In retrospect I probably should’ve just called this post the Alhambra.
To go into detail about this UNESCO heritage site’s history would take an essay length explanation.
The important things to know really is that it dates back to the 9th century and was heavily influenced by the Moors occupation in Spain which explains why the architecture of the Alhambra is really similar to what I saw in Morocco.
It’s basically a fortress, palace and extensive beautiful gardens combined into one site, with an interesting past and you can easily spend a day here exploring its expansive grounds.
Having not organised a ticket ahead of time (which I strong advise you do, unfortunately their system didn’t like my Australian credit card for some reason and I couldn’t book it online!) ensuring that I got in meant having to wait in line from 6am – which I did so with a group of lovely siblings I met at my hostel who were from the USA.
Even at this early hour we weren’t even the first in line by any means, there was at least 50 people in front of us! Once inside it was easy to see what all the fuss and waiting was about.
Prepare yourself for a bombardment of pictures from my day here.
While my main reason for coming to Granada was to see the Alhambra, this town has so much more to offer than its well known attraction.
There’s your scattering of amazing churches, flamenco dancing in the streets, quality dining both casual and formal with great shopping too (the Spanish do have such fantastic shoe stores..) but my favourite part was going to Albayzin, the old Muslim area of Granada where you can easily spend some hours strolling up and down the elevated cobblestoned streets.
One of the best known locations in this neighbourhood is the Mirador de San Nicolas, which is a small plaza of sorts, where many gather to watch the sunset over the Alhambra, which is located directly across from this lookout point.
It’s filled with musicians and people from all over and makes for a wonderful atmosphere and a nice end to one of my days in the town.
Prior to visiting Granada I’d come from a tour in Morocco. A friend I met on this trip and I realised we’d both be in Granada at the same time so we met up for tapas when we quite literally walked past two others from our same group already enjoying some on the street in town. Small world!
They had picked a real winner of a place and this was my first introduction into the fact that many places in Granada offer FREE tapas when you order any drink. Needless to say our ‘dinner’ consisted of trying as many tapas as we did beers.
While we were there a lovely woman approached us, who at first looked like she was going to try and promote a night club or something, but turned out to be a presenter for what we gathered to be the Spanish equivalent of MTV.
She asked if we wouldn’t mind announcing the next song in their top hits countdown to the camerawoman who had appeared out of nowhere and of course (at least three or four cervezas/beers in by this point) we said no problem!
So we had our 2 seconds of fame on Spanish TV, although we have no idea what channel it was for and will probably never see it!
The pace of life here is admirably relaxed and the Moors influence mixed with the Spanish culture is just lovely. The free tapas don’t hurt either!
Keep on doing what you’re doing Granada, because its some kind of wonderful.