Friday, April 10, 2015

Trip to Morocco and Granada Part 2

This second part of our travels was written after about a year actually....been possessed by the busybug (yeah, right...more likely the lazybug...LOL) Well, anyway...:
We were in Spain on the 25th of March after a 2-hour ride on the ferry. The place where we landed was Algeciras, a port city in the south of Spain. From the ferry terminal we walked to the train station to catch a train that would take us to Granada. Tickets were pre-purchased online so timing was pretty crucial. Anyway, we managed to get on the train on time, alhamdulillah. The train was very modern and comfy and not at all crowded... There were quite a number of stops along the way and the scenery was amazing.. as usual pics worth millions of words:
Hubby in front of the Ferry Terminal at Algeciras

In the train on our way to Granada

Digital displays with

Stops along the way

Yeay! San Francisco...Spain

Sheep farms


White washed buildings,,

Wind farm...fascinating..

Olive farms...acres and acres...

It was early evening when we arrived in Granada. We took a taxi to the little budget hotel that the hubby had booked online. It's called the Antares, residing on the narrow cobbled streets not far from the main streets in Granada. It's also near many souvenir shops and more importantly eateries which are also halal, alhamdulilllah! The Al-hambra is actually walking distance from the town centre but there's a part where one needs to climb a steep incline which would leave me positively breathless and achy all over.. So we got the bus which goes regularly to the place.
In front of our hotel

View of the narrow street below

The winding staircase to reach our room

Silence please!

The room basically clean and tidy (ie before we messed it up)

Checking out the souvenir shops...
...and places to eat

And more choices

In one where we ate..reassuring to see a hijjabie serving us  

Narrow the streets may be but vehicles pass through with ease

Pedestrianized area

Another part of Granada
Wide pavement on main street

Taxi service 24 hours...within walking distance from our hotel

Buying souvenirs for the children and grandchildren

Waiting for the bus to take us to the Al-Hambra

In the bus..

Walking from the bus stop to the point of entry..hilly grounds

Buying tickets using the machine

School trip..

Spring just round the corner..temperature that day was about 8 degrees celcius!

Pretty pretty flowers..

My favourite hues!

Defenders of the fort...

Hubby posing in freezing temperatures

View from the top..

Amazing view!

Another one..

And another..whew!

Buildings around the area

Walking around...

Entering a courtyard

Court of the Myrtles..part of the 'Wives' Palace'

A better view

Court of the Lions...
From another angle

The Patio
Another view of The Patio 

More details..

Arabic texts..

Can't remember what building but that's the hubby...

...taking a picture of me and me of him...

Queuing to enter.... 

....a long queue...

The Fountain of Charles V

Looking up at the intricate designs and carvings..

Whew! Must have taken ages just to do the ceiling


We then proceed to another area connected to the Al-Hambra which is the Palacio de Generalife or Gineralife (in Arabic: Jennat al Arif, "Garden of Arif," or "Garden of the Architect").

This area is still part of the main buildings

Gardens surrounding the area

From another angle

Path leading to Generalife

Gardens along the way
Okay..we're on the right track.. was a long walk..

...but worth the effort..

View from the top..capturing the struggling blooms..

Walkway paved with coat of arms

Paved with a mosaic of pebbles 

This elderly couple inspired me to ascend the final steps puff...puff

After two wonderful days in Granada we were soon back in Algeciras; and having a couple of hours to spare before boarding the ferry back to Tangiers. A walk around town - part Spanish part Moroccan culturally...

A street corner in Algeciras

Market place walkabout - OK I'm in the dark about this.. 

Don't these strawberries just make you drool..?

Enjoying Moroccan tea - the sweet sweet minty stuff they drink all day

At the ferry terminal..

Waiting for the ferry - delayed...

Alhamdulilllah a generous gentleman gave us a free meal on board the ferry - Allah bless him!
Goodbye Spain!

Exploring the narrow streets typical of the old city in Tangiers

Dusk in Tangiers..

From Tangier it's the night train...back to Casablanca, arriving at near dawn. We took the taxi straight to the famous Hassan II Mosque for the dawn prayer. It is the largest mosque in Morocco and Africa and the 7th largest in the worldA maximum of 105,000 worshippers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque's outside grounds.(Thanks Wiki). Here are some pics that we took:

Our first view on arrival

Some pics of the inside of the Masjid:

Posing at sunrise

Another view in a different hue...

Early birds... Mosque built facing the Atlantic Ocean and part built on water

A day to spend in shop for souvenirs! And what is Morocco without its famous Argan oil? Alhamdulillah we had wonderful guides - the same girls who met us at the airport when we first  arrived. This time they rushed us (not much time before our flight) to reputable shops that sell Argan oil and other souvenirs.

Haggling for a good price...

The shopkeeper probably momentarily taken aback at the no of bottles of Argan oil that we intended to purchase haha

Our loot..

Among other things brought home - a tagine pot!

These lovely girls even saw us off at the airport - thanks a million for your hospitality!

OK, out of context, I know...but it just riles me up when people don't respect their own law!

Our adventures far from over we had to transit in Dubai, an overnight stay. A hotel already booked beforehand  and we took the opportunity to see something of the opulent city... And of course we plan but ultimately Allah is the Best Planner when we couldn't get on the plane we're supposed to take and had to wait for another flight which means another overnight stay...on the airport bench! Alhamdulillah, we took it all in our stride...haha 

Hubby posing in front of the famous Burj Khalifa...
Other pics roundabout the city, truly luxurious, what oil money can do .... not many pictures as we thought we were rushing to catch a plane..

The airport - not an uncomfortable place to spend the night though... 

Wheww...Alhamdulillah, at last I've managed to complete this post which is, like, more than a year overdue! Anyway since this trip we haven't been to a long overseas holiday yet. Though we've been making about - I lost count - numerous trip to Melbourne and a couple to Adelaide. Melbourne; to stock up on Corelle (Alhamdulillah the hubby's online business is quite lucrative these days...) Adelaide; to spend time with the grandchildren. Anyway I hope to continue posting in this blog, insyaAllah. Please pray for me!

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