The Generalife (“Garden of the Architect”) reflects the Muslim concept of garden as it is referenced in the Koran and to reproduce paradise on earth. Dating back to at least the 13th century, it originally included orchards, farmland, and animal pens. It’s gardens are planted with citrus, jujube, pomegranate and grapes, cypress, laurel, jasmine, and roses, which are very fragrant.
Having become enamored of Islamic arts and architecture, my next travels take me to Andalucia, in search of the remnants of medieval Spain when it was under Moorish rule .
I find the Sirkeci train station, the arrival point of the legendary Orient Express. I had hoped to come to Istanbul on this train, but it only runs twice a year, departing out of London.
“Portus Veneris” was first mentioned in the itinerary of Emperor Antonio in 161 AD, when it was used as a naval station for Romans on their way to Gaul and Spain. The city was fortified in 1160.
Genoa more resembles Florence than I expected it to. The train station is beautiful, with its rococo ceiling and stained glass windows. After a few mis-starts and finally finding an English speaking travel agent to point me in the right direction, I set out to find tonight’s lodging.
I sit on the broad expanse of steps outside the train station, enjoying the sunset as the sky variegates from grey at the horizon, to rose, to robin-egg blue. Church bells filling the chilling air, and I go inside to board my train…