Books are not only great travel companions especially on those long flights and sleepless nights, they also give a good background of the places you are visiting.
On my recent trip to Granada, I was pleased to have read Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving. Irving wrote details of his stay at the Alhambra which was then occupied by bats and rifraff. He also recounts the legends he heard surrounding the former occupants of the palace which entertain and enchant.
While in Granada, I had the chance to visit the summer house of playwright and poet, Federico Garcia Lorca. Lorca was also an artist and among the memorabilia are his sketches and paintings as well as a painting by his friend, Salvador Dali. Lorca was executed by government forces in 1936. Here are some beautiful lines he wrote:
El aire llorό
al ver las penas tan grandes
de mi corazon.
No visit to Spain would be complete without reading Don Quixote. At Plaza España in Madrid, the statues of Don Quixote on horseback and his faithful servant, Sancho Panza seem ready to "to run where the brave dare not go".
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Images by Rosario Charie Albar