visiting Granada’s Alhambra in Spain

Loved it.

HUGE. Sprawling. Impressive.

There are millions of tiny details to notice. Like this one.


Click PLAY or watch a 1-minute overview.

Alhambra (lit. “the red one”) … is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. …

Alhambra’s Islamic palaces, as we know them today, were built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain …

After the conquest of Granada by the Reyes Católicos (“Catholic Monarchs”) in 1492, some portions were used by Christian rulers. …

After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the buildings being occupied by squatters, Alhambra was rediscovered in the 19th century by European scholars and travelers, with restorations commencing. It is now one of Spain’s major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country’s most significant and well known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the inspiration for many songs and stories. …

Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra … is a collection of essays, verbal sketches, and stories. Irving lived in the palace while writing the book and was instrumental in reintroducing the site to Western audiences. …

Click PLAY or watch The Guardian’s lyrical edit on YouTube.

visiting Seville

Seville is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville, Spain. …

municipal population of about 703,000 …

Its Old Town, the third largest in Europe with an area of 4 square kilometres (2 sq mi), contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. …

Seville is approximately 2,200 years old. …

Following the 1492 Christopher Columbus expedition to the New World … all goods imported from the New World had to pass through the Casa de Contratacion before being distributed throughout the rest of Spain. …

Click PLAY or watch highlights on YouTube.

Very popular in southern Spain are free (by donation) walking tours. Here’s my excellent guide – Honey Bee.


The modern (2011) Metropol Parasol project impressed me too. It’s the the world’s largest wooden structure.


The Plaza de España is gorgeous. 


Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Seveneves is a speculative fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, published in 2015. The story tells of the efforts to preserve human society in the wake of apocalyptic events on Earth, following the disintegration of the Moon.

The narrative jumps to 5000 years later. There are now 3 billion humans living in a ring around the Earth, and they have indeed formed into seven races, each one descended from and named after the Seven Eves who survived …

The orbiting races terraform Earth by crashing ice comets into it to replenish the oceans, and seed the planet with genetically created organisms based upon re-sequenced DNA data saved from the escape to orbit. Once a breathable atmosphere is recreated, and sufficient plant and animal species have been reseeded, some members of the orbiting races (“Sooners”) resettle the planet …


This book is either a masterpiece. Or a sprawling mess.

I quit before the end. Too many characters. Too much detail. About as deep as a bird bath. :-(

Not recommended.

Buddhist Eco-village planned for Leh, Ladakh

LOTUS an Eco-village initiated by Ladakh is to be build in area of 125 acres at Saboo Leh, The concept and design of the LBA Eco-Village has been inspired from the Buddhist art, architecture & philosophy. It is based on the core values of the teachings and philosophies of Buddha. All the micro things have been kept in mind so that the campus should radiate tranquility and serenity. …

1. Parent department complex
2. Youth wing complex
3. Women wing complex
4. The guest house
5. IT section / Publication section
6. Museum of artifacts and culture
7. Auditorium
8. Vocational Training Institute
9. Rehabilitation center (for drug/alcohol addicts/mentally deranged people)
10. Old age home

The Sangha campus includes a multi activity stadium named as “H.H. 14th Dalai Lama Stadium” having a capacity of 70,000 people. Sangha campus will have two indoor stadiums- one for ice hockey game and other for multi-purpose activities.

That’s the dream of Architect VIREN K.

(Click through for more graphics.) He doesn’t elaborate on where the money will come from.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.