We spent two full days in Granada, which we loved. The only downside was me (Karen) getting sick with a bad cold for the second time in six weeks – not fun! Travelling is definitely a challenge for me when I am sick – I still want to get out and do everything but it all takes more energy than usual. This cold turned into a hacking cough and losing my voice – trying to speak Spanish is fun at the best of times and downright ridiculous with only half a voice.
However, despite being sick, Granada was gorgeous. On our first day there we walked through the historic Muslim area of town called the Albaysin to the Mirador San Nicolas, a viewpoint where you can see the Alhambra from. The Alhambra is a fort, palace and gardens, built for the last Muslim rulers of Spain.
After our view, we had some wine and tapas before walking to Sacromonte, where we saw some of the “caves” in the wall and an old abbey. We came back to town and found a beautiful little garden tucked away. We tried to visit the church of St Juan and the mosque but managed to strike them both at closing hours!
The Alhambra is extremely popular to visit – we booked our tickets online ahead of time to ensure that we would be able to visit. Our entrance was valid from 8-2 – we had planned to catch a bus there but the bus was full so we just walked over from our hostel. We arrived about 9.30 and began our visit at the Generalife, the beautiful gardens and summer palace of the former Muslim rulers.
We then strolled down through the gardens to the main part of the Alhambra, and visited the fort at the front of the complex. We were surprised that in contrast to the serenity of the Generalife, the rest of the Alhambra had souvenir stores, cafes, large groups of school children…From the top of the fort we could see over to the Mirador San Nicolas where we had been the previous day.
Next we visited the Palace of Charles V and the museum there before our picnic lunch.
Our last stop in the complex was the amazing palaces of the Nasrid dynasty. Each incredible room was more beautiful than the last, culminating in the courtyard of the Lions (pictured above). We spent ages marvelling at the beautiful architecture and design here – it was truly incredible. The Alhambra is a must see when in Spain!