The Red Fortress
Our most "strenuous" excursion during the cruise was the day we docked in Almería. We immediately boarded a bus for a 2 and a half hour drive to Granada, where we toured the infamous Alhambra palace, then ate lunch nearby, and a 2 and a half hour drive back to the coast. The Alhambra was built as a palace and fortress complex in the 13th century by the Emirate of Granada and when it was conquered by the Christians a century later, it became the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. It is thus where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his voyage to America. Unfortunately the day that we visited, despite having charged it the night before, my camera died so I only captured a few photos. The palace is an interesting mix of the Moorish architecture so famous of southern Spain and several styles of Christian Gothic and Renaissance. The complex is huge and we could not see all of it in this one visit, but one thing was for sure: the place is crowded. It felt like Disney World with the hordes of tourists milling every which way and it felt a little chinsy and chaotic at times. Despite the frustration of my camera dying and the annoyance at the other people, I fully appreciated what a beautiful structure the Alhambra really is.