Saturday, July 16, 2005

Southern charm

A couple of weeks ago Mr. P/H and his sister and I rented a car and headed south for a tour of sunny Andalucía (from whence the most colorful postcards came). And that has given me the perfect excuse to try out this new Blogger image doohicky.

I'm not kidding about the colors - the sky really is this blue.

On the right is the interior of the Alhambra, the last Moorish palace in Spain.

Below, looking up at one of the columns in the cathedral of Granada.

One of the many fountains of the Alhambra. The whole palace (from the 13th century) and its gardens are designed around water, with a series of fountains and channels that provide the soothing sound and the cool refreshment of splashing water in each terrace and patio of the palace.

And to the left, one of the patios. The gardens of the Alhambra are about the most peaceful place I've ever been.

Notice the carving of the windows, designed to let in breezes and gentle patterns of light, but shielding the interior from the intensity of the sun.

The same idea is applied to the public baths that existed in every Muslim city, where star-shaped openings in the ceiling serve to illuminate and to let the steam escape. These folks knew how to elevate bathing to an art form.

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