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Cruise Diary: Almeira and Granada, Spain

Guests Jan and Dick Yetke set sail on Prinsendam’s 64-day Grand Mediterranean Voyage in March, and we’ll catch up as quickly as possible. Enjoy the journey with Jan and Dick!

We finally made it into the Mediterranean Sea. Almeria, Spain is along the southern coast of Spain. At the eastern edge of Andalusia lies the province of Almeria. It takes its name from its capital city, which lies on the southern coast of the province. The area could have remained somewhat unknown if it hadn’t been for the movie companies who discovered that the area offered ideal film sets for films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Patton. Hundreds of western movies have been produced in the local hillsides.

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Almeria, despite its rugged landscape and shortage of fertile soil, has managed, with a good irrigation system, to become an important growth area and it is well known for the quality of its oranges and white grapes, most of which are exported from its port. The unspoiled areas contain empty beaches and tiny hidden coves with perfectly clear water. Because of the diverse landscapes, the range of sport activities is endless from water sports to hiking, paragliding, horse riding and golf.

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Our travel agency, Dateline Travel, belongs to a huge travel consortium called Vacation.com. Vacation.com offers its customers an onboard program called Vacation Vignettes. This program gives customers some complimentary shores excursions, cocktail parties, lunches, breakfast gatherings, etc. This is offered on many cruise ships. So, today, we enjoyed a complimentary shore excursion: Granada and the Alhambra. During the two-and-a-half-hour drive up to Granada, we saw many interesting sights: castles, snow-covered tops of mountains, etc. The city of Granada is beautiful, but nothing in the whole of Spain compares to the wealth of architectural art to be found in the city’s Muslim-Hispanic complex, the 14th-century Alhambra. This was a gorgeous sight to behold for sure! It is so beautifully preserved! We had a great tour through the King’s palace rooms and then went across the grounds to the summer residence and gardens of the King. Walls and towers surround this breathtaking example of Muslim architecture. Inside, palaces, military buildings, a fortress and an administrative center can be found. We explored this remarkable structure whose detailed mosaics, prism-style cupolas and stone-cast latticework offer a stunning grace and sophistication. The nearby Generalife gardens surround the summer residence of the Moorish kings.

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I took lots and lots of photos and tried to show the magnificent craftsmanship of carvings done in the palace. It was everywhere!

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This is the third time we have visited Alhambra and it is always a gorgeous place to visit!

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That evening we had a wonderful dinner in the Pinnacle Grill — the upscale, gourmet restaurant on board. It was our good friend, Well Wescott’s birthday so they had our whole table plus Ros and Gary from Australia there for his birthday celebration. Really a wonderful evening!

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