Granada and the Alhambra
Granada Travel Blog› entry 5 of 18 › view all entries
Today we visted the city of Granada. Let me say Granada is a vibrant city with history, culture, and friendly people. Our experience in Granada was the highlight of our stay in Spain and I would say this city identified more closely with our expectations of Spain than the coastal towns we visited prior to our stop here.
Located in Granada is one of Europe’s top 10 sites, the Alhambra. The Alhambra was the last Moorish (Muslim Arabs from Northern Africa) stronghold in Europe, that dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries. The compound includes a royal palace (Palacios Nazaries), a fortress (Alcazaba), and an area of royal quarters and gardens (Generalife). Think of the Disney movie “Aladdin”, but located in Spain.
After our audio tour of the compound we headed to the opposite hillside for dinner (Paseo de los Tristes). This area is known as the Albayzin (Moorish quarter) and was filled with small shops (silk, rugs, jewelry, hookah pipes), cafés, and restaurants. From here we walked the tiny cobblestone streets up the hill to the church of San Nicholas for a spectacular view of the Alhambra compound. At this point we were off to a neighborhood called Sacromonte.
Sacramonte was cool! Originally, Sacramonte was a colony of gypsies now called “Roma” (gypsy has negative connotations) that lived/live in caves on the hillside. Many still live in the caves, but currently a large number of caves have been turned into bars/restaurants that offer late night flamenco shows. We were late getting there (10:45 PM) so we were only able to see small bits of the flamenco dancing from the street. We did find an empty cave where we grabbed late night drinks. (See photos).
To finish the night we walked down through though the vibrant downtown district that was full of lights, fancy restaurants, bars and fashion stores.
If anyone ever has plans to visit southern Spain, Granada and the Alhambra are a must!
Off to London.