Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Fancy some warmth?

I'm still going on about Spain in October.  It's worth noting that in terms of value, this holiday was great - every time I look at the pictures, I feel the warmth and enjoy the splendour all over again.  I'm so happy that we got a chance to go to Granada and visit the Alhambra.  I said in an earlier post that because it's a World Heritage Site, it is very well looked after and there isn't much opportunity to linger...and that's true.  And I did feel it was all rather over restored and well, homogenised.  However, it still made me gasp, and the gardens were just wonderful.  Even for reluctant gardeners like Mr Dunnit and I.  

Looking up, from the Arabic Quarter in the town.  We eschewed the tourist bus and 'hiked' up.  It was a pretty steep shingly road.  I felt intrepid.  And warm. And breathless.
Looking down on Granada from the Sultana's gardens - those Yew hedges are very slow to grow...imagine being the first one to cut them!

Not native or original planting, but oh so pretty - and remember - it's the middle of October at a fairly high altitude!  The roses were really perfumed.  Joy.

No idea what this is.  It was soft like velour.  Almost like a floral version of a foot!

There was no danger of photographing any of the shaded spots without people in them..they were cool! The spots.  But probably the people were too, I just didn't know them.

Water played a popular role in Arabic and later Spanish formal gardens....for cooling rather than irrigation.  And despite being on the highest part of Granada, water at the Alhambra is derived from Springs below the castle.  Yes. Below.  The original builders were civil engineers of some incredible skill.

And another example of genius with water - the cooling staircase...water rushing down a rhyll on either side made the section of staircases distinctly cooler than any other part of the gardens. And then recycled. The water on the steps is from idiot tourists like me putting their hands in it to see how cold it was.  'Freezing' is the first reaction.  And then a quick jump to the middle is the second - the water is coming down so fast that when you put your hand in it....it breaks the flow and sprays all over you.  Yes, mildly embarrassing. But I'm so used to that!
There's yet more pictures from this holiday; mostly random architecture that I liked. You should pray that I experience some wintery sun so that I don't have to keep forcing photos of good weather days on you!


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Absolutely beautiful photos. The water running down the stairs reminds me of one of the gardens at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Stunning and lovely, your photos made me smile about the coolness they possessed.

I know that velvety flower. In fact, here in the States it often comes (as an annual) in Memorial Day baskets. The kind people leave at graves. For the life of me, I can't remember what it's called though.

jill said...

Just makes you want to be in a warmer climate seeing your photo's Julia.

Pam said...

Cockscomb. The plant is called cockscomb, or as we like to call it in the Alvarez household, Johnsoncomb. Ahhh Spain. It brings out the teenage girl in me.

J said...

Julia I love your photos, we live in Spain but have only been in winter so no flowers, it's an amazing place, have you been to salamanca, if not you must go, wonderful place, I posted some on my blog on WOYWW last year
Jan x
Happy new year

505whimsygirl said...

Hi Julia,

Great photos. I love seeing all the greenery. Hmm, that flower is quite interesting; have no idea what it is though.


Nan G said...

Pam is correct..the flower is called cockscomb. They come in a variety of red/purple hues with red being the most predominant. Lovely pics of Spain. Would be nice to go someday. Aahhhh to dream. Sending a late Happy New Year to you. Hugs

Sue said...

What a beautiful garden.

Hope you are having a good week. Sue

My name is Cindy said...

Brings back memories. And I don't know about you but I'd love some warmth right now. Already had enough of grey skies (tho to be fair it was quite pleasant this afternoon. For an hour or so. After the rain this morning.Beautiful photos.

Helen said...

Next time you go, please please let me stow away in your luggage! what beautiful gardens - share as many photos as you like!!

Unknown said...

Beautiful photos Julia-I loved the Alhambra when I visited about 25 years ago-it's time for a revisit I think!

Lisca said...

Love the photos! We live just down the road from Granada but we have only visited the Alhambra once and that was in winter on a very cold and miserable day! (Had to book a long time in advance)No flowers at all.
The weather here is still sunny and warm in the day. We have lunch on the terrace every day. We are slightly higher (in altitude) than Granada and it gets very cold as soon as the sun goes. Thanks for sharing.

fairy thoughts said...

OOo I would love some warm Spanish sun right now especially on my hands.... keep dropping things. Beautiful photos.

Sylvia/LittleTreasures said...

Lovely photos Julia. My grandmother use to raise the "Cockscomb", she'd pick it and dry it for winter arrangements.
Any place warm would be great for me right now..Minus temps here and bad wintery weather.

misteejay said...

I've seen those plants in my local garden centre and the flower really is lovely and velvety.
Beautiful photos Julia - so much nicer than the horrid grey view from my desk at the moment.
Toni xx

mamapez5 said...

Familiar ground for me, but one of my favourite places. I´m glad you had a good day for it. It needs the sun even if it does make for a very warm walk. Nice memories to keep you going through the winter. Kate x

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