Some learning vacations include a visit to the historic and world renowned Alhambra, and the gardens of the Generalife.
The Alhambra (Qal'at al-hamra - the Red Fortress) has a rich and varied history, from its beginnings as a Moorish castle in the 700's, the various additions made by the succession of sultans who occupied it, to its conquest by the Catholic Monarchs and its decline into disuse until Washington Irving re-discovered it.
Victor Hugo spent time here. A Spanish soldier heroically removed the fuses when Napoleon ordered the destruction of the Alhambra. Restoration is ongoing and new discoveries are still being made. In the Generalife the display and perfume of the abundant flowers interplay magnificently with the sound and the sight of moving water to provide refuge from the Spanish sun. In most areas the plants are as they were in the 15th Century. With little effort, you are transported to the land and time of the Arabian Nights.
We will spend the day there - time to enjoy a leisurely stroll, sit in a courtyard by the fountains or explore the Nasrin palaces, all the while experiencing this jewel of a Moorish paradise. There is time for lunch at the San Francisco Parador or the quaint Hotel America, both of which are inside the walls. The Parador is also a great place to go for a peaceful cup of tea and rest in their courtyard or cool interiors of this old monastery.