protesting pending government cuts as a means of balancing the troubled Spanish budget.
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