Things We Love About Living in Granada 3

Hiking Sierra NevadaMountain hikes and picnics
Hunting wild mushrooms
Wildflowers
Breakfasts and lunches at beach bars
Outdoor dining on summer nights
Strolling in Granada   Strolling Granada

Wine and tapas
Winter days, roasting chestnuts in the fire
Spanish friends who treat us like family More…

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Christmastime in Granada Reply

Granada ChristmasThe streets, bars and restaurants of Granada vibrate with life at Christmastime. This collection of photographs was made on one brief tour around the town center in early evening on December 28, 2012. (Please keep in mind that Christmas in Spain lasts from Dec-24 till Jan. 6, the Epiphany of the Three Kings of Orient. That’s 14 days of Christmas!)

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Hot Chestnuts GranadaOne of the beauties of Christmas in Granada is that you don’t have to wade through snow to enjoy. Or, if snow is your thing, you can head for the Sierra Nevada ski resort, just half an hour above Granada in the Sierra Nevada mountains. More…

A Brief History of al-Andalus I/II Reply

Muslim warriors

Faith-inspired Muslim warriors helped to conquer Iberia, but there was more to it than that.

Just Like Modern Life: Greed, Treachery and the Will to Power

Shot through with sagas of ambition, bravery and cultural achievement, the story of the rise and fall of al-Andalus, the area of the Iberian Peninsula occupied by the Muslims in the Middle Ages, makes passionate reading. Nor is it lacking in the eternal attributes of greed, treachery and the unbridled will to power. Add to those factors generous doses of religious fundamentalism on both sides, and you’ve got a story that resonates with 21st-century readers.

Contrary to the lessons we were taught as schoolchildren, neither was the Muslim conquest of Iberia a simple question of bloodthirsty Muslim warriors with curved scimitars imposing “the Koran or the sword”, nor was the Christian Reconquest, at least in its first 500 years, a conscious, organized campaign to reclaim Iberia for Christianity. More…

A Brief History of al-Andalus II/II Reply

An Independent Iberian Caliphate is Born in Cordoba

Mezquita Cordoba

The Mezquita, talisman of the Cordoba Caliphate

Almost three hundred and fifty years earlier, in 756, the Umayyad chieftain, Abderraman I, took Cordoba, the former capital of Roman Spain. There he built the great mosque which still stands today. Though converted into a Christian cathedral and tourist attraction, it is still referred to as “La Mezquita,” “The Mosque,” of Cordoba.

In the beginning the Cordovan Emirate was politically and religiously dependent upon the Umayyad caliphate of Damascus. But neither that dynasty nor the Abassids which followed it were able to prevent the full religious and political independence of the Spanish Muslims.

In the year 929 the Umayyad emir, Abderraman III, proclaimed himself Caliph, thus establishing the independent Caliphate of Cordoba, which was to give rise to a brilliant if short-lived civilization in which Granada played only a modest role in the beginning. More…

Caviar Río Frío 1

Acipenser naccarii

Acipenser naccarii, the sturgeon in question

With the world’s natural caviar sturgeon population in grave danger of extinction, Spanish entrepreneurs are leaping in to help nature–and to make nice profits. One of the leaders in this field is Caviar Río Frío, who took advantage of the ideal waters of their trout farm in a Granada village to begin to raise sturgeon for caviar. That was 25 years ago. Today this Granada fish farm is the world’s only provider of certified ecological caviar.

Fisherman Rio Frio

Fishermen come to the river here hoping that some of the trout have escaped.

The sturgeon is an antediluvian fish that lived blissfully for a quarter of a billion years until a predatory species called homo sapiens developed a taste for its eggs. These ruthless predators built dams that impeded the sturgeon’s access to its breeding grounds, polluted their rivers with toxic waste and overfished them mercilessly. Today almost all of the sturgeon in the world are on the endangered species lists and those most sought after for their roe are teetering on the razor’s edge of extinction. More…