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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.

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Spain: Sierra Nevada picture 1

Grazed for thousands of years, and excepting a few forest plantations like the ones here, the Sierra Nevada are nothing short of scalped.

Spain: Sierra Nevada picture 2

Proof: the view along the crest, elevation about 10,000 feet.

Spain: Sierra Nevada picture 3

There's a thin herbaceous cover.  See anything else alive?

Spain: Sierra Nevada picture 4

Aha!

Spain: Sierra Nevada picture 5

Shy is the word.

Spain: Sierra Nevada picture 6

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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