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Day 7   |   Thursday 09 November   |   Seville to Puente Genil

On our way from Seville to Puente Genil, we visited the ruins at Italica, a Roman colony in western Andalusia.

The Romans valued Andalusia for its excellent olive oil and wine.  They produced salted fish here.  And of course, the proximity to the Mediterranean was of enormous strategic importance, both for the military and for trade.  

floor mosaics in the ruins of a private home

The tiles are very tiny.
the bread oven(s)

Mini Classics club!
(Meg teaches Latin, and Billy and Natalie are both second-year Latin students.)

The best-preserved building is the amphitheater, which was one of the largest in the Roman world, seating somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000 people.

passageways under the arena

The afternoon brought us to our new home base at Puente Genil.  We heard a lecture on Grenada, where we'll be tomorrow, and students had a chance to ask some questions related to their inquiry projects. Annika gave her site presentation on the Alhambra at Grenada.

Day 8   |   Friday 10 November   |   the Alhambra at Grenada

Reflection by Winston Hofler

Today I visited the Alhambra Palace in the city of Grenada.  The first thing I notices was the amount of greenery throughout the palace, even in the areas that weren't gardens or were inside.  This gave me the sense of the Alhambra's "place" being an area of peace, since the common greenery seen throughout allows people to feel calm and safe, which is emphasized by the different kinds of trees, bushes, plants, and flowers.  

Another distinctive feature which also gave the Alhambra this sense of being a calm place was the beautiful views it had, which allowed you to see different things in the distance, such as mountains or the city of Grenada.  This gave me the chance to stop thinking about other things going on with my life and allowed me to be in the moment of being at the Alhambra. The views it contained allowed for me to take in the moment and just think about where I was.  

A third feature which was also prominent throughout the Alhambra was the multiple gardens within gardens used for growing food.  These added to the tranquil nature of the place because nothing had to be done in a fast manner and everything was allowed to take its time and go at its own pace.  This was amplified by the gardens not having any food sprouting out needing to be picked.  They only had mounds of dirt made for planting seeds.  This helped me stay calm, since the gardens and farming areas weren't in a rush to grow food and could just take as long as they wanted.  

The final piece that helped the Alhambra seem like a place of peace were the number of ponds and streams in the palace  What made them so soothing was the sound of flowing water that they made, which sounds calm and slow.  This kept me in the peace of the Alhambra, since it came off as being slow paced.  Overall, I had a great time at the Alhambra and felt very much at peace.


Reflection by Natalie Foster

When I first stepped into the gardens of the Alhambra, the view is what caught my eye.  I could see tiny white houses dotting the ground to my left.  The palace's flags waves across the valley. It looked like a perfect little kingdom, with the ruler looking down on his or her subjects.  The sky was so blue it looked fake and there wasn't a cloud in sight.  A slight breeze lifted my curls off my shoulders.  The walkway was very old stone tiles, chipped and well-used.  There was so much green it felt like the paradise the early inhabitants had been trying to create in the gardens as a symbol of the afterlife.  

The only sounds I could hear were the running water in the fountains and the chatter of people enjoying the beauty of the gardens.  Finely trimmed bushes lined the path we were meant to follow.  Lemon basil wafted through the air, and I took in a breath to savor the scent.

The group I was with walked slowly, stopping to take pictures and look around.  I heard many different languages as I walked through the gardens: Spanish, English, and German are just a few I remember hearing.  Some girls who looked a little older than me spoke a language I couldn't recognize.

I saw a few animals: maybe a cat or two.  Our guide told us that they are valued for their ability to catch mice.  The building in front of me resembles sand in color and, as I found our later, texture.  The greenery in the walkway extended past the edges of the path.  Green plants and small trees sprouted from every surface they could.  Paradise is the word that comes to mind.  I figured that was probably what the Muslims who, centuries ago, designed this place wanted us to think. It was almost as if it were frozen in history, the exact same as it was when it was first built.



  1. Gorgeous images, Meg.

    Winston's dad

  2. I love the sensory images in these blogs. I now have Alhambra envy!