It sickens me, that so many stupid people rush to condemn a whole country because of a tiny minority! I'm sick of reading folk's comments like "I can't believe that anyone is still going to such a dangerous and backward place?" without them having the slightest knowledge of Egypt's kindly, protective people, or its world-beating antiquities or the searing heat of an Egyptian summer, or the cooling, refreshing breezes of their short Autumn and Spring. (And that's before we even look at their own country's dismal efforts at keeping their population safe!)
I'm finding it increasingly difficult to face Egyptian friends (many being highly educated people with university degrees) who are trying to secure, even dish-washing, jobs in foreign countries, by paying bribes! It's heartbreaking.
But enough of that sort of thing, you don't come here to listen to me harping-on about the hardships of my friends, do you, Dear Reader? Let's get back to something a bit more cheery, eh? How about our trip to Andalusia? (Spain, you know?)
What a queer place! Streets not wide enough to drive a car along, some so steep that they become steps.
We found little Arab/Muslim shops in a miniature souq area right
behind a HUGE Roman Catholic Cathedral.
The windows stretch all the way around the little vehicles, with only very narrow pillars for doors and window glass. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour, and it did familiarise us with the main areas of interest. Recommended!
I was interested in the everyday shops, easily recognised for what they sell by the names, thus:
And, it wasn't just the shops which were if interest! When did you last see a British bank with an entrance like this:
Of course, the actual point of the visit was to see the famous AlHambra, the fortified palace where the invading Muslim kings lived, and it's certainly worth the trip! I've never seen plasterwork or joinery so exquisitely fashioned. Some of the intricacy was staggering!
Here's the front of the hotel;
And one from the dining terrace which runs all along the outside of bar and restaurant.
The interior of the hotel also had loads of very intricate platerwork, but when I inspected it closely, it became apparent that the beautiful finish on the walls was actually a large number of pre-formed panels!!! We have shops here in Luxor which make and sell pre-formed plaster decoration; corbels, ceiling roses, cornice etc. but nothing like these, I'm sorry to say.
Here are a few shots taken inside the hotel;
Back to the Alhambra itself, some of it is in ruins, but a good deal of the place is intact. It's a big site, with walkways and narrow roads criss-crossing here and there. I was very surprised to came across a "Dempster Dinosaur" (probably not an actual Dempster, but a later copy). For those of you who have now lost their way here; the Dempster Dinosaur was an innovation in commercial vehicle bodywork! Interesting? Read on......
As far as I'm aware, this style of body was the first to be able to be hydraulically removed and replaced along with its load. This picture comes courtesy of "Classic Refuse Trucks.com"
When first introduced they were quite a sight to see! But I never imagined that I'd come across one quite like this: