Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What an amazing journey!

On Monday, our merry group of travelers journeyed by motorcoach from Madrid to the ancient city of Toledo.  Our tour guide, Rui, explained the history of the beautiful city, and we stopped to take a group photo at a scenic point overlooking the entire city.  The influence of the Moors who inhabited Toledo is seen everywhere in the architecture of the city.   After a tour of the city, we visited a Damascene steel workshop, where the artisans continue to practice their art making beautiful jewelry and elegant swords.  We stayed in Granada overnight and had an early appointment to tour the Alhambra, built in the 13th century by a Moorish ruler.  After the Spanish re-conquered Grenada from the Moors, Spanish rulers used the grounds as a royal retreat.  Within the complex, we were able to visit the room within which Queen Isabella granted Christopher Columbus the bill of credit to finance his journey to the New World.  We were also able to view the beautiful Water Gardens of the Generalife, which featured reflective pools and incredible gardens.  After leaving Grenada, we traveled to the Costa del Sol to rest before heading to Gibraltar, also known as “the Rock.”  Our local guide drove us to a vantage point from which we could see three countries  (Morocco, Gibraltar – a territory of the United Kingdom, and Spain) on two continents (Africa and Europe).  What an amazing journey!  After such a long day, we are just as tired as our ape friend! But no rest for the weary- on to Seville!
Travel Group overlooking Toledo
Damascene steel worker

View of Gibraltar Strait( View of Africa{far left}, Spain{straight ahead}, Gibraltar{below})
Barbary Ape