Ah, we really refreshed again after helping ourselves to our prepared drinks. It wasn’t wine, which was a shocker! We had just finished sightseeing the Palacio Nazaries in the Alhambra and we had yet more awesome sights of the Alhambra to see. The hot midday sun was truly beating down hard on the city of the Alhambra and already I could feel the sweat clinging my shirt to my back. So where would we go next in the Alhambra? Through the tree-line in one of the small gardens dotted around the complex structure, we spied the Alhambra Fortress. Jutting out at the corner of the Alhambra hill to domineer over the city of Granada and steadfast against any foreign incursions, we knew we wanted to go there.
Climbing up many staircases to the highest point of the hill, we reached the entrance. Remember to keep hold of your tickets in a nice and folded way as a guard at each Palace and building will check your tickets. After I got into Palacio Nazaries, I simply stuffed my ticket into my pocket. So imagine, the look of disdain on the guard’s face when I had to search my pocket only to pull out of a tight jeans pocket, all crumpled and sweaty. I just held it up for the guard and smiled broadly. His dark features flickered even darker and I’m sure he considered not letting me in. But got in, I did.
The first thing the Two Bad Tourists and I did was to head to the open air view of the city of Granada that lay before us. I managed to get in a shot of both part of the fortress and the city together. Pretty cool isn’t it? I’m not just a pretty face, I have street smarts as well 🙂
The fortress, or Alcazaba (or Citadel if you really had to insist) is the oldest part of the Alhambra, constructed between 1238 and 1358. Upon finding out this fact, I joked to Auston that he found his kindred building age. I was met with stony silence. I’m pretty sure I saw some tumbleweed fly by in the distance. Anyway, back to history, the fortress is nearly the most original structure left on the Alhambra due to the Spanish renovating Palaces Renaissance style. Even destroying the Palaces was enough for some mad kings! Some of the towers were blown up during the War of Independence by the French (pesky twerps!) and the Alhambra suffered greatly during the 1821 earthquake. But now, as the Alhambra is declared a UNESCO Heritage site, restoration is constantly in flux.
The fortress is surprisingly big compared to what you see from outside its walls. Is this a fortress tardis? Would I find my Amy Pond within? Sadly, I didn’t even though I thought she would be waiting for me in at a maze exit. You can see in the pics. Check out what posing and views we found within the fortress.
I actually quite enjoyed the Fortress! But my Alhambra visit wasn’t far from over. It was time to check out Alhambra’s true beauty. The gardens. The best lie to the east on the Cerro del Sol (Hill of the Sun) and called ‘Generalife‘ which in Arabic means ‘Garden of the Builder.’ Well, I have to say that these gardens is utterly beautiful. Constructed in the 14th Century as a summer palace for the Moorish Kings and later on, the Christian Kings, the gardens fantastically holds picturesque courtyards, long terraced gardens, babbling pools, and majestic and subtle fountains to catch you in enchantment. I was rather taken with the small Palace of Patio del Cipres de la Sultana. (Court of the Sultana’s Cypress). Check out the photos below.
The early afternoon suddenly came by and we realised we had been in the Alhambra for nearly 7 hours! No wonder our stomachs were rumbling like mad. However, I was enchanted. I didn’t want to leave. I just wanted to kick off my sandals and dance within the fountains and lounge in the gardens. The Alhambra must have wove some magic over me if it’s stopping me from reaching food! I was more than happy to stay and take some more pictures but Auston, who absolutely LOVES walking tours (that was sarcasm by the way), decided he needed wine. But both David and I managed to convince him to stay for another hour to wander around the gardens.
As you can see, as that hour was up, it was definitely lunch and wine time much to Auston’s happiness.
So we did. But as we walked off the plateau holding the Alhambra on top, I began to think. I was so bowled over by the place and I didn’t make it easy for the Alhambra to do so as I already had far too high expectations of it from reading books and history about the conquest of Spain. And yet, the Alhambra managed to exceed those expectations. And for me, that’s a very rare eventuality. It must be magic. Abracadabra!