223. Adieu, Granada

While waiting for pictures from our official photographers for Rainbows for Batam (and while waiting for my exams mojo to finally show itself), I thought I’ll get back to my Seeking Spain journey.

Cordoba was just a day trip taken from Granada, partly because I couldn’t find any decent-priced hostels in Cordoba and because I wanted an extra day in Granada. Perhaps one of things I hope I’ll get to go back and do is to visit the Medinat Az-zahra, located just west of Cordoba.

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It’s closed on Mondays and well, I was in Cordoba on a Monday so… I had to give it a pass. It’s currently an archaeological site and was the centre of administration and government of the Andalus empire. I have a feeling I’d go positively hyper when I do step foot in it, inshaAllah. >.<

Anyway, the initial plan for my last day in Granada was to join a free walking tour. But I woke up still tired from exploring Cordoba so I gave it a pass.

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My fatigue, and the fact that Oasis Granada was such an awesome hostel with a great room and bed, made me savour my morning rest in bed a whole lot more.

I ended up deciding to just explore Granada on my own. Ah, the beauty of solo travel – own time, own target.

I checked out, left my bag in the locker room and hung out at the rooftop terrace with my little feline friend.

Since I wasn’t in any rush, I had the time to just sit and stare out to the vastness of Granada. I had the luxury of just being present in the moment and listening to my own thoughts. I had time to say my see-you-laters to the people I’ve had the pleasure to know whilst staying in the hostel, including Francesca, who was working there.

I decided then that I wanted to just live Granada. I wanted to stroke its spine, I wanted to smell its character and I wanted to get lost in its secrets. I wanted to just be in Granada.

So I left the hostel, ditched the map, and just walked.

I was staying in the Albayzin, the Arab quarter, which holds some of the most magnificent viewpoints and secrets of Granada.

I was walking to wherever my heart was leading me to, and I bumped into so many lovely people along the way. There were couples, workers and old ladies climbing up the steep slopes, going about their daily lives. It was a beautiful experience, being the stranger that came up to intrude their daily routines.

I eventually found my way back to Mirador San Nicolas, which was no surprise.

When I first I set eyes on the majestic view offered by the mirador, I knew a part of my soul left to remain there. But the first time I was there was with fellow travellers on our individual journeys – I needed my quiet time alone to fully process everything that was happening.

Which was why my heart led me back to that beautiful place.

With everything that had happened, was happening and was about to happen, that quiet retreat into my own little world in the face of such majesty was what I needed to align myself again. It was then when I fully understood that the journey was happening the way it was meant to be and I was where I needed to be. It wasn’t an easy journey but He was teaching me something, and I have got to be open to it.

It opened doors to further healing and self-realisations along the way.

I then moved to the mezquita next door when the mirador got too crowded for my liking.

It was in the mezquita’s garden where I had one of my most profound moments of the trip: As I was reading the Quran & plainly admiring the magnificent view of the Alhambra on that last day in Granada, I heard the adzaan for Zuhur (noon prayer) being called from the minaret.

It was a simple call to prayer: a man standing at the minaret, calling out in his own voice without the aid of any form of enhancer. It was pure, natural and purposeful.

What made it even more profound was that I was reading Surah al-Maidah at that time, and one of the ayahs is this:

Wahai orang-orang yang beriman! Jadilah kamu sebagai penegak keadilan kerana Allah, (ketika) menjadi saksi dengan adil. Dan janganlah kebencianmu terhadap suatu kaum mendorong kamu untuk berlaku tidak adil. Berlaku adillah. Karena (adil) itu lebih dekat kepada takwa. Dan bertakwalah kepada Allah, sungguh, Allah Mahateliti terhadap apa yang kamu kerjakan. [al-Maidah: 8]
(I had the Malay transliteration of the Quran with me at that time but here’s the English transliteration: )
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. [al-Maidah: 8]

Hearing the call to prayer in the land that once witnessed the peak of Islamic civilisation was otherworldly. On the one hand, it is a union of the land with its past, on the other, it shows how Andalucia is now a mere shadow of its former glory.

There I was 500 years later, a Muslim, sitting in the grounds of a masjid, listening to the call to prayer. Despite it all, faith still prevailed.

I managed to record a portion of the adzaan from where I was sitting:

It was beyond magical, mashaAllah.

I spent the rest of the day walking around, getting lost, staring into space and understanding myself, before taking the bus to Sevilla.

It was one of my best days spent.

My trip to Sevilla was another adventure on its own but well, I’ll keep that for another day! 🙂

Love,

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3 thoughts on “223. Adieu, Granada

  1. I’m heading there myself next month! I’m so glad I came across your blog since I can relate to you on so many levels (female/hijabi/solo). Doing Spain (Barcelona/Seville/Cordoba/ Granada/Madrid) and Italy (Rome/Milan/Venice). I’m so excited and nervous, all at the same time.
    I was wondering if you could give me some pointers? Do you go out a night time just to explore? Or do you tend to get back before dark? And any pointers as to who to ask to take pictures for you?I understand petty crime is quite rampant in these places.

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