A Travellerspoint blog

Granada

With the Alhambra this time

sunny 35 °C

Again we head over to grab bocadillos, but get distracted on the way at a place called Reez. This is a small studio run by Celina and Juan in Placeta Albiada in Albayzin, www.reez.es. Here they make and sell inspired creations in glass and silver. Within two minutes of arriving we were all sold on a necklace for L, and after a few minutes more we realized that they made the necklace we bought for someone else in the centre yesterday! They have a great range of creations and are continuing to challenge themselves in new directions. In the end we get a number of things and have them sent back to Oz as they are too big and fragile to carry.
We get the bocadillos – great again – and head for the Alhambra. Well, first we have to get a Batidos to steel us for the long afternoon. And then we stop at tourist shop where L has to get me another Kukuxumusu shirt when she sees the design and G gets another one too. We are hooked. On up the hill.
We get up and get our tickets – reserved earlier, they spit out as soon you stick in the purchasing cards. Grab an audioguide and then off – in the wrong direction. First stop is the Generalife. These magnificent gardens consist of a 50 metre wide and 500m long terrace with different gardens leading up to the Summer palace built by the emirs of the day. The gardens have rose walks, fountains and pools, framed views of the Nasrid palace, and hedgerows.
Generalife gardens

Generalife gardens

It is a hot day but the temperature drops straight away in here. We enjoy this for a while before we head into the palace. Here there is a mounting yard and reception patio (as far as the likes of you and I would have got) before going up to the Patio of the Water Channel. This is a patio with an arched colonnade around the outside and a pool running down the centre with fountains playing into it. The plantings are quite recent, and if it wasn’t for the bloody tourists the whole thing could be quite relaxing!
The Water Patio

The Water Patio

The water stairs, Generalife

The water stairs, Generalife

We spend quite a bit of time here enjoying the vista before moving on. We are shadowing a couple having their wedding photos done – he is trying not to sweat in the 34 degree heat and coat tails, but not being successful. Wandered through the Medina, then to the Parador (didn’t get into this one – too expensive) where we settle down for a cool restoring drink. Not cheap, but nothing is up on the Alhambra.
Refreshments at the Parador

Refreshments at the Parador


Next we dive into the Moorish bath (figuratively) before going on to Carlos V’s palace. Story goes that he liked the Alhambra and it’s architecture so much he wrecked a good portion of it to stick his own palace in which was then never finished when he pegged it. It would probably be quite a drawcard if it didn’t have so much to compete with here.
Off to the western end and the Alcazabar. This is the original fortification protecting Granada looking out over the valleys below and linked across to other forts on the Sacramonte side. There is a tangle of cobbled approaches up to the main gates, each protected by another doorway and fortifications. From the main towers there is a view over all of modern Granada, which is growing at quite a rate. The final part of the Alcazaba is a small garden set nicely on the outside wall to catch the sun.
Alcazaba Garden

Alcazaba Garden


Last is the highlight of the visit – the Palacio Nazaries. Visits here are by a system of timed entries, you get in during an assigned half hour slot, and if you are late you miss out. Start by heading through a chamber used to hold low level councils and to deal with the common folk. This has some great mosaic tile work, and was later converted into a chapel. Beyond this was the patio of the Gold Room, where a certain rank would get to and higher ranks would be greeted. Beyond this was the Golden Room, used for top meetings. The patio is marble floored with great plaster and tile decorations. We go through here into the palacio de Comares, built as the residence of the ruler. The main feature here is the use of water and light in the Patio of the Myrtles, with a huge space with a pool down the centre and plantings around the outside (more recent and to stop tourists falling in I think).
Patio of the Myrtles

Patio of the Myrtles


Then there is the Salon de Comares, the great audience hall. It is not huge, but very ornate. It has an detailed marquetry ceiling showing the sky, and fantastic plasterwork on the walls. Plenty of people stare up in wonder until they lose themselves and fall over backwards. This leads through other rooms to the magnificent Patio of the lions – well I’m told it’s magnificent, all I could see was screening, scaffolding and a space where the lions were not. Patio des leones (sin leones)

Patio des leones (sin leones)

Also the room of the kings was closed because they heard we were coming. From the patio we work our way to the Patio de Lindajara (not to much scaffold here) which looks to be a 1700’s planting, and then out to the Partal gardens, with its great pavilions and pools. Out the turnstile and into the remainder of the gardens.
Patio Linderaja

Patio Linderaja

In the Partal Gardens

In the Partal Gardens


Well it is a fantastic place to see, but frustrating that there is so much scaffolding around. The Generalife was much better then I was expecting, and I was hoping for more from the Nasrid palace. So even on the whole. If yo want to spend more time in the ticketed areas, you can see Carlos V’s palace and the Arab baths without a ticket ( or before/after your afternoon/morning session) filling your time in the ticketed areas.
We got a taxi back to the cave but it was 8pm and we had to drive up to Jaen yet.

Posted by lostagain 15:54 Archived in Spain

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login