Hey folks—I’m posting about my European travels in a haphazard manner, as I’m currently in Granada, Spain, but started off in Madrid and was in Lisbon before this. But I’ve had patches of time to catch up on work (read: leisurely laptop time via free wireless), thanks to the quick connection at my hotel, Hotel Puerta de las Granadas, a modestly decorated but very efficient hotel on Cuesta de Gomerez, in the historic quarter not far from the Alhambra’s entrance. I had cancelled my hostel reservation at Oasis Granada last-minute and booked here—the Oasis is supposed to be awesome, but I realized I wanted a private room. It’s a great little hotel in a very central location near Plaza Nueva—for about 50 euro a night, I highly recommend it.
I have hundreds and hundreds of photographs of Granada already—which I’ll continue to upload via Flickr: Granada—but I wanted to give you a glimpse of this ancient, intriguing, and gorgeous city.
Carrera del Darro is a main avenue that flanks a refreshing river. As you stroll, you can see the Alhambra above, and also enter alleyways leading up to the Albayzin district on the other side. There are some tapas bars, cafes, tourist shops, and shaded, leafy areas worth exploring.
I love the doors, doorknobs, windows, metal wiring, and storefronts in the Albayzin.
The Albayzin is the ancient Islamic quarter of the city, with winding alleyways, whitewashed walls, intricate Arabic details, old casas with clotheslines hanging out of windows. You can wander for hours and find special nooks.
Muslims sought refuge in this city after the fall of Cordoba and Seville in the mid-1200s, where Mohammed ibn Yusuf ibn Nasr established his rule. This emirate was the last remnant of Al-Andalus, ruling from the Alhambra palace. You stumble upon arabesque details everywhere. It’s beautiful.
A sampling of the colorful, intricate storefronts and cafes in the Albayzin.
Walk up to Mirador San Nicolas and be rewarded with a panoramic view of the Alhambra, perched atop the hill across the way. (I’m heading there this afternoon.) A mirador is a viewpoint—here’s a peek at what the San Nicolas looks like under the hot Granada sun:
And at the bottom of the Albayzin, where crowded alleys of hookah bars and kitschy tourist shops eventually meet Plaza Nueva, lies this Arabic-infused district. It’s both charming and mysterious at once. What a place to wander: