When I close my eyes and dream of Florence there is one image that always comes to mind. It is the sight of the Ponte Vecchio at night, lit by the soft golden hues of street lamps as their mild light warms and illuminates the yellow, amber, and orange paint that covers Florence’s buildings like a thin layer of multi-hued skin. While there are a variety of different locations to enjoy the Ponte Vecchio from, my person favorite is the nearby Ponte alle Grazie, which, isn’t very pretty by itself but does provide an excellent view of the Ponte Vecchio.…
I have the great fortune of coming from a family of travelers. I crossed my first international border before I could walk and have continued to feel the drive to explore ever since. As I pave my path through life it’s both exciting and fascinating to see where that path overlaps with my Dad’s adventures as a young man more than 40 years before. A while back some of Dad’s old trip slides surfaced, we scanned a few and it struck me that it would be fun to post shots from his time wandering Granada intermixed with the photos I took during my 2008 visit to Spain.
To be clear, I didn’t find his photos until after my trip, so while I remember being in the locations shown in a lot of his shots I didn’t always pause to take a photo of my own. The weather was also pretty rough and I was having issues (water incident) with my Camera so the shot quality left something to be desired.
He captured his photos in the Spring of 1970 while visiting a school in Granada as part of his examination of different education systems around the world. When I asked him a bit about it he reflected on enjoying his visit to the Alhambra and Albayzin while reading Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra. All the while he spent the evenings camping in his VW pop-top van in a canyon just outside the city. I took mine during a 18 day backpacking trip through Spain in December of 2008.
A lot of Dad’s photos are of the Lion fountain and the immediate area. Unfortunate, at the time of my visit in December 2008 the fountain was being repaired/cleaned and was behind scaffolding which meant I didn’t take a lot of photos of the courtyard it rests in.
I believe this photo was taken on one of the old fortresses’ battlements. The mountains in the back are the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
While I’m not sure exactly where Dad stopped to snap this shot, it looks like the area along the old Fortress. This shot is from the top of the highest battlement after squeezing out the small doorway.
Taken along one of the large pools just off the palatial gardens.
My photo taken of a small fountain between the upper pools and the lower reflection pool.
View looking down on the previous pool/gardens. This area is located just beyond the central palace.
The view looking in at the Lion fountain.
My shot of what I believe is the same small fountain that appears in Dad’s but from the side.
A rare closeup on the Lion fountain as it stood in 1970.
As mentioned previously, the fountain was covered in scaffolding and under re-pair, but here’s another shot of the area in the background in Dad’s fountain photo.
The view into the Lion courtyard from the main palace.
One of the stunning domed ceilings in the Palatial quarters. The hundreds of small domes inside the large dome gave the ceilings an incredible/ornate look. Many were painted multiple colors when the palace was in regular use.
Looking up at the same dome. My slightly out of focus shot ended up being zoomed in on the inner dome.
I love this shot of visitors standing near the entrance to the Patio de los Arrayanes. While some of the photos are somewhat timeless, you can definitely tell that this shot was taken in the early 70s due to people’s clothing and hair.
My shot from slightly in front of where the people were standing in Dad’s previous shot of the hallway.
A view back towards the main entrance to the Patio de los Arrayanes. This pool and the courtyard it rests in is perhaps one of the most picturesque and famous parts of the Alhambra.
My photo shooting from the area in the center of Dad’s shot. You can see where he might have been standing along the back left side of the pool. It looks like the shrubs haven’t changed much in 38 years.
Looking out and along the Palatial compound’s wall.
My shot back at the Alhambra from the Albayzin. Note that the area covered in Dad’s shot is in the lower left of mine.
The view out across from the Alhambra towards to Albayzin. Note the cathedral in the upper left hand corner of the image. That’s the Cathedral that offers the most famous view across towards to Alhambra.
My shot looking out across at the Albayzin. The main landmark to match up here in the rectangular cathedral in both shots. Though I believe Dad’s shot is actually reversed here due to the scanning processes.
Hopefully you’ve found this as interesting as I have. Inspired by this post I’ve asked Dad to scan and send over any photos he may have that overlap with my future trips. Moving forward I’d love to pro-actively reproduce some of the photos he took in 1970. It’s definitely an interesting sensation to realize where our paths have overlapped and how, despite all the change in the world, some things have remained mostly the same.