This day in entirely thought for our visit to the
most famous jewel in Andalusia: Alhambra.
We will take the car to Alhambra’s parking and
then spending the time exploring the fortress and the Generalife.
We could still have time for some other visit this day but I guess the
most we will do is just taking some tapas around Granada as dinner.
We take our buffet breakfast and we take the car
for the short ride to Alhambra, which we already know from yesterday.
There is a small residential area just before the top of the hill, but
we prefer leaving the car a bit before, in an open space in the last
turn of the road which is actually a small parking area with
space for just eight cars. We have no problems here as there is already
just one car.
When we’re walking to the top we can see Sierra
Nevada in front, showing its white tops. I didn’t think it would be so
close of the city.
The way down through the parking area is longer
than the short walk up we just did and we get our tickets by 13€ each,
on which we’re appointed to visit Royal palaces at 11 AM. As it is
10:30 AM now and, as can be seen in the map, they’re in the other side
of the complex, we walk to there without stopping so much.
We walk through a path with thin cypresses at both
sides. This corresponds to the lower part of the map at the beginning
of this page. Then we pass through something similar to a town, with a
hostel, a church and shops – souvenirs shops, of course -, but we don’t
stop here either. So when we reach the place where a man is checking
people time for visiting palaces to allowing or not the admission, we
still have to wait for 15 minutes.
We use this time for exploring the Palace of
Carlos V, a main building, square outside but circled inside. The
circled and opened courtyard is rounded by two levels full of columns.
Inside, around this area, there are a couple of museums which we will
visit after the Royal palaces.
We’re the first in a row which is growing with the
time and a couple of minutes past 11 AM, we’re allowed to entrance.
This way, we’re forced to start our visit to Alhambra by the best of
all of it.
We get into the Mexuar, which is the oldest part
of these palaces, with wood in ceiling and indoor balcony. We don’t
spend so much time here as we don’t want to get all the people behind
us in the row in the same room with us. We stop for a moment in a large
window with great views of Albayzin, with all those white houses and
pass immediately to the courtyard of Mexuar, admiring just before the
amazing walls completely carved.
We access to Court of the Myrtles from there,
which we find already crowded. This courtyard is really beautiful and
there are some people standing in one of its doors looking for a second
on which they can get the picture from there with no persons on it, but
it is practically impossible as the traffic of people is constant here.
Anyway, I join this group with my camera looking for this moment of
empty view. The picture below is the best I can get after a good while.
Hall of Comares, where the door I’ve been waiting at is accessing, is
beautiful too. The stonework, which is focused in some areas of the
halls in other places, here is all over walls and ceilings, filling the
whole surface of them.
The view of this courtyard from the other side is
magnificent too, with Comares Tower appearing over the roof, and is not
After crossing a door we suddenly meet with the
Court of the Lions. You must follow an itinerary around it preventing
anybody from going to the famous fountain. I have a picture as a child
seated upon it. Time changes!
This courtyard is wonderful and we’re grateful of
the chances of watching it from different places along the itinerary
around it. It seems like one cannot stop looking at it.
The rest of the visit pass through fully decorated
halls with beautiful gardens and we walk by kind of roofed bridges
between towers with the greatest views to the white district we
We appear in the Palace of Partal and we’re not
sure if the visit i9n Royal palaces has finished or not. Answer is yes,
we’ve spent one hour and, as we can see in the map, Partal area, which
in the map corresponds to all the space up, from Royal palaces
(“Palacios Nazaries”) to ticket boxes (the red square at right), we
will pass by here again as this is the beginning of the area driving to
So we look the way to the entrance to Royal
palaces as we want to visit the Alcazaba first, which is basically the
citadel. Who wants the shortest visit to Alhambra must look after
visiting Alcazaba and Palace of Carlos V before getting into the Royal
palaces to following the path to the exit from there, which is feasible.
We go through the Puerta del Vino (Wine’s Gate)
and we’re checked our tickets before getting into Alcazaba, between the
two towers marking its beginning.
This is the oldest part of the whole complex and
is composed by some towers and walls. Tower of the Vela is in the
middle of it. If you want to explore this area deeply, then you must go
up and down all the stairs to the walls and towers, but we’re on saving
energy mode and we simply walk around avoiding any stairs and getting
amazed by the terrace we find. Albayzin is out there, looking to us
from any of its viewing points, although I’ve been able of locating San
Nicolas one from here.
We take a shortcut to the Garden of Adarves driving to the
We pay our pending visit to the museums in the
Palace of Carlos V where is not allowed making any photos and, after a
quick look to the mosque baths, we come back to the Partal for
continuing to the exit from the point we left. It’s 1 PM now and our
legs are tired so we decide going out for lunching in a restaurant
nearby and then coming back for our final visit to Generalife.
Partal area is all open air and we’re lucky of the
nice day we’re having. It is full of gardens and vegetable patches
painting in green the red stone we have all around. On the other side
of the cliff we can see the Generalife.
We’re soon, at 1:20 PM, in the turnstile row we
passed through for coming in this morning but when we ask about the
chance of going outside to lunch and coming back in after it the
doorman answers it depends on the time we got for visiting Royal
palaces. 11 AM I say and “then, no” he answers. It seems since the next
time, 11:30 AM, visitors can go outside for lunch and coming back in,
but the ones before cannot.
So we walk to Generalife resigned for finishing
the visit to the whole complex before lunching, which is a good option
Water is important on these gardens, giving some
movement and beauty to the environment full of shaped vegetation.
But it is in Palace of Generalife where we find
our best pictures here.
It’s almost 2 PM when we go into one of the
restaurants of the street along Alhambra. We’ve chosen quickly as,
although it is expensive, today we’ve earned the reward. Inside, it is
pretty full, but we’re the only Spanish and the most of the people here
are Japanese. The Sunday menu by 17€ offers the chance of eating
seafood paella and cod at Vizcaya’s style. The quantity on both dishes
are great and, obviously,
we end fully satisfied. Everything was very good by 39.30€ in Jardines
Few minutes to 4 PM and we’re walking up the road
along the parking area for taking our car. Once driving, we take the
same road to reaching the city center. As it is still early we want to
visit the Cathedral of Granada and the places around now. We’re
sneaking by the streets down from the hill until we notice we’re
reaching the feet and it’s then when we see a parking place. We leave
the car there although there is still a long street to walk to our
destination, but we remember our experience from yesterday. We walk all
Santiago Street long until Cathedral.
We get into it by the Royal Chapel entrance and
pay 8€ per person for it. Inside, there is an altar and the mausoleum
of the Catholic Monarchs and their daughter and son-of-law Joanna of
Castile and Philip I of Castile with the realistic statues of the four
lying over the burial sites in white marble. A short passage goes under
it to see through a glass the tombs in more simple coffins.
I thought the visit to mausoleums and Cathedral
was the same one but they’re not: once outside we follow the signs to
Cathedral entrance to find out we’re charged 8€ more per person to get
into the Cathedral itself. At the end of the day, visiting the big and
white Cathedral of Granada is more expensive than visiting Alhambra.
Once outside, we walk around to see the Madraza and the
Alcaiceria (Arab bazaar) which recalls a tiny part of Jerusalem’s old
city to us.
The streets around Cathedral are so narrow one cannot get
a view of the building outside. We conclude our visit to Granada here,
Although there are still some other points with touristic interest
spread all over the city, moving through it is annoying for us, so
we’re going to the hotel for a rest.
We still go out one more time at evening. We are not
hungry for a dinner after our feast this afternoon, but I want to watch
the football match where the leader and the second of Spanish league
are playing today. Around the hotel we only find a big place labeled as
pastisserie but being more a bar with big flat screens.