Notes on the Geography of Spain: Sierra Nevada
Photographs of the Alhambra often show snowy mountains in the background. They're the Sierra Nevada, the highest mountains in Europe outside the Alps. In summer and seen from Granada, 20 miles away, the mountains are lost in smog. You can drive up to take a look, though.
Grazed for thousands of years, and excepting a few forest plantations like the ones here, the Sierra Nevada are nothing short of scalped.
Proof: the view along the crest, elevation about 10,000 feet.
There's a thin herbaceous cover. See anything else alive?
Shy is the word.
The near-sterile slopes are a plus for skiing. The "city" below is nothing of the sort; it's a congery of winter resorts, more or less deserted in summer.
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