El Atlas, Sierra Nevada y el Mediterráneo

“Under how different an aspect does nature appear when the lofty snows of the Sierra Nevada break at once upon the traveller’s view in chill and tranquil majesty! –and how well does he recognise in these giant masses the magic touch of that Almighty hand which has so suddenly and so sublimely heightened the features of the landscape, as he gazes upon its icy ridges shooting upwards into a region intermediate between earth and heaven, and far above the whirlwind which sweeps the valleys beneath! The wings of imagination place him upon its pinacles of frost, and he beholds both the waters of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic waves, while the broad hoary shoulders of its savage rival, old Father Atlas, close the view. He treads the same snows which, three centuries since, witnessed the downfal of the proud city at their feet, –saw the gleam of the Christian sword, and the silver cross planted upon the towers of the Alhambra; while the mournful remnant of a brave and high-minded people caught from the points of the surrounding Alpujarras a last glimpse of their once happy homes, the smiling plain of Granada, and then, heart-broken, retreated with lingering steps to seek a refuge within its bosom. How many generations of Christians and Mussulmen have since mouldered away, and yet the frozen mantle of these Alps remains unmelted!”

Sir Arthur de Capell Brooke, 1831. Sketches in Spain and Morocco, pp. 216-217.

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