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January 15, 2004

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On Dec. 25th, me and my beloved headed for encountering one of the richest historical regions in the world: Andalucia. Our intention was to visit the most important three cities in just six days. We visited Granada, Cordoba, and Sevilla, respectively.

The city of Granada is dominated by the Alhambra, arguably the most exciting, sensual and romantic of all European monuments. It was the palace-fortress of the Nasrid Sultans, rulers of the last Spanish Moorish kingdom and in its construction Moorish art reached a spectacular and serene climax. But the building seems to go further than this, revealing something of the whole brilliance and spirit of Moorish life and culture. It took us one full day to enjoy the spectacle of Alhambra. Granda is additionally surrounded by the magnificent Sierra Nevada mountains, embracing it, like two loving arms.

The next two days we spent visiting the City of Córdoba being the Capital city of the Province (Andalucia). It has Roman origins but is known for the moors. In the tenth century it was the western capital of the Islamic empire. Today it is a friendly city enjoyed by tourists. Its main attraction is the mosque! (There are a few pictures of it here. The interior of the mosque turned cathedral (actually half mosque, half cathedral), is filled with Naranja (orange) trees, fountains, and waterways, reminding you of an ancient Arab influence. (By the way, we visited the 7000 Persian Art exhibition here, in this small city, it was amazing).

As the journey was getting more interesting day by day, we headed to our last location, Sevilla, for the new year, 2004. Sevilla lies on the banks of the Guadalquivir and is one of the largest historical centers in Europe, it has the Mohammedan minaret of La Giralda, the cathedral (one of the largest in Christendom), and the Alcázar Palace (all seen in our photos). Part of its treasure include Casa de Pilatos, the Town Hall, Archive of the Indies (where the historical records of the American continent are kept), the Fine Arts Museum (the second picture gallery in Spain) , plus convents, parish churches and palaces. We spent the last night of 2003 in a small restaurant eating local fish with red wine. To prove the point that one should never mix red wine with seafood not only because of the discordance in tastes, I was sick the day after, the whole day... Hope you'll enjoy the photos.
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By Leila Farjami and Reza Zia-Ebrahimi

Articles
-- Alhambra is great, by Roozbeh Shirazi
-- Kristopher Kolumbus in Spain
-- Loving a farangi, by Laleh Khalili

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