Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day Trip to Granada

Along with Sevilla, Granada is on my short-list of places in Spain in which I could easily live. The city is gorgeous, fragrant and fun. It is much more than just the Alhambra, though that alone makes the city a must-see destination.

Thanks to the advice from several of my Facebook friends, I got tickets to the Alhambra a few weeks in advance. I highly recommend doing this because tickets are limited (especially in the high season) and there is a real risk you might not get in. Our tickets were for the afternoon, so we spent the morning exploring the rest of Granada. But first things first...

Let them eat cake! At Ray Fernando

Though it was the end of March, we got great views of the snow-covered Sierra Nevadas. Seems fitting, since Sierra Nevada translates to "snowy range."

This city is so pretty and colorful. It has wonderful architecture, beautiful greenery and a lovely river running through it.  

Our tickets to the Alhambra included entrance into the Alcazaba fortress. There really isn't much to see here, but the views from the top are pretty great.

The real star, of course, is the Alhambra. This 9th century castle lives up to the hype, and then some. Every inch of the red walls are covered in gorgeous Arabic script and beautiful geometric patterns. Muslims don't believe in graven images, so you won't see any pictures of people in the palace. What you will see though, is a plethora of water imagery and running fountains. The Alhambra is supposed to represent a desert oasis--the Quran's description of heaven.

I am a huge fan of Moorish design features like keyhole windows and arches. The Alhambra is a prime example of Moorish architecture. Can you imagine what this palace would have looked like completely decked out with furnishings fit for a sultan?

The Generalife gardens, included in the Alhambra ticket, are also worth a visit. This was used as a summer palace in the 1300s. I can definitely understand why. Though it wasn't very hot when we visited, the tiled walls and floors; bubbling water fountains; and location on the top of a hill keep the air much cooler than the rest of the city.

How do you end a perfect day in Granada? With churros, of course! What's not to love about freshly-deep-fried dough dipped in luxurious melted chocolate?

Read about our other stops in Spain:

1 comment:

  1. I think I'm going to plan a trip to Granada just so I can get those churros!