And right when I thought Spain can't possibly get any better we took a few hour drive through fields of Sun Flowers. Oh yes, I just said "fields of sunflowers" and they were just as amazing as you can imagine. Acres of gold rolling down the hills of Spain until we came to Granada. Granada is the home of the Alhambra, a Moorish citadel and palace built high a top a hill. Designed to be "paradise on earth" it was inhabited by the last Muslim rulers in Spain until it was taken back by the Spanish under Ferdinand and Isabella. As you explore the palace you can hear the sweet sound of running water as there are fountains throughout the palace, courtyards, and gardens. The intrinsic details that were carved into the palace are truly amazing. If you go to Spain this is a MUST SEE! And the gardens that surround the palace are amazingly green and lush with roses and labyrinths. The only thing that took away from the beauty of this place was our tour guide, Maria who wore a tank top and did not get paid enough to buy deodorant or a razor.
We also happened to explore a cathedral in Granada where the tombs of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella where. Intricate statues depict Ferdinand and Isabella laying on pillows, the funny thing is, Isabella's head lay deeper in her pillow than Ferdinand showing she was probably a little smarter. I loved that!
Fortunately for us we happened to be in Granada in June during the Corpus Christi Festival. The Corpus Christi Festival celebrates the presence of the body of Jesus Christ in holy water. Back in the 16th century, the Catholic kings used Corpus Christi as a tool to influence the religious beliefs of the population that had been under Muslim ruling for centuries. The festival is celebrated in various forms throughout Spain but it's most famous in Granada. Besides taking place alongside the annual Feria of the city, Corpus Christi holds a bigger significance in Granada's history as compared to the rest of Spain. As Granada was the last Spanish city to be reconquered by the Christians, Muslims beliefs were most rooted here and thus Corpus Christi was taken seriously by the Catholic kings.
The Feria was filled with children's rides, food booths, and white lights strung over head in rows. Little girls ran from ride to ride in their miniature Flamenco Dancer dresses and little boys strutted in their miniature matador costumes. Myself and three of my good friends rode the Ferris wheel, munched on cotton candy, and even rode the biggest mechanical bull I've ever seen. In essence it was a long log with the head and tail of a mechanical bull that moved up and down and all around. I think I almost wet my pants from laughing so hard as we all hugged and clung to the bull for our lives.
And this wraps up my jaunt in the south of Spain, I have to ask what are you're favorite Spanish spots in the south?