Route of the Caliphate, Spain

The Alhambra is an incredible blend of cultures resulting in one of the loveliest places I’ve ever seen.

Walking towards the Alhambra.

Main gate

Inside the Nasrid Palace; a marvel of Islamic artistry.

These carvings covered most surfaces.

Reflecting pool at the Nasrid Palace.

The Partal


View from the Generalife.


Framed view I couldn’t resist.

Palace of Charles V

Patio gardens

Nasrid Palace

Ruta Day 10 – Granada!

Route of the Caliphate, Spain

Moclin to Granada – 15 miles plus a bus ride

Waking up at the church we breakfasted on bread and coffee then walked to a local walking path, Ruta del Golizino, and began a descent to the town of Olivares. 

On the the way we met a group of middle school students out for a walk on the path with their teachers. We enthusiastically exchanged Spanish and English phrases then went our separate ways.

Leaving the mountains we hit flat farmland surrounding Granada. Seeing this rich area helped us understand how the Granadian emirate remained independent for another 250 years after the fall of the Muslim capital of Córdoba.

Good morning Moclin.

View towards Olivares.

Alfred checking the route with the Moclin Castle in the background.

Down the trail!

On the way to Pinos Puente.

“Las flechas Amarillas” (yellow arrows), mark the Route of the Caliphate and were well placed to augment our maps.

Church in the hamlet of Bucor.

Horses on the outskirts of Pinos Puente. Arriving here things seemed grittier with more graffiti and abandoned factories.

One image said “this is the graffiti of unemployment”. We walked into town and took a bus to Granada.

Day Nine – Walking by Moonlight

Route of the Caliphate, Spain

Alcalá la Real to Moclin – 19 miles

Today we thought we’d do a quick visit to the Fortaleza then head on to Moclin. 

We started with the main museum in town and toured the rooms with artifacts from Neolithic to medieval times.

Some of the many interesting finds.


The Fortaleza and church are well worth a visit; blending original and reconstructed works with a wide array of presentation techniques to teach the visitor what life was like living in a town on the Christian – Muslim frontier.

Walking up the hill.

Through the first gate.

View from the tower.

A copy of a trebuchet used by Catholic attackers to defeat Muslim defenders after 9 months of siege in early 1300’s.

Inside of cathedral destroyed by Napoleon’s army during Peninsular War (per video shown in church).

We left Alcala at 3:30 and started the walk to Moclin through lowland farm country.

Asparagus fields

Climbing up towards Moclin.

Storm clouds gathered as the steep climb began. Dark settled in and we followed the white roads by the light of the moon.

A loop trail visiting caves and fountains just below Moclin.

Information on Moclin. As we entered the town fog settled in; restaurants were closed and we found no hotels.

We settled in for the night at the church; someone shined a light on Alfred but otherwise we slept through until morning.

Day Seven – Rolling Hills and a Glorious Cathedral 

Route of the Caliphate, Spain

Subbeticas to Fuente de Viñuela – 19 miles
Even though sunrise isn’t until 8:20 we still got an early start. We had lunch in Priego del Cordoba and visited the incredible cathedral there.

Olive harvest is in full swing. The sound of tree shakers and pruning shears fills the air.

Each area we’ve passed through has a special sweet. This one was delicious with almonds, butter and sweet wine.

Historic square in Priego del Córdoba. There is a castle under reconstruction to the left and a church in the background.

Here’s the marvelous inside of the main cathedral.

View from “La Balcón”.

A friendly burro alongside the road after Priego.

Couldn’t resist taking a picture of this incredibly old tree; still producing too.

Sunset with the evening star in the upper left corner. Time for bed!