Grenade city

Here, the Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals and Westges lived. They changed the Great Arab civilization, then Mauri came from Africa. Compared to the fratricide nightmare, in which a country plunged in the Catholic koles, the Muslim-Jewish-Christian past of Precucumbian Andalusia seems to be quite prosperous. In these happy times in Cordoba, the first university was opened in Europe and learned to operate cataract. And in Granada built Alhambra.

Castle for single

The Palace of Muslim Kings in Granada – the main attraction of the country of Spain. And do not mind that Sagrada Familia or Prado is better: according to official statistics, most of all the guests of Spain visits Alhambra (8 million per year, or 600 people every half hour). In second place, the Cordobic mosque, and the Prado Museum is only on the third. The only drawback of such popularity is a pussy. In the summer, the Japanese with the Americans breathe each other in the back of the head and do not give the rest to penetrate the soul and body of the Alhambra.

Year ago. Yes that simple mortals – Clinton, and he was delighted. Three years ago, the presidential couple got to Granada and Alhambra. Meschak Bill exclaimed that nothing more beautifully the Alhambra and Pre-orders of the Gardens of the General Father (in translation – paradise) he did not see in his life.

Now we have the result of his inappropriate statement. Wander around the palace if not alone, then at least in relative silence it is possible only in winter or early spring when it’s cold in Granada (plus 15). In Alhambre, even colder and in addition, wet, due to water, unnoticed from the fountains, – but there are almost no people who sagged in the palace coolness from the summer Andalusian heat. From two angles – cold and crowds – you need to choose the first. Summer halls and galleries, on the walls of which runs down and hangs on the ceiling, plaster stumes, placed to loneliness. Only alone is easy to penetrate the atmosphere of the Alhambra and imagine one of the legends constituting her story.

For example, about Sultan Baabdila, the older and his beloved wife, who changed the Vladyka with one of the approximate. The lovers were failed, and Boabedil traveled a couple of kiparis. Persons of the opponent Sultan did not see – but noticed the coat of arms of the family of Abenserirach. The next day, all Caballers of this glorious kind, from young men to the elders, were executed – and the cypress was preserved. He finally dry and, apparently, does not look like himself, but the sign says: he witnessed treason.

In the lion’s courtyard there is a fountain donated by the Mauritanian king of the Jewish community – then they were friends. 12 Lviv symbolize 12 knees of Israel, and in the eyes of the beasts, they said were jewels – they are, like the whole Granada kingdom with his sultans, wives and beautiful concubines, now the trace has noged. A piece of Alhambra, rebuilt by Karl I, in a few centuries became the temporary refuge of the American Writer of Washington Irving – the author of the most penetrated labor about the magic Arab palace.

Albehenis has "Memories of Alhambre" – Sad unequance. Now I understand the longing that everyone experiences, leaving the Alhambra. With the same longing, her Sultan Boaabdil left – not a jealous villager, and his young son who gave the keys to Granada in order to prevent senseless bloodshed, Catholic kings – Isabelle Castilskaya and Ferdinand Aragon. The young man cried, and his mother comforted him: "Cry like a child if you could not protect your city – like a man". Boaabdil disappeared in the mountains of Sierra Nevada, and did not see him anymore. And at the site of farewell, you can stand and look at the brick walls of Alhambra (in Arabic "Al-Humbra" – red). Or on the snow peaks of Sierra Nevada, to which from Granada – an hour of driving.

"This is for them i jiji. And for you I am a zurab", – explained the ski instructor. And I immediately calmed down. Because Georgians, from Bakuriani come, riding skiing, is normal, and Italian (we presented it), who freely explained in Russian, – nonsense.

Zurab Jijishvili married Spanish and lives in Spain a year with a little. But for the first time appeared here in 1996, at the World Sports Championships. On Sierra Nevada – the most southern ski resort of Europe – Jiji is the only Russian-based instructor. More here and not necessary: ​​our skiers and generally foreigners on Sierra Nevada are still units. And hotels are filled in mostly Spaniards, feeling the taste for the northern entertainment and succeeded in the new hobby. Mountain skiing so much so that all the hotels of the resort village (2.000 meters above sea level) filled with Spaniards – King Juan-Carlos, Queen Sofia and royal siblings ride here.

The resort, nor in content, nor in quality is not inferior to the Alpine prototypes, was built to the world championship already mentioned, which was supposed to take place in 1995. But it happened that in all Andalusia for the previous five years there was not a millimeter of precipitation. Some Oliva survived in drought, and about the snow, even at the top of Mulhasen – the highest peak of the snowy mountains (so the Sierra Nevada is translated), height in 3.478 meters, could not be speech. The championship took place a year later, and Alberto Tombo defeated him, who had previously argued that there was no skiing in Spain – then he had to repent.

Specialists in the ski business assure that, like any resort of extra-class, Sierra Nevada, how can not be suitable for "Teapots", It seems to me: besides excellent trails of various complexity, from black and red to green-blue, there are perfectly smoothed, quite a gentle slope. From one of them, I managed to ride three times, I can’t break anything or another, – this unconditional success I relate to the account of pedagogical talents Jiji. Having gone by a plow, I was attached to the sun and then only appreciated the main advantage of the Spanish mountains in front of the notorious Swiss: Spain – South Switzerland.

What is winter in Davos? Minus 10-15, wind, sometimes – sun. What is winter in Sierra Nevada? Zero, minus two, more often plus four. If at the bottom is overcast, it is worth breaking on the lift through a loose layer of clouds – and you are in the sun, otherwise there is no. I can not worry about snow: Snow cannons work all night, and skiers going at midnight in the bams and discos, they hear their unobtrusive hum.

In the morning, everyone prejudge the eyes, tip over the breakfast of a glass of champagne (in the new four-star Sol y Nieve hotel, where we stayed, it was accepted), we should come into overalls and picked in non-inclined shoes to the lift. Further – all according to plan. You can retreat from it – and you need to see what is around the resort. On the slopes of Sierra Nevada, old villages and towns, with medieval castles, smokers, where under the ceiling dried mountain ham carcasses, and masterfully in which hand carpets. Unlike Granada, where flight buses go, to the mountain towns get only independently. The car can be rented immediately, in the mountains – in Granada do this not advise, because the serpentine goes cool in the mountain and the driver’s pleasure is hardly delivered.

Tropics or not tropics

In April or in October, when the peaks of Sierra Nevada still (or already) are covered with snow, skiing is easily combined with bathing in the Mediterranean Sea. To do this, descend from the mountains not towards Granada, but in the opposite, to the tropical coast (Costa Tropical). The pretentious name – contrary to geographical latitude (in Europe, as you know, there are no tropics), but thanks to the soft climate and tropical fruits growing in these places (the most amazing – Chirmai, Dragono Apple: The smell of slightly with Gnitza, to taste reminds Kiwi, bones – like an apple, only a lot of them, leather – like fishing scales).

Grenade city

In addition, along the Costa Tropical, as well as throughout Andalusia, the wonderful white towns are scattered – Arabic in appearance, but absolutely Spanish in content. Nearest to Granada – Salobreya, older Granada, founded by the Romans. From the Romans, however, there were unpumbed ruins, and from the Arabs – the color: not too, it would seem, hardworking Spaniards for Easter and Christmas repairs their housing white, with the addition of blue, paint, why the walls acquire a bluish tint and glow in the dark.

Mountain, stuck with snow-white houses, crowns the castle. If you see from there to the side of Malaga, the other white town is visible – Almunecar, behind him – the Bay of Erradura (in Spanish Horseshoe) and the border between the provinces – Malaga and Granada, passing through the nudist beach.

Small but noisy

Granada (its name comes from the grenade) is small – 270.000 residents. But the smallest city seems lively if there is a university. Young on the ancient steps of the university or in nightclubs – the same landmark of Granada, like the Catholic Kings Chapel (Isabella and Ferdinand), the Cathedral of St. Mary (standing on the site of the mosque) or a monument to the Opener of America. They say that the catering of Columbus in swimming, the queen spent the entire contents of his Lart with dowry – probably the spread of this fiction contributed to Isabella.

Oddly enough, the historical center of the city is not its most respectable area. Like New York Greenwich-Villaidju, once the former village, Granada Albaisin, in the past quarter of the Balgonamental shack, clogged by the worshi of the Arabs and Gypsies, turned into the abode of artists and writers – only succeeding, because a modest house here can cost a million – not peseta and dollars.

And even above, above Albaisin, – Mount Sacromonte, existed by caves. Gypsies lived in the caves and live. Drunk Tsygan-homeless (one of this was met by my colleagues – he knew in Russian "Colleague Yeltsin Muga Vodka") and gypsies-rich, equipped restaurants and dance halls in the caves and dance halls (about what Clinton visited – probably lied). Gypsies appeared here at Carla I, forced them to live a settling life. They obeyed and assieved in Andalusia and Madrid – and there began to sing their sad songs.

In these songs there is not a word about freedom, love or death. We can talk about a relative or a meaningless item – but the song will still be about freedom, love or death. Those who consider flamenco to be spanish art are not right – this is an exceptionally gypsy entertainment, and the fact that the Spaniards willingly do them, things do not change. I always assumed that Flamenco is not too fun. But did not think it could be scary.

Beauty with a brutal face moved to the beat of the song that least reminded Spanish. Smiled alone Japanese. Meanwhile, we were lucky: it was just the most present – or almost real – flamenco, and not "Spanish ballet", which most often sew tourists. Spanish rhythm with Arab intonations and gypsy emotions – that’s what Flamenco. Of all the Spanish priorities, it is closest to the Corrida.

But it has an explicit advantage – flamenco bloodlessly. At the end of the presentation, you, like me, will quickly come to my senses, because the Gypsy passions are alien to us. And with a light shower, go to wander through the streets of the old pomegranate city, looking at the White Albanisin and hills covered with white blooming almonds: now for him just season.

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