The Singaporean Sisters - Number 1 Luxury Lifestyle Blog in SINGAPORE!: TRAVEL - SPAIN (Part 2) - Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class - Toledo, Urban Hotel by Derby Hotels Collection, National Archaeological Museum of Spain, La Alhambra, Granada, Andalusia, Spain.

Alisha & Lace Singapore

Thursday, 19 July 2018

TRAVEL - SPAIN (Part 2) - Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class - Toledo, Urban Hotel by Derby Hotels Collection, National Archaeological Museum of Spain, La Alhambra, Granada, Andalusia, Spain.

Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class 
1 Month Trip
Places of attraction - Casco Historico De Toledo, Urban Hotel by Derby Hotels Collection,
National Archaeological Museum of Spain, La Alhambra, Granada, Andalusia Spain.

Casco Historico De Toledo

I love Toledo! This place is like a dream land!

The Historic City of Toledo is a historic site of the Spanish municipality of Toledo , declared a World Heritage Site.

The set includes historical buildings of the Spanish city of Toledo , in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha . The protected area includes the old part of the city, enclosed by the city wall and by the meander that forms the Tagus River , and a series of areas on the opposite bank of the river course. It was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1986.  The city also has the status of cultural interest , having been declared a historic-artistic monument on 9 March 1940.

The Whole TOP VIEW of Toledo

Spanish dish at Cigarra Monte-Rey Toledo

I had an awesome Spanish meal at this famous restaurant on top of a hill. The exterior of the building looks old, classic and brick like. But the interior of restaurant is modern and impressive. It was an extremely beautiful view of the entire Toledo at the bottom. Try to get a seat by the window to have an awesome scenic view while dining. 

This is the splendid view from this restaurant on top of a hill. Their food was really good. I even met a few friends who are also traveling and visiting Toledo. 

Making a Sword in Toledo

TOLEDO, SPAIN–Mariano Zamorano has a 12-inch dagger blade gripped in his right hand as he guides it with his left over a rough stone rotating on a spinning wheel. He shifts and sparks fly up and out, illuminating the darkened room. Then he moves with the blade to the next stone, and then another and another, each finer than the last, to whir away the layer of black left by the flames it was forged with.

Mariano Zamorano, 63, polishes the blade of the sword in his workshop on June 5, 2015. Zamorano is one of the last artisan sword makers of Toledo, Spain.

His shop, Mariano Zamorano Fábrica de Espadas, set in a quiet corner off the center of town, has passed from five generations of fathers to sons. Today, he is one of the last authentic sword makers in Toledo – a city south of Madrid, in the Castile-La Mancha region of Spain – where warriors, kings and noblemen would go for the weapons they carried into war. At 63, though, Zamorano is getting ready to retire. And while his son, also a Mariano, an aeronautical engineer, is able to replace his father, he is not willing to take over the business. And that means after 150 years, the world-renowned sword shop will likely close down.

Urban Hotel by Derby Hotels Collection
Looks like museum

The company was established in 1968 with the opening of the Derby Hotel and is now one of Spain’s most prestigious hotel chains.

Jordi Clos is the chairman and founder of Derby Hotels Collection, a Catalan businessman closely linked to the tourist sector in Barcelona, who runs the company along with his family in a very personal manner.

As well as a hotelier, Jordi Clos is an Egyptologist, collector and sponsor of art. He chairs the Clos Archaeological Foundation, an organisation that owns the Egyptian Museum of Barcelona, with the largest private collection of Egyptian art in Europe on display to the public and that has been funding archaeological digs in Egypt for over twenty years.


Duplex suite with loft layout conceived as an experience for the senses: it combines modern design, luxury, spaciousness, natural light and views over the central street Carrera de San Jerónimo.

The layout of the suite on two levels conveniently separates the sleeping area on the lower level from the lounge area on the upper level. The suite’s large glass window, measuring more than four metres high, allows the entry of natural light throughout the day.

But what particularly stands out in the Suite are the materials used in its decor: wenge wood inlays, limestone in the bathrooms, glass and steel in the partitions, Zimbabwean black stone in the glass bathroom screens and tropical teak furniture.

Deco rugs and steel furniture combine in the rooms with furniture by the architect J. Hoffman, Meridian transparent chairs by Driade, headboard and glass bedside tables by Triade, Italian leather sofa and Starck bathroom furniture by Duravit. The Loft Suite is presented as a work of art in itself, where comfort also takes precedence.

I stayed at the Suite Loft. It was super grand, as their decorated it like a museum. It is around 800EURO (Suite Loft) a night on average. 

National Archaeological Museum of Spain

The National Archaeological Museum (Spanish: Museo Arqueológico Nacional) is a museum in Madrid, Spain. It is located on Serrano Street beside the Plaza de Colón (Columbus Square), sharing its building with the National Library.

The museum was founded in 1867 by a Royal Decree of Isabella II as a depository for numismatic, archaeological, ethnographical and decorative art collections of the Spanish monarchs.

The museum was originally located in the Embajadores district of Madrid. In 1895, it moved to a building designed specifically to house it, a neoclassical design by architect Francisco Jareño, built from 1866 to 1892. In 1968, renovation and extension works considerably increased its area. The museum closed for renovation in 2008 and reopened in April 2014. The remodelled museum concentrates on its core archaeological role, rather than decorative arts.

Its collection is based on pieces from the Iberian Peninsula, from Prehistory to Early-Modern Age. However, it also has different collections coming from outside of Spain, especially from Ancient Greece, both from the metropolitan and, above all, from Magna Graecia, and, to a lesser extent, from Ancient Egypt, in addition to "a small number of pieces" from Near East.

Noria de Sevilla in Spain

I spotted this beautiful ferrywheel. Apparently, its quite famous. I visited their aquarium nearby and also spotted a man show casing his owls.

Trip Advisor 
La Noria de Sevilla
Ride this ferry wheel at around SGD40.

La Alhambra, Granada, Andalusia Spain 

A World Heritage site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity.

Visiting a Palace in Granada Spain. They have colourful flowers and a lot of different types of fruits and crops. Their own potable water from the mountain and a perfect view of the whole Granada City. They seem very self contained. I could live in this Palace forever. 4000 people used to live here.

Can I be one of them?

The History of Alhambra

The Alhambra - "The Red One",the complete Arabic form of which was Qalat Al-Hamra), is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Nasrid emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. 

It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. After the conclusion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered in the Renaissance style. In 1526 Charles I & V commissioned a new Renaissance palace better befitting the Holy Roman Emperor in the revolutionary Mannerist style influenced by Humanist philosophy in direct juxtaposition with the Nasrid Andalusian architecture, but it was ultimately never completed due to Morisco rebellions in Granada.

Alhambra's last flowering of Islamic palaces were built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain during the decline of the Nasrid dynasty, who were increasingly subject to the Christian Kings of Castile. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the buildings occupied by squatters, Alhambra was rediscovered following the defeat of Napoleon, who had conducted retaliatory destruction of the site. The rediscoverers were first British intellectuals and then other north European Romantic travelers. 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. 

The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the inspiration for many songs and stories.

Moorish poets described it as "a pearl set in emeralds," an allusion to the colour of its buildings and the woods around them. The palace complex was designed with the mountainous site in mind and many forms of technology were considered. The park (Alameda de la Alhambra), which is overgrown with wildflowers and grass in the spring, was planted by the Moors with roses, oranges, and myrtles; its most characteristic feature, however, is the dense wood of English elms brought by the Duke of Wellington in 1812. The park has a multitude of nightingales and is usually filled with the sound of running water from several fountains and cascades. These are supplied through a conduit 8 km (5.0 mi) long, which is connected with the Darro at the monastery of Jesus del Valle above Granada.

Despite long neglect, willful vandalism, and some ill-judged restoration, the Alhambra endures as an atypical example of Muslim art in its final European stages, relatively uninfluenced by the direct Byzantine influences found in the Mezquita of Córdoba. The majority of the palace buildings are quadrangular in plan, with all the rooms opening on to a central court, and the whole reached its present size simply by the gradual addition of new quadrangles, designed on the same principle, though varying in dimensions, and connected with each other by smaller rooms and passages. 

Alhambra was extended by the different Muslim rulers who lived in the complex. However, each new section that was added followed the consistent theme of "paradise on earth". Column arcades, fountains with running water, and reflecting pools were used to add to the aesthetic and functional complexity. In every case, the exterior was left plain and austere. Sun and wind were freely admitted. Blue, red, and a golden yellow, all somewhat faded through lapse of time and exposure, are the colors chiefly employed.

The decoration consists for the upper part of the walls, as a rule, of Arabic inscriptions—mostly poems by Ibn Zamrak and others praising the palace—that are manipulated into geometrical patterns with vegetal background set onto an arabesque setting ("Ataurique"). Much of this ornament is carved stucco (plaster) rather than stone. Tile mosaics ("alicatado"), with complicated mathematical patterns ("tracería", most precisely "lacería"), are largely used as panelling for the lower part. Similar designs are displayed on wooden ceilings (Alfarje). 

Muqarnas are the main elements for vaulting with stucco, and some of the most accomplished dome examples of this kind are in the Court of the Lions halls. The palace complex is designed in the Nasrid style, the last blooming of Islamic Art in the Iberian Peninsula, that had a great influence on the Maghreb to the present day, and on contemporary Mudejar Art, which is characteristic of western elements reinterpreted into Islamic forms and widely popular during the Reconquista in Spain.

Completed towards the end of Muslim rule of Spain by Yusuf I (1333–1353) and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada (1353–1391), the Alhambra is a reflection of the culture of the last centuries of the Moorish rule of Al Andalus, reduced to the Nasrid Emirate of Granada. It is a place where artists and intellectuals had taken refuge as the Reconquista by Spanish Christians won victories over Al Andalus. The Alhambra integrates natural site qualities with constructed structures and gardens, and is a testament to Moorish culture in Spain and the skills of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian artisans, craftsmen, and builders of their era.

The literal translation of Alhambra, "the red (female)," reflects the color of the red clay of the surroundings of which the fort is made. The buildings of the Alhambra were originally whitewashed; however, the buildings as seen today are reddish. Another possible origin of the name is the tribal designation of the Nasrid Dynasty, known as the Banu al-Ahmar Arabic: Sons of the Red (male), a sub-tribe of the Arab Qahtanite Banu Khazraj tribe. One of the early Nasrid ancestors was nicknamed Yusuf Al Ahmar (Yusuf the Red) and hence the (Nasrid) fraction of the Banu Khazraj took up the name of Banu al-Ahmar.

This place is a must visit.

Some photos and information is extracted from Wikipedia & Tripadvisor.

Read more about my 1 Month Spain Trip - CLICK HERE


Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to New YorkCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to San FranciscoCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to Hong KongCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to BaliCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SydneyCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to LondonCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SpainCLICK HERE.

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