Sparkly souvenirs in the Albayzin.

A Glimpse of Granada

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.

Along Carrera del Darro, by the river.

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.

Baked Goodies in the Albayzin.

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.

Arabesque-like details in the Albayzin.

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.

Teteria Dar Ziryab in the Albayzin.

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:

67 Comments on “A Glimpse of Granada

  1. I was exploring through your blog and tripped over the granada post! Ive heard so much about the place and visiting it will be a dream come true considering the Islamic history it holds plus the beauty of the place.

    Awsome post and the blog is simply amazing too. Will be looking forward to more posts! =)

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  2. Hi Cheri – I wrote back on August 28. We stayed at the hotel you recommended (Puerta de las Granadas) and it was perfect. They recommended a great local restaurant and we ate there twice. We only stayed 24 hrs – just enough time to visit the Gardens and walk a bit around the city. We liked Granada more than Sevilla and wished we had more time to spend there. Thanks for the hotel tip! We will return there.

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    • Hey Michele–
      Thanks for returning to my blog and leaving a note! That’s great you stayed at the hotel; the location is great and while it’s not anything fancy, it certainly does the job at its price range. Glad you enjoyed Granada! It was my favorite stop on my trip in Spain and I would love to return. I hear winter there is gorgeous and very different than summer…

      Cheers,
      Cheri

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  3. Awesome, can’t wait to travel with you in Austin. I’ll be uploading the video from Honduras we were “reporting live” from :) today!

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  4. i loved granada! thanks for the blog, really made me miss my place there!

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  5. Blimey. I call by again to say hi, and you’ve got 57 comments, BLAM. Seems half the world wants to be where you are. :)

    New words become acceptable the more people use them (I’m reading up on the subject for an article, dead interesting how chaotic it all is).

    But you’re in luck – “creepage” is an accepted word. (Amongst its many definitions, “The conduction of electricity across the surface of a dielectric.”)

    Fine work. Your instincts have a slightly better vocabulary than your mind does. ;)

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  6. Visited Spain April 2009 for the first time and loved it, except when there was smoking in restaurants. Do not mind smoking really but in enclosed spaces the smoke hurts my nose and chest. I’d heard for most of my life that the food in Spain was glorious…I couldn’t understand how even the most simplest meal could be a feast…and it was. I took a very smalll part in a St. James The French Way pilgrimage Pamplona (a city in Spain made famous by Hemingway and the running of the bulls) to Santiago de Compostela. Santiago de Compostela is a UNESCO site. Next I’d like to try spots near the sea.

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  7. Wow! Thank you for sharing your travels! I hope one day I get to travel leisurely and go to places that I love. I have a certain fondness of a place with great history.. or a place with magnificent beaches. My heart is into those places. :) More power and safe travel – Sheila :)

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  8. I have always wanted visit Alhambra! And I love the fact you posted videos with your blog- I watched all the clips- really brings your journey to life. I loved the little alleys and the guitar player at mirador San Nicolas was very good! More clips fo your fabulous trip, please! :o)

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  9. Thanks cheri – we are planning a trip to Granada and I just happened upon your blog. We are looking into the hotel you mentioned. Did you visit the Alhambra gardens? Any tips?

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    • Hey Michele,
      The hotel was a pretty decent find on short notice. About 160 euro for a double room (two beds) for 3 nights. It’s in a central location above Plaza Nueva and on the road up to the Alhambra (about 15 minute walk). No frills, but very efficient for the price. I did visit the gardens. I got a ticket in advance (you should do this, it’s recommended) for the afternoon, with my entrance into the Nazario palaces for 5 pm. (With this ticket, I could enter anytime 2 pm and on and linger ’til the evening, if I wanted.) The gardens are lovely. I believe at night, there are spotlights and it looks even more stunning (but I didn’t stay that late).

      http://www.servicaixa.com/nav/landings/en/mucho_mas/alhambra/alhambra.html

      Have fun,
      Cheri

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  10. Congrats on being freshly pressed. Your photos are inspiring and make me want to jump on a plane right now!

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  11. Home! If you want the best view in Granada, go up the hill to the Alhambra, sweep past the entrance, the bus parking lot etc, and keep going up to the left…eventually you’ll see a half-reconstructed ruin, behind the fence (but we climbed in through a hole…) It’s called the Silla del Moro, and was the original Moorish lookout for all of Granada and the Vega – the view at dusk is spectacular. It’s also where my husband proposed to me…(sigh!)

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    • Thanks for sharing this tip! I’ve already left Granada, but I’m sure those who visit here will remember to check out this view.

      Your detail about your husband proposing is lovely!

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  12. Can’t wait to see more … felt like I was with you. Pictures are awesome. Stay safe.

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  13. Beautiful! I’m going to be in Barcelona next year and have always wanted to go down to Granada. Your pics have definitely confirmed it. I have to go see it for myself now.

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  14. Great photos! I’ve heard of this place before and all the feedback’s who visited this country are positive. I guess this place is a must to visit.

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  15. just finished studying there this summer. unfortunately my camera was stolen, but seeing this post just brings me back there. love the blog

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  16. Great to see Granada again! We spent lots of time in the Plaza Nueva when we were there, and stayed at the Hotel California, very close to the entrance to the Alhambra. I’d go again in a flash!

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    • Hmm, I ate lunch at this cute little hotel, Hotel America, just near the entrance to the Alhambra palace. Is this the place you meant? (I liked it — very nice outdoor patio under a canopy of vines…)

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  17. Stunning photography, culture has been captured here, the sense of a warm-hearted town and it’s welcoming aura is absolutely irresistible!

    If you have time, please check out my blog!

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  18. When I lived there my favorite was the Kasbah. But that was in 2006, so who knows if it’s still there.

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    • Hey Alex-
      Yes, the Kasbah is still there. And thanks for the pronunciation; as I’d mumbled in the clip, I knew I was saying it wrong… Cheers, Cheri

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  19. I am jealous too–not only for your travels in GORGEOUS Granada, but also for how you’re making your living! Kudos to such a varied set of experiences. You inspire me to work harder to make my own dreams of writing a reality!

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    • Hey Sarah,
      Many thanks for the nice words. Indeed, I do a variety of things for work, but it’s the travel-related stuff that really drives me. Places like Granada inspire me to write and snap pictures. Thanks for the note!

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  20. I rarely see blogs with videos and had the fortune of coming across yours.
    It’s wonderful that you incorporate videos into your journal. It submerges the reader into the location. It gives them an experience opposed to the traditional blogs of simply written text and photos.

    Thanks for sharing, it was a delight.
    Have you been to Germany?
    I’d recommend Hamburg, the architecture, harbor and people are spectacular.

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    • Hey! To be honest, I usually post videos on Vimeo and leave it at that, but Granada was fun to wander and I wanted to show that to people. I’ve gotten such a great response on the video clips in general (and they’re not even great at that!), so I think I’ll have to incorporate them on a regular basis. Thanks for note!

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  21. Jealous.

    Wait, did I say that out loud? Uh, I meant, I meant I’m happy for you, and stuff.

    *pouts jealously*

    Looks fabulous. And a terrific place to get deliberately lost.

    What about signs of modernity? Any corporate chains creeping in at the edges?

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    • Hey Mike! Thanks for stopping by. You know, unless I’m mistaken, I haven’t seen a McDonalds, Starbucks, or anything of that kind. I see the juxtaposition a bit at the foot of the Albayzin: a landscape of alleys and bars with Arabic signage, typical souvenir shops of mirrors and hookahs, and then more modern tapas bars catering to the hip. Then again, I veered away from the major avenues, so I may have missed any corporate creepage. (Ignore that creepage isn’t a word, and ignore the mindless alliteration!)

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  22. Cheri:

    About a year has now passed since I was last in Granada. Your beautiful photos and powerful prose provided me with a welcome glimpse back to that special city this morning. Thanks! Keep up the great blog. Very inspiring.

    Best,

    Dave

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    • Hola Dave,
      Thanks for the note. I usually take time before posting something on a place I’m visiting, but Granada is truly inspiring… I’ll write more in depth upon my return. Have a great weekend, wherever you are.

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  23. What song was the man singing? it looks beutiful there, the town, the people, and the weather :)

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  24. I enjoyed Granada completely when I was there this past January. Seeing your pictures of the Darro make me strangely homesick. We stayed in the Palacio Mariana Pineda, which was very good.

    Please remember to try the Hammam Banuelos Arab Baths. It is my number one to do in Granada. They are off the Plaza Nueva.

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  25. i loved granada. it’s been many many years since i visited, but i’ll never forget. because my camera hated me back then, i was forced to take mental pictures. and those, i will always remember.

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    • I usually don’t post photos until after I’ve left a place, but I’ve been so inspired by Granada’s nooks and alleyways; it was hard not to start uploading. Thanks for visiting.

      Like

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