The journey through Andalusia continues and we would reach our final destination, ‘The Pearl set in Emeralds’ or more commonly known as the Alhambra in Granada.
As soon the Two Bad Tourists and I pulled into Granada in the late afternoon after enjoying 2 nights in Seville taking in the sights of its Cathedral and dancing to the Flamenco, we knew that the Alhambra towering over the city close to the Sacramento Caves would be the ultimate sight for us. I knew the Alhambra would be the pinnacle of my Andalusian trip as I’ve heard so much about this moorish and secretive complex of all palaces, gardens and fortresses. I knew about the place already thanks to historical fiction as I read about the reigns of the Christian Monarchs whose youngest daughter, the Infanta, married our very own King Henry VIII; their divorce causing spasms in history that still can be felt today.
Checking into a fantastic luxury accommodation called ‘The Grenada Backpackers Inn’ (read my review about it here), we spent the evening cooking our dinner and getting our tickets to enter the Alhambra. A word of caution, if you want to go the Alhambra, remember to buy the tickets waaaaaaaaaaaaaay in advance.
As we were checking in, the receptionist asked if we got our tickets for the Alhambra. We grinned, looked at each other and then said we would be getting them in the queue tomorrow morning. This was met with his face aghast, explaining that we wouldn’t be able to get in…uh-oh…
So what do we do?!
He simply shrugged his shoulders and said we may be very lucky to get in if we queue very early in the morning…like at 5am. What? I sat forward and put my head in my hands…did I hear just right? 5am?! You see, the hour of the waking birds and I don’t especially get on and I’m more likely to have an accident usually involving my head with a lamppost as I sleepily drag my feet.
But I remembered something. I shot up my head. The La Caixa Machines! These are the La Caixa Cash Machines that also dispense tickets for attractions so off David and I rushed to the nearest one while we left Auston slaving over the cooker. You can read about our torturous time at the ticket machine here.
But luckily, we managed to get the tickets even though there were 20 tickets left… so we celebrated in style by having more wine and seeing the look on the receptionist’s face when we told him we managed to get some. I think we celebrate everything with wine…it’s becoming too much of a theme…
So, we woke up at 7am and headed on our way to the Alhambra. You can get the bus to the top but as I was in a buoyant and extremely annoying mood, I managed to convince the others that the Alhambra wasn’t that far to walk up making our 8.30am ticket entry time way ahead of time.
Oh, how wrong was I…it took ages. And we got lost a few times. Oops.
Luckily, we did get there with only 5 mins to spare, much to the consternation of the two bad tourists. I simply said with a sweet smile on my face (it’s not that hard on this handsome face), that it was the experience of trying to find the Alhambra is what we would have wanted. Much to say that they simply walked off ahead muttering dark curses in my direction whilst fanning their sweaty armpits.
But why did we have to be at the Alhambra for an 8.30am entry?
Well, the Alhambra gets thousands of visitors and especially one part of the complex called the Palacios Nazaries which the Emirs of the Moors and finally, the Christian Monarchs lived in. It’s pretty small so fitting thousands of people at once wouldn’t be a good plan. Therefore, they stagger the numbers throughout the course of the day. So we got the 8.30am one. I still don’t know why…
Entering the Palace, we were hit with the multitude of patterns and colours, which I knew I wanted on my clothes…
But my eye was immediately drawn out to the view out of the balcony that jutted out from the first room. Hello Granada! I’m lording over you lot!
But as much I wanted to gaze out to this view for the rest of the day, my ears heard the babbling and running of water that can be heard throughout the Palace. They like their courtyards here.
Even at this early in the morning, I really enjoyed the vibe of this Palace. Even more so that the Swallows and Nightingales seems to love swooping around the Courtyards…you can see me absolutely loving birdwatching.
But there’s absolutely lots more to check out the Palace…see many more of the photos below. I just couldn’t stop admiring the intricate designs and yes, I’m being an architectural buff again. Can I live here please?
So that’s the first part of the Alhambra sorted and visited. It was truly a magical time there and I was just awe-struck throughout and running my fingers along the walls. I felt history coarse through making me feel I was actually a part of something significant. This feeling definitely lasted for me to pay my respects to the Moors who built this structure as you can see below….
Watch out for part 2 of my magical time in the Alhambra!
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Great post! I look forward to part 2!
I did do a double take on that last picture. You suit the look!