Our tickets for the Alhambra werenâ€™t until , so we decided to take the free walking tour.Our tour guide was Eric and he was a really good guide, full of information and energy.He also had his own personal sound effects for flashback/history scenes; I thought he was the best guide Iâ€™ve had in Europe.We walked along the DarroRiver, which has slimmed down a lot throughout the years and due to construction.
Eric explained to us why the Moors chose to build the Alhambra in Granada because they believed the 2 mountains were the closest points to heaven.They built the Alhambra on one mountain and the Albacin on the opposite.The area was paradise and the people who lived there were very relaxed and enjoyed life.There was once a giant bridge that connected the 2 mountains but was destroyed accidentally; you can see some remains of the old bridge along the river.The city was later conquered by the Spanish, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.They kept most of the buildings intact and simply added a few fixtures and decorations to make them look more catholic.We slowly made our way up the hill toward the Albacin, stopping at a few places to learn more about the history.When we finally reached the top, there was a terrific view of the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada mountain range behind it.
Part of the destroyed bridge
After the tour, we made our way to the other mountain to go into the Alhambra.Since we had a set time to visit the NasridPalace, the visitor center helped us map out a route to maximize our time and experience.We started at Generalife, which had a beautiful garden with a bunch of hedges.The hedges were shaped and trimmed to look like castle walls and archways, almost like a labyrinth.The garden had the famous â€śdancing waterâ€ť fountain, which is a long pool that stretched across a courtyard with arched water sprouts.There was another courtyard with a water fountain; this one looked more like a maze with several water sprouts shooting toward the center.It seemed like everything revolved around water. There was even water stairs, which was a staircase with water funnel down along the railing.It was really cool and soothing to walk up the stairs with the sound of water.After we finished exploring Generalife, we headed toward the watch tower.We climbed to the top of the main watch tower and it gave a great view of the city and the Albacin on the other side.
There was also a better view of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.The bell that was brought over by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella was also kept on the watch tower.It was time to go into the NasridPalace, so we got into line.The palace was very similar to the Alcazar in Sevilla.We didnâ€™t have a lot of time in the palace because they were closing soon.We rushed through the rooms with our audio guide, trying to absorb everything.Overall the Alhambra was really cool; itâ€™s one of the places you have to see before you die.
We caught our last night train to Barcelona, it was probably the most uncomfortable and cramped train ride.