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Sep '12

England and Spain Adventure, Day 15: Granada, Spain

On Thursday in Spain we took one last road trip from our resort to Granada, Spain to see the ultra-famous Alhambra.

If you’ve never heard of it, don’t feel bad; I hadn’t, either. But it’s the #1 tourist attraction in Spain, and that combined with the fact that it’s run by the government makes it one of the hardest places to get into to see.

Granada is about 2 hours northeast of our hotel. We aimed to get there around 10 am to try to get tickets for admission in the afternoon. The government only allots a certain number of tickets for entry each day. If you get there and they’re gone, you’re out of luck. The tickets also regulate your entry time to the more famous part of the Alhambra called the Nasrid Palaces. You can visit the other parts of the Alhambra, but you need to line up and be prepared to visit the Nasrid Palaces at your designated time.

Our experience at the Alhambra was good, but initially very confusing. Not only was the tickets situation confusing to us but we had a hard time even finding where to enter the place after buying our tickets. And the place is giant, so we ended up walking around a lot in the hot, hot sun trying to find an entry point. Finally we found a way in on the south side and John and I enjoyed walking through the Alhambra Museum, which has some cool artifacts (but no pictures allowed), and the Charles V Palace.

After we finished there we hiked back up a hill towards the entrance of the Alhambra to eat lunch at a neighboring restaurant, La Mimbre. I remember looking at the menu and not feeling particularly excited about the items offered. I ended up getting one of their specials, which was soup followed by steak and potatoes, followed by a cake dessert. I also remember how pleasantly surprised I was at the food’s quality (except for the soup–I didn’t like it). The steak was tender and delicious and it came with fried potatoes that I couldn’t get enough of, and the coconut cake was too good to share. Carissa ate a lot of steak and French fries. These are the only pictures I have from lunch:

Following lunch (and diaper changes) we walked through another section of the Alhambra called Generalife (“Garden of the Architect”), which was a summer palace and gardens. We never made it through the palace, but the gardens were AMAZING. However, it was also very, VERY HOT, and so we didn’t want to spend too long here.

It had nice views of the city.

Another reason we didn’t roam the gardens too long was because we had a specific entry time for the Nasrid Palaces, and we had a bit of a walk to get there from the Generalife.

The Nasrid Palaces, specifically, pulls in the most visitors, and it is carefully regulated by many rules. We couldn’t bring in our stroller (never a convenient thing, as usually we had at least one child asleep in it) and we had to wear the diaper bag backpack on the front of our body instead of the back. Why? Still not sure. We also had to stand in line in the hot afternoon sun until they let us in.

The highlight of the Palaces seemed to be the intricate engravings and architecture which, yeah, were really neat but we didn’t feel like we were blown away by the experience in general. Some pictures:

This is the Lion’s Fountain. It was being restored when we were there so its area was not open, except to pass by it. It’s from the 11th century. The lions represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Two of them have a triangle on the forehead, indicating the two chosen tribes Judá and Leví (similar to, but different from what my own faith believes).

After the Nasrid Palaces we took a little rest (actually, we did this a lot during the day. Have I mentioned how it was HOT?). There were several locations in the Alhambra with vending machines that offered water, soda, milk, and sandwiches. We went through all the water we had brought with us (and we thought we had brought plenty) pretty quickly and had to buy more.

The next stop was the dungeons (ruins of them, anyway). Bano = “bathroom.”

And from there we went to one more area, the Alcazaba: the military fortress. This was maybe my favorite place, just for the views of the city and surrounding mountains.

We were kind of tuckered by now, which was late afternoon, and we headed home. When we got back, the kids ate pretzels and milk on the floor…

…played with the toys from the SuperSol supermarket…

…and jumped endlessly on the bed.

1 Comment »

One Response to “England and Spain Adventure, Day 15: Granada, Spain”

  1. tara72 Says:

    that coconut cake looks TO DIE FOR!!

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