Granada Travel Blog› entry 5 of 5 › view all entries
May 16th, 2007 – by: Maureenie
We had to take this tiny bus (all the buses were pretty small in Granada since the streets are so skinny... I always felt like we were going to run into a wall or squish someone against the side of one) up the hill to the entrance. We got off in the wrong place, as usual, and had to hike up another hill to get to the gates. We got in pretty quick since we’d gotten tickets ahead of time through some stupid touristy pass we had to get in order to get to see it at all (when everyone’s blogs on here say that you need to get tickets to the Alhambra waaaaaay in advance, they are NOT kidding).
It was a bit of a walk from the entrance gates to the actual Alhambra. Once you go through the gates it’s like you’re in a whole new little world.
The Alhambra is pretty incredible. I can see why it’s claimed to be one of the most important things to see in the world. The views from the top of the city and the snowy mountains were beautiful. The intricacy and detail of the design is unbelievable. The way the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish influences all affected the architecture was incomprehensible. To live in what feels like such a divided world, and to see that at one point it, perhaps, was not, is very bizarre... yet, inspiring.
We didn’t buy any kind of tour, but did our best (true to my fashion) to hitch onto as many tours as possibly pick up bits and pieces of learning (English, French, or Spanish, as sometimes one of us could translate). A few of the tours talked about how the Alhambra was built in stages over many years.
We took a break to eat. It was hot, so I got some ice cream. Then we went in some touristy shops and I bought a bracelet. We went to the restroom in some super fancy dinner club place we snuck into. It appeared that there’s a tiny hotel IN the grounds of the Alhambra. Random.
Afterwards we went to seek out the gardens. It was a bit strange to see so much green in such a dry, hot place. They were beautiful, and would have been a wonderful place for a day of sitting.
Moral of the story: extremely impressed. So whatever you can to see this if you plan to be in Granada.
We’d just missed the bus so we waited for the next one for a VERY long time on a bench in the sun on a hill.
After we got down the hill we made our way over to the Granada Cathedral (or, the Cathedral of the Annunciation). Then we waited for a really long time to get into this church. I guess they have really weird hours. Watch out for that if you go. We walked around a little bit to waste time. It was difficult to take pictures of the outside because it was ENORMOUS and very close to other buildings. Josh had a run-in with a gypsy trying to take his money. I thought it was pretty funny. He lost 15 euros, I think, so he did not. At least he got a branch of rosemary out of it. We went back and waited by some orange trees with a whole bunch of other tourists. It was nice to have some shade.
The inside was, overall, very impressive. It shows how much the Spaniards (at least, at one point in time) care/cared about religion.
We were set on seeing flamenco tonight. I still really wanted to go find those caves I heard about, but that whole fantasy was pretty uncertain. When we submitted to the fact that we probably weren’t going to find the gypsy caves to see flamenco in there, we scouted out some flamenco dancing in town. In the meantime we decided, in typical Josh and Maureen style, to go all out for dinner, since it was our last night in Spain.
Then, on back out to search for a flamenco club. The place we ended up going to was still very much LIKE a cave.
The whole show was amazing. They had a guy playing great guitar and another youngish guy singing stuff in Spanish. Flamenco singing is very stylistic. It’s got a rather Middle Eastern flair to it. They played together for quite a while before the dancer even came on stage.
We went to sleep early because we were totally beat after a long day. Well, a long week, really.
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