Mention Granada and most tourists to Spain think ‘Alhambra‘. It’s the main reason that people visit the city. So it was with amusement that I re-read what I had written in last year’s travel diary of a visit to Granada. Maybe ‘travel diary’ is an exaggeration. More like ‘brief jottings’. Still, Alhambra, 3 lines; Spanish food, 3 pages. I had a guide-book with all the information about the fortress-palace so no need to record any of the history. My photos, memories and the 3 lines and now this page are all that are needed.
We took a local bus which dropped us at the top of the hill and at the gates of the Alhambra. Our tickets had been booked on-line and all we had to do was enter the reservation number in the machine for our entry tickets to be issued. Then we joined the crowds to wait for our allotted time slot to go into the palace. Up to 6000 tickets on average are issued every day so this is no casual stroll around a monument. There is a lot of crowd management and you are moved through the first part of the palace fairly smartly. You do get to see the beautifully proportioned rooms of the main building, the Palacio Nazaries, and have time to photograph the intricate carvings, courtyards and fountains of the 14 century Islamic fortress-palace though before you reach the peace of the Alhambra gardens where the crowds melt away.
Don’t be put off by the crowds. The Alhambra is a beautiful group of buildings and with all the tourist dollars, very well maintained. The gardens are free and you can stay as long as you like. There are wonderful views over valley to Granada and the Sierra Nevada mountains.