Granada Travel Blog› entry 7 of 19 › view all entries
It is Palm Sunday, and the streets of Granada are full of people dressed up -- and many of them with palm tree branches and fans. It's a very festive feeling. I did have to go back to the spice market at the cathedral again today to pick up lavendar, tea and saffron for more of the people at the convention who were not able to get out to the markets. They too loved the smell of the items I had picked up previously. I bought over 100 Euros worth of spices today for this group. I should have been paid a commission!
Today I finally am going to tour the most famous place in Granada, the Alhambra. Alhambra is from the Arabic word for "red", which is the color of the walls, the fortress and the towers within the Alhambra.
The Alhambra is a large compound within fortress walls. It contains ancient baths, a treasury, the Moorish Palace -- called the Nazarid Palace for the rules of that time period, the Palace of Carlos the V, the Holy Roman Emperor who reigned here after the Moors were driven out, and a summer palace that was used in hotter months.
Walking through the Alhambra and learning its history give you a real appreciation for the complexity of the history , the contributions and the conflicts embodied here among the cultures who have lived here -- particulary in juxtaposition to what is going on today in these cultures.
As we walked back down the hills to our hotels, we ran into an Easter Procession that is evidently very common in Andalucia during Holy Week. Men dress up in robes and conical hats and masks-- mainly all white (and looking very KKK like to Americans) but also with red or green conical hats and masks. I understand that this tradition goes back to the time of the Moorish occupation and the celebration of Easter in those times. Although the practice of Christianity was forbidden by the Moorish rules, a blind eye was turned on the Easter Procession as long as those in the procession masked their identity. I guess this was one of the earliest forms of "don't ask, don't tell" in history! In the procession we watched, there were lots of men in robes , followed by a scene depicting the Last Supper. The streets were very crowded with folks all craning to see the procession. It was very exciting to watch and be a part of!