Out of all the places we went in Spain, the most anticipated was our visit to the Alhambra. Perched on a hill, the Alhambra and its famous gardens overlook the city. You can't help but to imagine all of the people that had strolled the gardens through the centuries, or think of the kings and their courts as they sat in the intricately decorated courts.
The air was hot and heavy, and I was glad that I was making this tour now, while I was still in good health. I didn't see any tourists over the age of 60, as it was steep uphill and downhill pathways, and lots of uneven stairs.
My oldest son and I went to a kebab cafe in downtown Grenada that specialized in various teas. He ordered a black tea/vanilla melange, I ordered a tea that was stimulant free (it was the evening, I'm old, and I need my zz's...). Listed in the menu as not containing (sic) teinene, or tein, a stimulant particular to tea, my tea was made of Hierba Luisa.
Delivered to the table in a small sliver pot, my tea was the flavor of the summer Spanish breeze we had experienced during our tour of the Alhambra earlier that day. As we sat on our kilim-covered couch, sipping tea and watching the tourists walking by, I wondered about Hierba Luisa.
By the way, while we were at the Alhambra, I picked up a copy of Washington Irving's "Tales of the Alhambra" which is a collection of his impressions of the citadel, along with his transcriptions of the old legends of the royalty that had lived within its walls.
Irving was credited with having saved the Alhambra with his writing, as tourists soon flocked to the spot to experience and see for themselves its wonder and beauty he had written about. His book is desperately romantic, writing of princesses, unrequited love, ghosts and gardens, all of the stuff that made 19th century women swoon, and beg their husbands to travel to Granada.
Even though the Alhambra is fabulous in its own right, Washington Irving's book brought it's beauty out of Granada, and made it available to the world.