Wednesday, September 08, 2004


Day 3 ~ Thursday 26th August 2004


We’re in Generalife Gardens.

I can hear the stream flowing so softly – I can’t believe we pay so much to purchase sound of a soothing stream on CD – just come here!

We’ve been walking since before 10.30am when we got here.
(It is recommended to purchase tickets for visiting the Alhambra in advance. About 1000 tickets are issued each day at two separate intervals: am and pm. These tickets are only for the specific day. Tickets for advance days can either be brought online or purchased via telephone. Cues start about 8am each day for the tickets! There are specific times to visit the Nasrid Palace, and these are usually stated on the ticket. Apparently so we were told by the Spanish Tourist Information – the Alhambra is the second or third most visited monument in the world!)

SubhanAllah such beauty. I wonder what Heavens like. We started the walk with a quiet visit to the old mosque..

(Please note: it was actually not the mosque. It was the Bano des Mezquita – the Mosque baths. Thus the journal entry has not been included here – but will be included when we visit the Grand Mosque in Cordoba.

However it is interesting to note that we only became aware that these were the Mosque Baths after our return. It is important to note that traditionally the baths have an immensely valuable and sacred role within Muslim architecture. It is only after using these facilities to purify oneself that one is able to present themselves in front of their Lord for prayer for instance. Similarly one cannot access the Holy Text without first performing ablution.

Traditionally throughout Islamic history the public bath has been second only to the mosque as a focal point of social life.

Thus, the emotions we felt when standing in this purifying ground were true in their own right since this was the ‘initial’ stage of the many actions of worship that a believer in God Almighty performs.

Eyes filling with clouds of tears upon seeing the bare walls - a natural reaction, since this was where prayer itself started).

SubhanAllah as the tears flowed in the presence of the quiet walls, thoughts filled my head; even the floor of the Alhambra must be in despair that the foreheads of the children of Adam have not touched it for centuries. Or maybe it has by those who cared to liven the ground by the kiss of their forehead. The gentle embrace of the human spirit encapsulated within a body kissing the ground to which it must return reflects the first celestial experience.

As the tears rolled, I found an empty corner where nobody was likely to come for a moment. I got down on my knees and prostrated my forehead onto the bare rocky ground. As my body embraced the earth I felt a sense of tranquillity descend upon me.

How the whole earth was made a masjid for man. How the Prophet Alaisalam sanctified the world by prostrating in the Heavens. SubhanAllah, it is the right of this humble ground that God Almighty’s Praises are invoked upon it. And it is only the right of my being that it invokes blessings.

As we continued the tour through the towers of the Alhambra, we made sure we did dhikr – to testify that surely it is by the Will of God Almighty that once stood before us in grandeur and might, a kingdom feared by all. And it is by His Will that we see it as it is today. For surely He who gave us victory in the first instance will restore His Praises on all lands of all places once again. 2.40pm


I am sitting on a bench, cool breeze and the warmth of the sun on my face. Looking through these shades and writing is a mission!

It hasn’t been as hot today, when we were walking earlier it was quite cool.

Almost 250mb of photography and over 100 Kodak snaps! 5 dead batteries and one on its way to nirvana. The place is a photographers’ paradise.

Any why wouldn’t it be; the Alhambra situated up here far from the city noise below depicts a closeness to the Heavens in an extraordinary manner. Celestial reflections can be seen in the stones which have been carved together with marble, to praise His Name. Tilework, each more splendid than the next. How the brightness of the colours is still testimony of the God-fearing craftsmen. The ceilings were absolutely amazing. The mezquitas’ ceiling had stars cut inside it – to allow the sun and air circulation.

Inside the Palace of Nasrid we see the symbolic representation of the Seven Heavens by way of the 7 types of geometric designs. These have been constructed into the ceiling of the Palace. So that man can never be deluded in thinking that it is from his doing that the magnificent architecture fascinates the spirits of onlookers.

Whole Surahs so finely etched onto the walls. The Name of God Almighty Supreme covering the walls and pillars so even the marble can testify to His Unity. How matter has been ennobled in its status by being used in this way. SubhanAllah indeed.

We are hoping to come back Sunday afternoon. My companions’ camcorder battery has also died. 3.10pm.


We are so close to an internet connection in an Arab shop. My companion is pulling me away – she won’t allow me to use it!


Back at the hotel, need to freshen up big time! Couldn’t find a 2 Pin Plug Adapter at the supermarket.

(We had the same problem when we set out to Hajj – we forgot to pack a plug adapter. It was 10pm when my cousin asked if we had it or not. There was great panic since our coach was due to leave for the airport after 2am! I remember my cousin frantically phoning every friend he had, who could give us the adapter. In the end a friend of his had a friend who apparently had returned from a trip abroad that same evening. Both of them scurried to his house and got me the adapter!)

But have found a Sony shop which is next to the hotel. Its closed at the moment – after siesta we’ll check it out.

The Arab brother (shopowner) was very humble MashaAllah in his approach and displayed good adhab. He said he could upload the pictures from the memory cards if we had a USB Port at hand. But we didn’t! He was then kind enough to show us how to get to a shop which burns the pictures onto a CD for just 4 Euros! So got to pick that after 5.45pm. (We took 3 lots of 128MB memory cards. They got full up faster than I had thought). 5.25pm.


We got back into the hotel about 25 minutes ago!

After getting back in earlier on, my companion knocked out and I decided to go and get the plug adaptors. I must have tried 4 shops before managing to find a hardware shop which sold them. Luckily the sales rep at the Sony shop (where I went first) had wrote the Spanish for me: Adaptador de Corriente. He even drew a little diagram for me! I was able to show this to the shopkeepers. I also managed to pick up the CD and formatted memory sticks!

Whilst I was out I came across an arts (print) shop. They had some lovely miniatures; Persian prose, even the whirling dervishes – and drawings of who else but the Great Rumi! Wow this was indeed a lovely twist to the day. The shopowner was an Arab I think; a very tall man with grey hair. I must admit: it was so calm in there. I really sensed something in the air. Aaah

We went in search of a certain Pakistani restaurant called Jinnah (perhaps after the name of Mohamad al-Jinnah; founder of Pakistan, not that Pakistan was lost ;) To our disappointment we didn’t find it!

(Before coming my companion had searched the internet for information on Granada and had come across this restaurant. I had not had a chance to do any research before coming due to being busy with late exam entries. She had been determined that we had to check this place out).

We tried every corner of the complex where we were told it would be – but to no avail. So in the end it had to be good old Pizza Hut! Yep, when all others fail – PH is awaits with the sizzling cheese hmmm…
A pause from my companion whose telling me about the importance of exfoliating my skin..! She’s gone to brush her teeth..!
OK since we couldn’t find Jinnah it was 10pm – we grabbed a pizza..we left the ‘hut’ in search for a postbox for the 4 postcards we got.

We asked as many people as we could about the whereabouts of the postbox but we couldn’t find it. (The fact that we spoke in English to people who replied in Spanish did not help either). Finally we spoke to a man on a motorbike who told us it was about 20 metres away. We walked down and still couldn’t see anything resembling a postbox. All we could see was a tall building with 4 letterboxes.

“No Way!”

We saw a group of people and asked them, waving our postcards – “yes!”

It was that!

Ha Ha Ha ! We were in stitches! (Update on the whereabouts of those postcards; neither of our loved ones have received them yet. This calls for a second trip to Granada to verify that those really were the post boxes. Hmmm).

Being the dime bars that we are, we’d forgotten the map at Pizza Hut – so at 10.45pm we trek back to collect it.

A concluding thought from my companion:
“What are we doing today? These people without technology did so much – for people to see centuries later.”

(We definitely want to read the history of it now).

With soar feet we need to rest – yes Cordoba tomorrow! 12.20am

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