In other news, church last week was fantastic. God was sooo present, and the sermon, the worship, everything was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. During worship, spontaneous prayers were breaking out in multiple languages – French, Spanish, English, Dutch, German…it was way cool. I’m really going to miss the multinationality of my church here when I go back home :(.
Things are picking up again, though…this past week has been like the calm before the storm – in the next 2 weeks, I will be traveling more than I will be in Seville! This weekend I went to Grenada. We got there mid-day, and spent the afternoon walking around the city. We saw the Capilla Real, where 5 Spanish royalty are buried. We actually got to go underground and see the actual coffins – check them out here (I apologize for the poor quality). I also ran into 2 of my friends from Seville, Paola and Jess, who were there visiting for the weekend as well, so that was cool.
Late afternoon we hiked up the mountain to the old Jewish quarter, to the Plaza San Nicolas, to see the sunset. It was incredible. Plaza San Nicolas has a simultaneous view of the Sierra Nevada (the highest point in Spain), the Alhambra, and the sunset, as well. It was absolutely breathtaking. I love sunsets and scenic views; they are probably the easiest thing in the world to bring me to my knees in awe of the splendor of the Lord.
While we were in the Plaza, we met an American, Jeff, who’s backpacking around Europe for a month. He invited us to meet up with him and some friends of him for dinner later that night. Sarah and I took him up on that offer. We threaded our way back a different way down the mountain, and ended up with a gorgeous view of the Alhambra at night, with the river flowing past it at the base. Once we made it back down, we met up with Jeff and his friends (whom he had just met the day before) and went tapa-hopping. The tapas (appetizers) are free in Grenada with the purchase of a drink, so we went to 3 or 4 different places and got a different tapa and drink at every place. His friends, Palmer, Chris, and Seth, were also Americans, but they had lived in Grenada for 2 years as teaching assistants, so they knew the good places to take us to. After dinner, Sarah went back to the hotel to sleep, but I went out later to a dance club that Justo had recommended to me. I wasn’t out super late – around 1:30 or 2:00 – but I wanted to be able to say that I had gone dancing in Grenada! 🙂 Dances are never as fun by yourself, however, so I eventually just went home to sleep.
The next day I got up early and went to a market I had found the day before and bought a couple of pomegranates. Pomegranate in Spanish is grenada – so I was eating a grenada in Grenada! I found it amusing, lol… Anyway, after breakfast we checked out of the hotel and headed up to the Alhambra, a 14th century Moorish palace and fortress complex. Words…cannot describe that place. The palaces were incredible, with rich ornate decorations and carvings and inlays. But what left the more indelible impression on my mind were the views. The hoary sky, swirled with clouds and pulsating colors and shapes, offset with the vibrant hues of the changing leaves on the trees below, with majestic snow-capped mountain peaks in the background and the magnificent, awe-inspiring palace of la Alhambra in the foreground, left an unforgettable remembrance in my memory. I was very sad to leave the Alhambra – there was a feeling of such serene tranquility and harmony there, especially in the exquisitely manicured gardens, that I could have stayed there forever – like Washington Irving! Washington Irving, the famous American author, fell in love with the Alhambra, and actually lived there for several years. You can read his stories about his time there in his book, Tales of the Alhambra.
We finally made our way back to Seville around 8:00 Saturday night. I had promised a friend a long time ago that I would go dancing with him, and so I went a little after 10:00, but I was pretty wiped out, and left before 1:00. What is Seville doing to me?? I’ve have more late nights here than in the rest of my life combined!! Sunday evening I spent with Justo. He corrected my second paper over dinner, and then we went and saw a Spanish movie, Bon Apetit (Spanish movie with a French title, and the majority of the film in English…ironic, no?). Well anyway, that´s about all I have to report at the moment. See all my pictures from Grenada here. Next update will be about Paris!!!