The Sultans of Spain
Having always been a lover of great automobiles, Spud planned a trip to Spain to see the homeland that brought inspiration to some of his favourites: The Dodge Matador, The Chrysler Cordoba and the crown jewel of them all: The Ford Granada. The highlight of his trip to the historic country was to visit the namesake of this zenith of automotive design: the city of Granada. When he arrived, Spud was saddened to find no trace of the car among its residents. What he found in its place was a mix of Arab and Christian cultures.
Having forgotten his phrasebook at home, Spud's Spanish was rusty at best; having learned the majority of it from Epstein on 'Welcome Back Kotter" and the tidbits he picked up whilst trapsing through Bolivia and Peru. The tater did pick out a few words from the locals and managed to deduce that the 'Sultans of Swing' were going to be playing at a club called the La Alhambra on the other side of town. Having been a huge fan of Mark Knopfler for years, the tuber jumped in a taxi and raced over to the bar.
Outside the entrance, Spud noticed a huge queue of fans waiting patiently to get in. The crowd wasn't what Spud would have pictured at a Dire Straits concert, as there were busloads of seniors and hordes of camera toting tourists. After paying his admission and entering the massive complex, Spud soon learned that this wasn't a club or concert hall at all. Instead, it turned out to be one of Spain's largest tourist attractions: A massive complex built by the arab Sultan Alhamar in the 13th century. He was the only Sultan, and the only 'swinging' he did was with his collection of wives.
La Alhambra was primarily developed during the 13th-15th centuries and was the seat of the Nasrid dynasty. The complex contains some of the greatest architecture of the Arab world. Quite a feat considering the Arabs are also known for producing Casey Kasem.
Inside the reddish stone walls lay a fortress, a citadel, a grand palace & homes for not only the Sultan, but for high government officials and elite soldiers.
La Alhambra's elegant and opulent palace, considered by many to be the grandest Arabian palace of all, is rivaled only by the meticulously landscaped gardens, reflecting pools and fountains which surround the building. The Sultan Alhamar had the complex built to replicate the Islamic Koran's view of Heaven on Earth. Spud's view of Heaven on Earth involves a harem of vegetables and an endless supply of Tom Jones recordings.
The entire complex is protected by the fortress called the Alcazaba. The Sultan Alhamar built this fortress and the surrounding walls as a stronghold against Christian crusaders. Spud found it hard to believe that the religious 'crusaders' of the 13th century were even more pushy and annoying than the TV evangelists of today.
Eager to climb to a high vantage point in which to truly take in the scale of this colossal site, Spud headed for the Torre de la Vela (the Watch Tower). The tower was the highest point in La Alhambra and afforded magnificent views of the incredible development.
Tower is known for its unmistakable bell which signified the conquest
of the Christians over the Arabs. The bell was brought by Christian monarchs
to ring victory between the creeds. Today it's used to announce the start
of Sunday night bingo at the Palace.