Trip to Granada, part 2

Trip to Granada, part 2

We have slept well at Hotel Anacapri and wake up rested to the sun shining from a clear blue sky outside the window. First hotel breakfast awaits, then an intense day awaits in Granada. After breakfast, we head to the Albacain district, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. Albacain dates back to Roman times, it’s a cool feeling to feel the wings of history in these ancient Spanish cities.

Albacain was originally a city of its own, which together with some other ancient cities grew together and formed Granada. It is located on a hill and we go there along the almost drained river that flows through Granada and then up all the slopes.

Like so many other visitors, we end up in the square at Albacain, just outside the city wall. From there you have a wonderful view of the Alhambra, Granada, and the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada around 20 kilometers away.

Within the old city walls that surround Albacain, there are winding narrow alleys and some open spaces where there are eateries and cafes. The district is definitely not adapted to car traffic, yet we see cars in the most inaccessible places and it is difficult to understand how the cars got there.

There will be no coffee here, we have already located the place we are going to have coffee, a restaurant just outside Albacain near the lookout point on the slope towards the Alhambra, where it is sunny and with a nice view over Granada. We are lucky, there is a table available at the railing towards the slope and it will be a little more than just coffee, we will not have time to eat anything until late tonight. So it will be both a pre-drink and a light lunch before the coffee.

They have a nice but cold toilet with a window just above the toilet. The window faces the place where people are waiting for it to become vacant. This is how you sit down and pee, even if you are a man!

Alhambra

It is an old Moorish palace that began being built in the 13th century and was completed 200 years later. In the late 15th century, when Christians recaptured Spain, it became the royal palace of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella I. It was here that Christopher Columbus received a royal award for his discoveries.

To get to the Alhambra, we have a 20-minute brisk walk, first down to the river and then up just as high on the other side. We barely have time and Carina still feels tired from the fact that we were sick about 7 weeks ago. Wondering what we’ve been through.

Finally, we are there, just in time to meet up with the guide, but we have to wait 15 minutes before the group is gathered. So we did not have to go out as we did.

To visit Alhambra you must first book an appointment and you need a passport to do that. We had been advised to book well in advance. The first time we had planned to go here, there were no tickets and we had to rebook the car and hotel for when it was time to visit the Alhambra.

Tickets and passports are needed to be admitted to the various palaces inside the area. We had a guided tour and it cost 35 euros per person. The trip took about 3 hours and involves a 3 km long walk. At the end of the tour, we were quite tired and rather fed up watching all the amazing buildings and parks. Now we longed to sit down at a small cozy Spanish tapas bar and have a glass of wine and some tapas.

After being there, we understand that you need to book a time for a visit, they have about 7,000 visitors per day now in low season, that is about 800 per hour. There were always several groups in the same part of the palace, so in some areas, it got quite crowded and it was difficult to take photos without other people on the pictures.

Alcazaba

In this part lived those who defended the Alhambra and here it is mostly high and thick walls. It’s this part that can be seen down from Granada.

Nasrid Palace

Here the rulers lived with their servants and there are beautiful rooms and small gardens, everything is very ornate and ornamented. But it seems to have been cold during the winter, all windows have only grilles, no glass or visible shutters.

Throughout the palace, floors, walls, and ceilings are covered with ornate patterns and Arabic scriptures. The walls appear to be carved out of stone, but it is a special kind of plaster with marble powder that has been used to cast the tiles that sit on the walls.

The floors have intricate geometric patterns in the tiles and the ceilings have fantastic three-dimensional patterns made in the same way as the walls. The windows have ornate grilles and the sturdy wooden doors are full of carved patterns. It is unbelievable what work was required, but it took almost 200 years to build the Alhambra.

The roofs also do not go off for picks when it comes to richness of detail and decoration. They consist of three-dimensional cast details of marble plaster or carved wooden details, some look gold-plated, others are colored. It is unbelievable to think that they built this 700 years ago.

from the manufactured the intricate grilles that sit in all the windows did not tell the guide. Probably also some form of casting. It’s amazing, think about making it fit so exactly.

The doors were also impressive to look at, large thick solid wood doors full of carved geometric patterns, looking as if they were made in a modern CNC machine.

miljöer

Palace gardens

In this part, much of the vegetables needed in the palace were grown and it has been redone several times during the centuries that it has existed.

General life

Part of the Alhambra is called General life, here it was thought that one would live a normal life, outside the palace. To get here you have to cross a bridge over the road we went up to the Alhambra earlier today. General life has beautiful gardens, buildings, and promenades. Ponds and fountains are supplied by water from the river that flows through Granada.

Beautiful flowers that bloom in mid-November.

I am always as impressed by the craftsmanship, old as new. The Alhambra is really worth a visit!

Finally time for some food

Although we feel quite sore in the legs, we choose to take a walk from the Alhambra down to the hotel. It is mostly downhill and not at all as strenuous as when we went up here. It gets dark before we arrive at the hotel. The road goes through a ravine surrounded by large trees and greenery. A wonderful environment as a change to the Alhambra’s stone buildings and Granada’s bustling city life.

After a long day with at least 10 kilometers in our legs uphill and downhill, it should be nice to sit down at some cozy tapas bar. We do not have to go far from the hotel to find several places where we can try Spanish food and wine.

Up next

On the last day of our road trip to Granada, we see on Windy (an internet weather service) that there are storm winds from the southeast around Almerimar. We choose to go directly back to the marina without any long stops along the way. This is the beginning of a longer period with strong winds from the southeast and we are stuck in the marina, as it is not even possible to get out of the marina due to large breaking waves in the inlet.

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