My theme this year is Places in my Heart, all about the places I've been and loved and that have mattered to me in a lasting sense.
For my regular readers, you'll see more than the usual once-a-week posts from me this month. I'm having a great time writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them, too.
A is for Alhambra
I first visited Spain when I was a college student, in 1992 as part of a summer study program. There is so much about that summer that lives in my memory, but nothing shines brighter in my mind's eye than the Alhambra.
The Alhambra was the last Moorish (Muslim) stronghold in Southern Spain. It's beautifully preserved and a major tourist attraction, famed worldwide for the beauty of its architecture and gardens. It's definitely on my list of the most beautiful human-made places I have ever seen. There's a famous poem, by Francisco Asís de Icaza y Beña that expresses it well:
It was my first exposure to Arabian styles of architecture and I fell in love hard. The tile work, the detailed carvings, the water features and statuary are magical. There's a romance to it. You can't be there and not feel the history and imagine stories.