What’s a Granada with you?
February 16, 2016
After a quick-ish and early trip from Seville we made it to the exquisite mountainous town of Granada to check out the sights including ALHAMBRA! We spent most of our first day dragging around our bags and being cranky at each other for being awake too early, but we did wonder through most of the town. We seen some of the local shopping areas, checked out a few ornate cathedrals, and walked along the scenic river at the bottom of the Alhambra palace. Now brace yourselves for muchos bonito photos.
(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)
We dedicated all of day two to Alhambra since that was the main reason we came to Granada. Despite the cold weather we really needed most of the day to go through and enjoy all the areas of the palace. The incredible palace is set on a hill overlooking the city. At night they light it up. Just beautiful. Moorish poets described it as “a pearl set in emeralds,” a quote taken straight out of the Wikipedia article, but the imagery is true. The Alhambra palace has some similarities to the Alcazar palace we went to in Seville like having both Moorish and Christian influences, but I found the differences to be more notable. Firstly, Alhambra covers more than twice as much ground as Alcazar. It is incredibly large with many different buildings and areas to explore. Secondly, Alhambra is undergoing major restoration. It’s basically a ruin as it was left abandoned from approx. the 17th to the 19th century. Alcazar on the other hand has always been used and always been cared for, so while nearly as old, the buildings, tiles, and gardens are in much better shape.
Alhambra has a quietness about it, it was nearly tranquil walking around despite the hordes of tourists. I’m sure this is at least partially because of the Sierra Nevada on the horizon and the crisp winter air. There’s something about mountains that makes everything calm.
After enjoying the awe inspiring sight of Alhambra we made our way back to town to grab some churros and cofffeeeee!
Granada was a gem to visit. I imagine the summers are crazy with tourists there. It’s basically the middle of winter and we found it to be very touristy. I made a huge effort to keep fellow tourists out of my photos so I could imagine we were alone. I’m happy we visited off season, because crowds are the worst. Still, I think it would be worth it any time of year even if you had to brave the masses.
The South of Spain was a treat to visit. I hope to make it back some day to explore more of it for longer. There are so many sights we missed. After Granada we made our way back to Valencia on a bus through the mountains and a train along the coast. We will have one more week in Valencia and then off to Madrid and Barcelona for a couple weeks!