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Madrid Photos

Posted by Jason del Sur in Europe 2009, Photo Albums
May 12th, 2009

Monday: I returned back to the hostel in Granada after a day exploring the city.  I began researching train tickets to return to Barcelona on my way to Torino. My initial plan consisted of taking the train back to Barcelona, spening a day there, then taking the train through Southern France with a stop off in Montpiller or Nice. After discovering the train takes significantly longer than planned and knowing I needed to be in Torino by Thursday to meet my friends I began investigating other options. Upon looking up airfare and train schedules, Barcelona was out of the running. Based on price and timing, I would take the train up to Madrid, spend a day there and fly to Torino the following morning.

Here’s the awesomeness I saw in Madrid:

Plaza MayorPlaza Mayor100_3574100_3576Palacio Real en MadridCatedral de la AlmudenaCatedral de la AlmudenaCatedral de la AlmudenaCatedral de la Almudena100_3590Catedral de la AlmudenaDon Quixote y Sancho Panza en Plaza de España100_3595Don Quixote100_3598100_3599Don Quixote y yo100_3601100_3602100_3603100_3604VelazquezBotanic Gardens in MadridBotanic Gardens in Madrid100_3612Gato vs Gato vs PlantaBotanic Gardens in MadridBotanic Gardens in MadridBotanic Gardens in MadridParque del Buen RetiroParque del Buen RetiroParque del Buen RetiroParque del Buen RetiroParque del Buen RetiroParque del Buen RetiroParque del Buen RetiroParque del Buen RetiroParque del Buen RetiroParque del Buen Retiro100_3642100_3644100_3646Chicago vs. Madrid for 2016. Chicago shall be triumphant!100_3649

I apologize for the terseness that will probably be the rest of the posts from this trip. I am back home in Chicago and slowly making my way through my photos and stories of the last week and a half in Europe. Stay tuned for Torino and Firenze (Florence).

Mi Cantar de Granada

Posted by Jason del Sur in Europe 2009, Photo Albums
May 5th, 2009

Granada, tierra soñada por mi,
mi cantar se vuelve gitano cuando es para ti,
mi cantar hecho de fantasía,
mi cantar flor de melancolía
que yo te vengo a dar.

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Granada, land of my dreams… Your thin arabesque calles, your daunting yet inviting cuestas, your splendid miradores overlooking the city. Your grand vista of the majestic Alhambra obsuring the horizon. And beyond the towers and crumbling walls stand the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada. The fire of Flamenco was conceived and born in the caves of Sacromonte. Wandering around the city you can feel that not only is it obvious this is the womb of Flamenco, but that Flamenco was the inevitable outcome of the union of the Spaniards and the Moors in this town. The West embodied in the Christian Cathedrals and the East in the Arabian palaces and streets.

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Up the hill toward the old Moorish wall, Gypsies and hippies live in houses built into the caves. Empty beer bottles line the tables on the patios telling of the tale of a long night passing the time under the shining Andalusian moon.

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And all of this can be seen from the terrace of my hostel. Please, stay at Mochi Guesthouse, you will not be disappointed by the staff, the facilities, and definitely not by the view.

Granada, tierra ensangrentada
en tardes de toros.
Mujer que conserva el embrujo
de los ojos moros.
Te sueño rebelde y gitana
cubierta de flores,
y beso tu boca de grana
jugosa manzana
que me habla de amores.

Then, we reach the Alhambra. Washington Irving describes it:

TO THE traveller imbued with a feeling for the historical and poetical, so inseparably intertwined in the annals of romantic Spain, the Alhambra is as much an object of devotion as is the Caaba to all true Moslems. How many legends and traditions, true and fabulous; how many songs and ballads, Arabian and Spanish, of love and war and chivalry, are associated with this oriental pile! It was the royal abode of the Moorish kings, where, surrounded with the splendors and refinements of Asiatic luxury, they held dominion over what they vaunted as a terrestrial paradise, and made their last stand for empire in Spain.

Inside, my first stop was the Royal Palace of Charles V, the enormous monstrosity built in a vain attempt to overshadow through sheer size the elegance of the Nazrid Palaces.

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Inside the Nasrid Palaces, a calm beauty breezes with the wind through the courtyards and quarters. The walls and arches, the work of incredibly skilled craftsmen, are covered in ornate wood and stonework. The mosaiced ceilings and the laticed walls immediately relax the visitor. The arches and flowers reflect in the pools of the courtyards. Once again, Washington Irving: “The architecture, like that in most parts of the interior of the palace, is characterized by elegance, rather than grandeur, bespeaking a delicate and graceful taste, and a disposition to indolent enjoyment.” There is little to do in the gardens of the Generalife but stroll through the hedges and flower gardens.

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Granada is by far one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. It is a safe observation to say that I fell into love, if not at least deep infatuation, with the city.

Granada, manola cantada
en coplas preciosas.
No tengo otra cosa que darte
que un ramo de rosas.
De rosas de suave fragancia
que le dieran marco a la virgen morena,
Granada, tu tierra está llena
de lindas mujeres,
de sangre, y de sol.

-Lyrics from Granada by Agustín Lara

100_3337100_3340100_3344100_3345100_3354Cuidado! Aquí, hay hippiesAlhambra100_3395100_3400100_3401100_3405Palace of Charles V100_3414100_3418Alhambra100_3425100_3427100_3433100_3435100_3440100_3443Nazrid Palaces100_3448Nazrid Palaces100_3455100_3457100_3468100_3471100_3473100_3474Nazrid Palaces100_3482Nazrid Palaces100_3490100_3491100_3493100_3494Can't really call it a knocker, but it's still awesome100_3503Las Banderas100_3511100_3512100_3520100_3524100_3525100_3530100_3534Generalife100_3544Generalife100_3552100_3555100_3558

Fes and Asilah Photos

Posted by Jason del Sur in Europe 2009, Photo Albums
May 1st, 2009

Photos from the rest of my time in Morocco:

Fes

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Asilah

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And a shoutout to new friends Hassan Annouri, German hip hop star, and his video crew I met at a badass seafood restaurant Casa Garcia in Asilah. This isn’t the new video they shot in Morocco, but I’ll post that one as soon as it hits.

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