Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain towards the end of January 2018 for about a month
'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

New photographs up of Granada, Córdoba and Toledo

Last year (2010) I drove to Spain, via the Portsmouth-Bilbao ferry crossing, for my 3-month Spring-break in Spain. On the way to Spain, I came pretty directly to my home in Murcia, only spending a night on the outskirts of Madrid as I don't like driving for too many hours in a day (5 driving, plus a couple of hours for coffee- and lunch-breaks is about my limit). However, on the way back to Scotland three months later I took almost a week to travel to Bilbao, spending several days in each of Córdoba and Toledo on the way north in late May 2010. The visit to Granada was a separate 3-day trip during April 2010.

In all three places I took quite a lot of photographs, but for various reasons have only now got around to placing a selection of them up in my website.

Granada is less than three hours drive from where my Spanish home is, so a 2-night stay there means that the middle day can be devoted to sight-seeing, mainly of the Alhambra Palace, with the shoulder days for easy drives there and back. Below is the link to my photograph gallery for this visit, spread over three pages:

Alhambra Palace, Granada (Andalucia)
- April 2010 -
Click here to see enlargements of all the photographs in this gallery.

- this was in fact my second visit to Granada to visit the Alhambra Palace, the first having been made in March 2007 - you can see the gallery for that visit here, with an associated blog entry here (from my other blog, as the visit preceded the start of this blog).

I had never visited Córdoba and Toledo before, but had wanted to do so for years, so a major part of the reason why I used the Portsmouth-Bilbao crossing, rather than the Rosyth-Zeebrugge crossing I have used several times before, for my car trip last year was to 'justify' the side-trips necessary to visit these two cities.

The drive to Córdoba in fact skirts Granada, but the whole trip is not too long and the prize is arriving in a very attractive city. I stayed in a very small and quite comfortable hotel in the old part of the city, making it necessary to negotiate the traffic barriers around it, as only residents and guests at selected hotels are permitted vehicular access. Once there, however, all the places I wanted to visit were within comfortable walking distance, so my car remained in the undergorund parking garage of the hotel for the duration of my visit. Below is the link to my photograph gallery for this visit, spread over eight pages:

Córdoba (Andalucia)
- May 2010 -
Click here to see enlargements of all the photographs in this gallery.

- the photographs cover the Mesquita, perhaps the best example of Islamic/Christian architecture in Spain and probably anywhere, a couple of Jewish sites, the Botanic Gardens and the Alcazar (i.e. castle).

Next up was a visit to Toledo, a good distance north of Córdoba and indeed only about 70 Km south of Madrid. Again I stayed in a very nice small hotel (guest house, really, but with very well appointed rooms) in the traffic-restricted part of the city, meaning that everything was within walking distance. At one time it was the capital of the Spanish Empire and, like Córdoba, a place where Christian, Jewish and Muslim cultures co-existed, although exceedingly harsh measures were taken against the Jewish population at various times. It is also where the artist El Greco, although born in Crete, spent more than half of his life. Unfortunately the major exhibition locations for works by El Greco were both undergoing renovations whilst I was there, so a further visit will be necessary in due course. Similarly, although I had a very interesting visit to the Sephardic Museum of Toledo to learn about its large Jewish heritage, it was not really suited to photography for various reasons. In any case both the Cathedral and the Jesuit Church provided good photographic material. Below is the link to my photograph gallery for this visit, spread over two pages:

Toledo (Castilla-La Mancha)
- May 2010 -
Click here to see enlargements of all the photographs in this gallery.

More recently I have visited several other places in Murcia Region that I had not visited before, including Caravaca de La Cruz and Calasparra, as well as visiting the city of Valencia for a few days with side visits to the cities of Xativa and Alcoi. I am hopeful the delay in getting the photographs of these visits up in my website will be much shorter.

Finally, the photograph gallery index page for all my website photograph galleries, covering the various parts of Spain I have visited so far, is here.

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