Rikke’s Belgium Tour 2018

Belgium Kermesse

After the Summer break, a lot of Danish races has been cancelled, so I decided to go Belgium on my own for racing and get experience with the bigger peloton (women only!) and the higher speed. Here is how it went 🙂

Huesden

My first race in Belgium was an experience. I had only been sleeping around five hours, and travelling for seven hours, when reaching the town for the race three hours before the start. I didn’t know anything, so I had to find out how to register etc.

The course was around five kilometers long, had two short hills and only one real corner, but riders were braking ALL THE TIME. Like full stop braking. I didn’t like it, so I stayed in the back of the peloton with a “security distance”.

Heusden Kermesse
Photo: Julien De Bock

The course took us through the town center with lots of spectators which was awesome. There were to sections with a kind of cobbles, that didn’t feel too good to ride on, but it was surprisingly where I could use my strength and take some places further up the group. But, it also made bottles jump out of their cages making me have to elude a few times.

We were 116 riders and I was surprised that no one crashed. I had to close a few gaps in between, but I managed to get home with the bunch without being able to do the sprint though.

Kermesse Wilrijk
Photo: Hinninck Paul

It was a fast race with an average speed of 39 km/h over 93 kilometers and faster than our normal races in Denmark, but I had no problem following, so I guess I’m stronger than last year. Nice to know 😉

After the race I drove to my Airbnb. But first I had to go to the supermarket. I wasn’t aware of the clock and when I parked the car the supermarket was closing in less than 10 minutes, so I only had time to buy bananas and an ice coffee. I figured I could shop in the morning.

Heusden Kermesse
One of the cobbles section in Heusden.

I was very hungry, so I bought some take-away before going to the accommodation. When I arrived, the key to the house was not in the key box. I didn’t believe it! It was 20:30 and I was so tired.

I waited an hour and then someone opened the door for me. But the room wasn’t cleaned from the previous guest and everything was very dirty and there was a smell of smoking. Yikes!

I waited another 1,5 hours for someone to come and clean the room and bring me a key. It was 23:00 before I could go to bed. The room was still dirty though and the bathroom and kitchen also, so I decided to find something else the next day.

Malderen

I was tired, stressed and not motivated this morning because of the night before. Also, the supermarkets were closed on Sundays, so I had to eat breakfast at Starbucks.

This race was more like a Danish race. A long lap of 15,5 kilometers and we had to do six of them. The start was surprisingly slow, but that was perfect for me, since I’m a slow starter and always need to get my legs warmed up in the race.

The course was technical with a lot of obstacles, narrow roads and corners. Something happened in the middle of the bunch half through the first lap and a big crash went on in front of me (yes, I was in the back again) so to avoid it I jumped to the sidewalk – phew, that was close! Another small crash happened and a few ‘how-did-they-not-crash’ incidents, so a very nervous day on the bike.

Kermesse Heusden
Photo: Kevin Buyssens

The big crash took out maybe half the peloton, including the ones being caught behind it, so I was lucky to be able to pass and regroup with the front.

Then the pace went up and at one point an attack happened in a technical part with crosswind afterwards, so someone further up the line couldn’t hold on to the wheel and then I had to close a really big gap. I managed, but I used a lot of energy on it.

Several times I tried to go to the front, but it was difficult with the narrow roads and corners all the time. I could only do it on the bigger roads in headwind. I did go to the front once, taking a lead, but when I went a little back and was surrounded of riders trying to get my position I didn’t like it and decided to stay in the back. I could “easily” hang on in the back, but it was just a waste of energy that I could have used racing in front.

Kermesse Malderen
Horses along the course.

It was a very hot day but I didn’t have anyone to give me bottles along the course, so I rode with two big bottles and I still had to save in the end even though it took less than 2,5 hours to race 93 kilometers.

Most of the other riders had people to give them bottles and I guess there are no rules of when and where to give them (in Denmark we have feeding zones for that which is safer, I think). I never knew when people were taking a bottle and often they lost it and it rolled on the road. I had to avoid a few of them and that is not a funny game.

Gaia Sport Danmark
Used a lot of energy from out team sponsor: Gaia Sport Danmark.

After the race I returned the key for my Airbnb and drove to a house where to Swedish and one Italian rider were living. They had an extra bed I could borrow.  SO NICE!! We went out for dinner in the evening with two Belgians too and it was really good to be social instead of sad and alone in a dirty room. I was happy again 🙂

Wilrijk

I slept 10 hours!! Hallelujah guess I needed it 😊 I slept much better than last night and I was very happy to be in a much nicer place with some sweet girls, so my motivation was back, and the stress gone.

Unfortunately, I woke up to rain, so I was thinking of a good excuse not race. It had been a while, since I rode in the rain, so I didn’t feel like racing in rain at all. Luckily it cleared up in the afternoon and off I went.

The race started at 15:00 and was a circuit of only three kilometers. We were around 40 riders, so a small peloton but with some fast women from UCI teams, U23 champions and former champions.

Kermesse Brasschaat
Photo: Kevin Buyssens

It was mostly dry weather with some short showers and a little wind. The first lap was a “dead lap” and then we had to stop at the finish line before the race could start. I was amazed about the number of spectators and it was like there was a little town festival going on with Tivoli and stuff. Awesome!

The race went off full gas and I tried to hang on, but my back wheel felt weird and after slipping a few times I didn’t quite trust it so I took it a bit too easy in the corners. That meant that I had to use a lot of energy on closing gaps. There were also a lot of attacks, so a few times I had to close very big gaps, when someone attacked after a corner. I kept thinking I couldn’t do it, but I kept getting back to the bunch.

Europcar Belgium
My rental car and Liv Langma.

At one point I thought that I might as well die trying to escape than closing gaps, so I made one attack that didn’t last long, but at least I tried.

After 1,5 hours on the limit, closing one gap after another, I was out of drinks and out of power. Another gap had to be closed, but I had no more left in the tank, so instead of mission impossible, I decided to save energy for tomorrow’s race and called it the day after 60 kilometers in the hurt box.

I hate to DNF (Did Not Finish) but I wouldn’t have caught the group and would probably have been pulled out of the race in the end anyway. At least I was one of the last to let go of the decimated group to finish the race.

Brasschaat

The last race of my little Belgium tour was a bit different than the others. The course was less than three kilometers but had a long cobbles section (and this time the real cobbles) and a section with gravel. Both sections had a 90 degrees corner, so it was a question of technique and positioning.

I was motivated to do good, but then I did the course before the start and thinking of riding on the cobbles and gravel in a big bunch was a bit frightening, so I talked myself a bit down and said to myself it would be okay to DNF because of the difficult course. Never do that! Because what happened? I did another DNF, of course. Stupid.

Kermesse Wilrijk
Photo: Hinninck Paul

The lap had a wide and long road before the first corner, but I failed to fight for a position in front and was in the back from the beginning. The peloton with around 60 riders was stretched out long because of narrow roads and corners, so it was difficult to get back to the bunch, when we finally hit the wide road again.

I managed to get back a few times, but then I thought I had a puncture and used too much time on checking instead of just continuing the chase. Sometimes I don’t know if it is just in my head, when I’m not motivated or looking for a way out, that I think everything is wrong with the bike.

Kermesse Wilrijk
Photo: Hinninck Paul

After that it was game over and I couldn’t catch the group again. I could ride 40 minutes and then I was pulled out of the race. Annoyed at myself, but another learning.

What now?

I am back home in Denmark now, but I already feel like going back to Belgium and race more. I want to be able to do the positioning battle and the lack of races in Denmark makes it difficult to learn. But, my piggy bank is not endless, so I must choose my travels with care.

Nerja and Training Camp in July

Veleta

It has been a month since I was in Spain, but I have been too busy after I came home, to write anything down. But here it is! Not just one, but two EPIC RIDES to report about 😊

Nerja
Nerja main road.

When I left Nerja back in March I said that I wanted to go back in the Summer. I wanted to try riding in the heat and experience the town with tourists. So, after the Nationals I bought flight tickets and off I went, just me and my Langma bike.

Nerja
Back in town…

Arriving

To get the most out of my trip I took a morning flight to Spain. Little did I think of the holiday season, so missing the first bus and waiting an hour to check-in, I had no time to get food before boarding and went straight to the plane as the monitor said “closing”.

I was up at 3:00, so I was very tired and fall asleep shortly after departure. When I woke up the food wagon had passed, and I had to settle with my snacks of nuts, dates and biscuits. Not the breakfast I imagined and not enough to keep me full until landing, but I had no choice.

La Bella Julieta
My favorite coffee-stop place on Costa del Sol: La bella Julieta

In the plane I fantasized about Starbucks coffee and other good stuff I would gladly pay too much for when arriving in Málaga Airport. But, fooled again, we were taken on a detour outside the transfer area and I could forget about coffee or anything else.

A shuttlebus was waiting for me, so again I had to go straight to the bus without time to buy anything outside the airport.

Ice cream Nerja
Had an ice cream on the first day. And the next 14 days 🙂

Finally, I reached Nerja around 11:30 and I was dying of hunger, so before even thinking about going to my rental, I went to the nearest café and had a sandwich. People were watching a bit when I dragged my suitcase and bike case along to the table.

Accommodation

Because it was kind of a last-minute decision, and because of the high season, I couldn’t find a payable apartment, so I had booked a private room on Airbnb. I was a bit too early, but the women who owned the house of my room was kind enough to get her son to let me in.

Nerja Airbnb
The house I lived in for two weeks (in a room in the house though).

While I was waiting for him the neighbor, an old lady, came out to chat and offered me to put my luggage in her yard and sit on a chair of hers. She only spoke Spanish, so I didn’t understand everything, but I put my luggage in and went for something to drink. It was a hot day! That is something I love about the Spanish people. Their kindness and openness, always up for a chat and a helping hand, even to strangers.

Everyday Routine

May days were mostly breakfast, ride, lunch, tanning, Tour de France, ice cream, dinner, sleep and repeat. It was like being on a training camp on my own and I also did most of my rides alone.

CC Narixa
A big group of CC Narixa riders (do you spot someone different?)

But the weekend rides were reserved for the local club, CC Narixa, and I now have two more epic rides to put in my book of epic rides. It was very nice to see some familiar faces, and on the club’s Sunday ride there were a lot more people than in the winter. New and old faces, but I was still the only woman, so everything was as usual 😉

Epic Ride to Veleta

On the first Saturday, me and some of the Narixa guys took the car to Granada, because we wanted to go to Veleta. A mountain in Sierra Nevada being more than 3.000 meters above sea level. On top is a ski station, but it was closed.

Veleta ride
From the Veleta ride.

The ride was 84 kilometers with 2.500 elevation meters. The route almost went up from the beginning and started with double digit percentages and I was thinking to myself “not again, I will die”, but it only took 2 kilometers and then the rest was eatable 6-8% average. But it lasted for more than 3 hours!

Veleta ride
From the Veleta ride.

We had two stops on our way up. The last was at the ski station, were people normally park their cars and buy food/drinks. Now, without much snow left, people go there to walk or ride bikes.

Veleta ride
From the Veleta ride.

From the last stop, we still had 12 kilometers to the top and now the landscape was pure open, and a strong wind was teasing us. At one point I had to take my foot to the ground and hold against a wind blow, so I didn’t fall. It was a bit scary, but I wanted to go to the top!

Veleta ride
From the Veleta ride. The parking lot at the ski station.

The others had told me that the road was going to be really bad, but I thought “how bad can it be?” Ha-ha, bad, like really, really bad! Like, you need a mountain bike bad. The last 500-1.000 meters the road was turned into big holes and giant rocks and I was shifting between being afraid of a flat tire and crashing.

Veleta ride
From the Veleta ride. The road starting to turn bad.

Towards the end the road just went into gravel, but big rocks gravel, until a gigantic rock blocked the way and we thought it was best to turn around. We had reached more than 3.000 altitude meters and the ski station lift.

Veleta ride
From the Veleta ride. Had to touch the snow!

After taking some pictures and touching the snow, I just wanted to get down as quickly as possible. I was freezing (it was 14 degrees on top and I was not wearing arm or leg warmers), also I didn’t like the wind or the bad “road”.

Veleta ride
From the Veleta ride.

On my way down a professional from CCC was on his way up and while I took my foot out of the pedal to not crash on the rocks, he went faster than I could say “wow!” over the rocks like it was nothing (on his road bike!). Crazy type number 1.

Veleta ride
Almost everyone from the Veleta ride.

Then, when I finally hit the normal road again, I was being very careful because of the wind. I met a Bora-Hansgrohe rider going up and shortly after, I sensed someone behind me. I thought it was one of my Narixa guys, so I looked back and starred right into the Bora-Hansgrohe riders face. I didn’t have enough time to recognize who it was because, in a glimpse of an eye he passed me, and despite his high-profile wheels he didn’t care about the wind at all. I could see his bike being slammed from side to side because of wind blows, but he just continued. Crazy person number 2. I saw him again at the parking lot, so he had everything under control. It was just me being a chicken, I guess 😉

Veleta ride
From the Veleta ride. Still a little snow left.

It took 3,5 hours to climb 44 kilometers, but only 1 hour to go 40 kilometers downhill (a slight change in the return route compared to going up). We had left Nerja at 7:00 and I was back at 16:00, so a long day, but what an epic day it was!

Veleta ride
On top of Veleta.

We had a coffee stop after the ride, before taking the car back to Nerja, and as always, I need to eat after a ride (everyone does). A recovery meal of protein AND carbs (something I think a lot of people, talking about recovery meals and proteins, forgets to mention, but proteins are better absorbed combined with carbs – and you also need the carbs).

Veleta ride
From the Veleta ride.

I ordered a sandwich and got a GIANT one. The guys were laughing at me, and talking long about not eating anything themselves, but when tapas was served at the table (it is normal to get free tapas with your drink in Spanish bars) they ate it all, ha-ha. But I am used to having comments on the amount I consume on and off the bike, so I don’t care. And hey, I don’t look this good by not eating 😉

Tapas
I do love food!

Epic Ride to Trevélez

The second Saturday, we were heading towards Trevélez and this time on the bike from Nerja, which made it a ride of more than 200 kilometers and 3.000 elevation meters.

CC Narixa Trevélez
Early birds to Trevélez.

We started early at 7:15 on a beautiful morning. Me and a handful of Narixa guys. The first 40-50 kilometers were very familiar. The coastline to Salobreña and then into the mountains. I was saving energy for the climb which was up and down for around 30 kilometers. Not knowing the climb made me stay in zone 3 to be sure not to blow up, but when we reached the top I felt a bit too fresh. The climbing was long, but not steep and very beautiful and HOT!

Trevélez ride
From the Trevélez ride

We had to stop several times to fill our bottles and thank God for all the fountains (or maybe just the nature/people who put them there). At one water stop Carlos wanted me to taste the water while he was looking. I thought it was a bit weird, but I did and I almost spitted it out again. He was laughing! The water was sparkling and tasted a bit like a fart because it was ionized somehow. Very weird and I didn’t like it.

Fuente Agria
Fuente Agria with the weird water.

The level in our group was very different, so while waiting for the others, we sought shadow under umbrellas belonging to a few stalls. They were selling dried fruits and other good stuff and we were offered to taste, so I had figs, honey-roasted sesame seeds and almonds. Yummy!

Trevélez ride
Seeking shadow on the way to Trevélez.

When we reached the top of the climb and the small town, Trevélez, it was 40 degrees and time for lunch. This time we all had a big sandwich and loads of Coca-Colas! No one was talking about not eating and for once I think I ate the least. Mostly because I had been eating throughout the ride, so I didn’t need that much extra, and because I don’t like to ride with my stomach too full.

Lunch in Trevélez
Lunch in Trevélez. I also had a sandwich, was just waiting for it, so don’t worry 😉

The downhill took about an hour and my bottle were full at the beginning. But the warm weather, a 40 degrees wind in the face, and probably too much salt in the jamón sandwich, made me drink both bottles before reaching the bottom and I was still very thirsty!

Trevélez ride
From the Trevélez ride.

There was no fountain or gas station or anywhere to get drinks before reaching the main road, so I was a critical point getting more and more dry in my mouth. My lips were so dry that they glued together, and I could only think of getting fast to liquid.

Drinks
Couldn’t get enough drinks!

When we finally stopped at a gas station I bought 1,5 liters of water, a can of coke and an Aquarius. I filled my bottles (1 liter) and drank the rest (1,33 liters) before getting back on the bike. After that I was flying, and we went full gas for the last 40-50 kilometers home.

Trevélez ride
Beautiful sights on the Trevélez ride.

Maybe a bit too fast, because we ended up being only three passing the Nerja sign together, but it was good for me to use all my saved energy from the climb.

I really enjoyed being back, riding with friends, seeing new places and recharge the batteries for the last part of the season. I hope to be back soon, but right now my focus is on racing.

Trevélez ride
Remember to have fun!

Una ruta nueva (en ny cykelrute)

Endnu en gang har jeg været på en helt ny cykelrute i Andalusien. Jeg er virkelig glad for, at folkene fra CC Narixa godt kan lide lidt alsidighed i cyklingen og altid spørger, om jeg vil med på tur.

Solopgang Nerja cykelrute
Kold morgen med solopgang.

Lørdag morgen

Vi mødtes hvor vi plejer, på tanken, lørdag morgen klokken 8:30. Der var fire personer udover mig: Carlos, Rafael, John og en fra Ungarn, der er på træningslejr alene hernede. Turen vi skulle ud på var lidt over 130 km. med 2100 højdemeter og en 7 km. lang stigning. Troede jeg, men det vender jeg tilbage til.

Puerto Camacho stigningen
På vej op til Puerto Camacho.

Jeg havde kørt nogle rimelig hårde ture i løbet af ugen, så jeg var lidt spændt på mit træthedsniveau. Ifølge TrainingPeaks var jeg temmelig træt, men heldigvis kan jeg også selv mærke efter i min krop og den sagde ”klar på mere”. Desværre hostede jeg stadig lidt, men slet ikke som for et par dage siden.

Puerto Camacho nedkørsel
Dagens nedkørsel version 1.

Vejret på Costa del Sol

Vejret skifter meget for tiden. Den ene dag kan det være blå himmel, høj sol og 20 grader. Dagen efter overskyet, regnvejr og 10 grader. Heldigvis er der flest af de førstnævnte og jeg har været heldig ikke at skulle ud på cyklen i decideret regnvejr endnu.

Puerto Camacho
Aldrig sur på tur!

Denne morgen tegnede godt vejrmæssigt, dog med en kold start på 6 grader. Senere måtte jeg tage en del tøj af, da temperaturen nåede op på 24 grader. Det er ”ulempen” ved at cykle på både kysten og i bjergene, det er svært at klæde sig på til begge dele.

Nede fra Puerto Camacho
Puerto Camacho i baggrunden.

Dagens cykelrute

Nå, men afsted kom vi og jeg havde for en gangs skyld tjekket ruten ud og set, at vi ”kun” skulle op ad en 7 km. decideret stigning og så var resten rullende bakker. Allerede inden vi rigtig kørte opad, undrede jeg mig over ruten, men jeg er ikke verdensmester i geografi, så jeg tænkte, at jeg nok bare havde set/huskede forkert.

Kaffe pause efter Puerto Camacho
Der blev også tid til et lille kaffestop.

Efter et stykke tid i opadgående terræn var jeg lidt i tvivl om, hvorvidt vi var på dagens stigning, som jeg allerede syntes havde varet et godt stykke tid. Samtidig havde jeg også besluttet mig for virkelig at give den gas og sidde med så længe som muligt, nu det ikke var så hård en tur.

Cykling til Puerto Camacho
Her er jeg ved at være presset, men kan dog stadig smile til kameraet.

Jeg kæmpede bravt for at blive siddende på hjul og på et tidspunkt spurgte manden fra Ungarn, hvor lang stigningen var og da Carlos svarede, at der nok var 15 km. tilbage fik jeg dagens første ”chok” (hvor langt der var til selve stigningen anede jeg ikke, vi havde kørt en del op og ned). Jeg tænkte stadig, at jeg bare var helt blank til at læse rutekort, men jeg tænkte også, at 15 km. i det tempo de havde sat for dagen, blev hårdt og jeg måtte da også slippe et par gange, men fik dem kørt ind igen inden toppen.

Puerto Camacho
Vi kørte “kun” til Puerto Camacho, men man kan faktisk dreje fra og køre endnu længere opad til Sierra de Lújar.

Langt om længe nåede vi op i de 1125 meters højde, som Puerto Camacho ligger i. Det havde været en virkelig flot stigning næsten uden trafik. Stille og med fantastisk udsigt!

Op til Puerto Camacho
Bare os på cykel og naturen er virkelig fedt!

Det er en af de hårdeste stigninger, jeg har kørt hernede. Både fordi den stort set er jævn i sin stigning, så man får aldrig rigtig pause, men også fordi jeg var mærket af ugens træning og samtidig kørte rimeligt hårdt til. Det havde nok også været lidt lettere med en større kassette og mentalt var det svært ikke at vide, hvornår toppen viste sig.

Ned fra Puerto Camacho (Rubite)
Dagens nedkørsel version 2.

Til gengæld havde jeg en fest nedad! Jeg er blevet så glad for nedkørsler, at de andre havde svært ved at følge med. Det var en dejlig lang én af slagsen, med både lige strækninger og hårnålesving. Asfalten var til tider ujævn og hullet, så da vi nåede bunden havde jeg en anelse ondt i armene af bumleriet.

På vej til Puerto Camacho
Det er fedt at køre rundt imellem de høje bjerge i Andalusien.

Carlos fortalte mig, at ruten er endnu hårdere at køre modsat, så det skal vi prøve en dag.

CC Narixa lørdagsholdet
Lørdagsholdet, udover kameramanden.

Da vi ramte kysten anede jeg ikke, hvor vi var, men jeg kunne godt regne ud, at vi på ingen måde ville lande i Nerja indenfor 130 km., så jeg spurgte hvad der var sket undervejs og fik at vide, at Rafa ville køre dagens rute i stedet for den oprindelige. Det betød 160 km. og 2800 højdemeter samt en 12 km. lang stigning. Det havde de bare lige glemt at fortælle mig.

CC Narixa cykling
John (fra England) og jeg får os en lille snak undervejs.

Heldigvis tager jeg altid ekstra energi med på tur, men alligevel var jeg helt færdig efter 140 km. og da jeg kom hjem efter næsten 6,5 time i sadlen kunne jeg også konstatere, at jeg faktisk havde formået at køre medium pace i gennemsnit og dobbelt så mange TSS som der stod i programmet.

CC Narixa cykling
Mit overskud til at tage billeder var mest i starten, så tog Carlos over. For billeder, det går vi aldrig ned på i CC Narixa.

Så var det ikke så underligt, at jeg var tæt på grædefærdig de sidste 20 km. hjem. Og en anelse sur, men det krævede bare noget mad og et bad, så var jeg god igen. Og selvom det var hårdt, så er jeg endnu en fantastisk oplevelse rigere. Jeg elsker, at man kan komme så langt på en cykel og se så mange smukke steder!

CC Narixa
Rikke er done!

Søndag

I dag kørte jeg en kortere tur og var lidt spændt på mine stakkels stænger, men overraskende nok havde de ingen problemer med at træde pedalerne rundt. I morgen står der dog styrketræning på programmet, inden møllen starter forfra 😉

CC Narixa
Svært at få plads til alt tøjet i baglommerne.

Læs om min forrige tur til Los Guájares her 🙂

Alhambra de Granada

Den sidste uge har jeg haft besøg af min veninde Tine-Marie. Mandag besluttede vi at tage på sightseeing og vi tog derfor bussen til Granada. En tur på to timer igennem det smukkeste landskab.

Klar til road trip!

Vi havde bestilt billetter til at se Alhambra, som jeg havde hørt skulle være SÅ fantastisk. Jeg har før været i Granada, men kun gået rundt i gaderne. Byen er virkelig smuk og velbevaret med gamle huse og små, hyggelige gader. Der er ca. 240.000 indbyggere, men byen virker større.

Smukt landskab fra Nerja til Granada inkl. Sierra Nevada med sne på toppen

Da vi ankom til Granada var det ikke helt gennemtænkt. Maverne sagde frokosttid, men tidsplanen sagde ”ingen tid at spilde” for vi havde billet til kl. 13 og ankom lidt over kl. 12 med 45 min. fra busstationen til Alhambra, som ligger på toppen af al-Sabika med en fantastisk udsigt over Granada. Vi hoppede på en bybus og nærmest løb de sidste 1,5 km. OPAD, men vi nåede det lige akkurat.

Det har nok været mere rødt i sin storhedstid 🙂

Alhambra
Alhambra er navngivet efter sin rødlige farve og navnet betyder ”den røde”. Det stammer fra det arabiske ord ”qa’lat al-Hamra”, som betyder ”rødt slot”. Indtil 1238 var Alhambra en fæstning, men da Mohammed ben Al-Hamar, den første konge af Nazarí, ankom i det 13. århundrede blev det til et kongepalads.

Udsigten fra Alhambra

Der er sidenhen lavet forstærkninger og blevet restaureret i stor stil. De vigtigste værker blev opført under Carlos V med tilføjelsen af flere værelser samt Palacio de Carlos V. Ikke desto mindre har Alhambra altid fastholdt sin karakter af at være et muslimsk palads.

Palacio nazarí

Palacios Nazaríes
Kongepaladset består af tre uafhængige områder:

  1. The Mexuar, som var et offentligt område, hvor retslige og statslige anliggender blev foretaget.
    The Mexuar

    Hertil og ikke længere for den offentlige befolkning
  2. Palacio de Comares, som var kongens officielle gemakker, hvor han tog imod fine gæster. Denne del af slottet blev indrettet på en typisk muslimsk måde og man kan i dag se væggene dækket med mønstre og citater fra Koranen. Man kan også ane mange smukke farver.
    Inde fra Palacio de Comares
    Palacio de Comares indefra

    Loftet i Palacio de Comares med udskåret træ
  3. Palacios de Leones, som var slottets private område, var derimod præget af kristen indretning. Formentlig fordi Mohammed V var gode venner med den kristne konge Pedro I, Den Grusomme.
Palacio de Leones

Paladset består af en central gårdhave omgivet af flere gallerier med søjler som et kristen kloster. Fra den centrale gårdhave kan man få adgang til de forskellige haller.

Palacio de Leones udefra

Paladset er bygget for at tilfredsstille sanserne og alt fra vand, lys, farver og dekorationer er harmonisk sammensat.

Alcazaba
Alcazaba er en fæstning og en af ​​de ældste dele af Alhambra. Det antages, at før det blev bygget og før muslimerne ankom til Granada, var der allerede flere konstruktioner i samme område. Den første historiske henvisning til Alcazaba eksisterer fra det 9. århundrede, og det antages, at det derefter blev bygget af Sawwar Ben Hamdun under kampene mellem muslimer og muwalladiner (kristne, der konverterede til islam og levede blandt muslimerne).

Alcazaba

Det nuværende kompleks blev bygget af Mohammed I, der byggede vældene omkring det tidligere slot og tre nye tårne: Torre Quebrada, Torre del Homenaje og Torre de la Vela. Som følge heraf blev Alcazaba en ægte fæstning, hvor kongen etablerede den kongelige bolig. Hans søn Mohammed II havde også sin bopæl i Alcazaba, indtil paladserne var færdige. Fra da af blev Alcazaba kun brugt som en fæstning til militære formål.

Alhambra er kæmpestort!

Da de kristne overtog byen, blev der gjort meget for at reparere Alcazaba. Og på forskellige tidspunkter i historien blev det i lange perioder brugt som et statsfængsel, selv under den franske besættelse.

En af paladsets haver

Ligesom Alhambra blev Alcazaba forladt og ikke plejet i lang tid, og det var først i slutningen af ​​det 19. århundrede og begyndelsen af ​​det 20. århundrede, at restaureringen gik i gang.

Deltajer i væggene

Generalife og Palacio de Carlos V
Man kan bruge flere timer i Alhambra, men vi havde begrænset med tid fordi bussen mellem Nerja og Granada ikke går så ofte og så var vi dødsultne, så vi skulle også nå at spise noget mad. Derfor nåede vi ikke at se alt, hvad Alhambra tilbyder og jeg har Generalife, haverne og Carlos V paladset til gode.

Kilde: alhambradegranada.org

El tiempo

I dag blev jeg vækket af et heftigt regnvejr og de mørkegrå skyer har lagt sig som et tykt tæppe på himlen og dækker samtlige bjergtoppe jeg kan se fra min altan.

Udsigten fra min altan på en regnvåd onsdag.

Det har ikke regnet i de tre uger, jeg har været her. Det har faktisk kun været overskyet en enkelt dag. De lokale siger, at floderne mangler vand, så det er tiltrængt med et par regnvejrsdage. Det passer mig bare ikke ret godt. Lige i dag gør det ikke så meget, for jeg skal bare styrketræne, gøre rent og ordne praktiske ting. Men i morgen ser jeg frem til min første cykeltur i regnvejr hernede. Adr! 😉

I går nåede jeg 2,5 time i tørvejr, før regnen kom.

Men, det gode ved regn i Spanien frem for Danmark er, at der stadig er 15 grader, så det er ikke den hjertestoppende isregn, som daler i Danmark i november måned. Eller sne for den sags skyld…

Jeg glæder mig allerede til solen kommer tilbage og YR lover mig, at det sker på fredag. Men endnu vigtigere er lørdagens vejr, for der er jeg blevet lokket med på en det-er-ikke-sikkert-du-overlever-tur med nogle af de lokale ryttere. Jeg ser frem til 138 km. og 2000 højdemeter, men de har lovet mig roligt tempo. Det ved jeg jo godt, hvad betyder – boys will be boys 😉

Jeg opdager hele tiden nye veje i området, men ofte ender de i blindgyder. Det gjorde denne også – med en mikro by for enden.