The final leg of my journey took me through the Iberian Peninsula. You can hear me talk about it here.
The section of the trip that really drew my camera was the beautiful Moorish architecture of Andalusia. This set is from the Alhambra of Granada. The first photo shows an exterior shot of the complex, followed by a sample of the gardens and courtyards. It's difficult to tell in a picture, but the arches in the courtyard are covered in intricate arabesques and in person the eye picks up on it making the whole scene even more beautiful. The next two pictures show closer views of some of the arabesques, and the one after is a sample of the tile work. The final photo is a particularly incredible domed ceiling inside the palace.
After Granada I visited Cordoba, once the center of Moorish power in Spain. The first photo show's a waterwheel that dates back to the time of Caliph, and behind it is a bridge even older than that, built by the Romans in 1st Century BC. The next photo shows the exterior of the Cathedral of Cordoba. On this site was originally a Roman temple to Janus, which was destroyed by the Visigoths to construct a church, which was substantially expanded and turned into a Mosque by the Moorish Caliph, which was then turned into a Cathedral after the Reconquista. The third photo shows a section of the interior forest of columns. The last photo shows part of the cathedral nave constructed in the center of the building during it's last repurposing. While pretty by itself, the nave really does spoil somewhat the open feel of the rest of the columned structure. In fact, when Charles V, who authorized it's conversion into a cathedral, visited it and saw the nave he commented "they have taken something unique in all the world and destroyed it to build something you can find in any city."
My final stop in Spain was the beautiful city of Seville. The first photo here show's the aptly named Seville Cathedral, followed by views of the city and cathedral gardens from the bell tower. The last two photos show first a section of the covered market the ambles through the downtown area, followed by the Metropolitan Parasol. The Parasol was constructed in 2011 and is possibly the largest wooden structure in the world. Tragically, I only learned you can go on top of the Parasol after I left.
These three photos show the Plaza de Espana, built in 1928 when Seville hosted the World's Fair.
Here we have the Alcazar of Seville, a palace that rivals the Alhambra. The first three photos show the entrance, a courtyard, and the golden dome of the Hall of Ambassadors room. The next two show an ivied fountain and a guardhouse, both of which can be found in the expansive gardens. The final photo is of an underground section that provided a place of comfortable coolness during the hot days for the palace residents.
Lastly I visited Lisbon. The first photo here shows the ruins of Carmo gothic church, which lost its roof in the devastating 1755 earthquake. The next photo shows a typical Lisbon street, followed by a shot of the 25 de Abril Bridge. Sister bridge to the famous Golden Gate and named for the day of the fall of the fascist regime in Portugal. The last photo is from the top of the Belem Tower, an old fort by the shore.
And that's it. After Lisbon I caught a plane back to the States, my four months abroad come to an end. I have one last video where I review the contents of the backpack that accompanied me all that way, which you can find here.