I’ve returned to San Francisco after being away for a month: first to Mexico, then to Spain and Portugal, and lastly to New York and Maryland. I’m staying put for a few weeks so my body can acclimate to a single time zone. I’m exhausted.
Still, Granada lingers in my mind. I wish I could have spent a few months in this intriguing ancient city, but had three days. Just three days. I wandered its narrow, white-walled alleyways and explored quiet parts of neighborhoods, stumbling upon vestiges of Al-Andalus at every corner. And the incredible hilltop palace, the Alhambra, is quite a sight.
A sampling of this grand palace and fortress complex in photographs:
I adored the splashes of color on the walls. These three chairs begged me to snap their photo. The details above these colored tiles blew me away.
One of the bright, airy courtyards within the Alhambra palace complex is pictured above. Many times, I preferred to take a photograph with no people in the frame. But sometimes people are necessary—how else can you get a sense of how grand and ornate this place is?
The intricacies. The arabesque details. The delicate grooves in the wood and stone. The palace and its gardens are full of architectural treasures. Every bit of space is used in both simple and ornate ways. Gorgeous.
One of the ponds in the Alhambra gardens. I visited on a super hot day—it’s best to seek refuge in the shady spots of the massive garden…
…or on this stairway, which is blessed with mini “luges” at its sides. Fresh, cold water rushes down these chutes—perfect on blazing hot days under the Andalusian sun. Visitors washed their hands and splashed water on their faces as they strolled up and down these steps. Ingenious and aesthetically pleasing.
This section of the Nasrid Palaces was simply unreal. The ceiling was spectacular. There was a faint breeze, while the space felt slightly damp. Huge arches let in light from outside.
The panoramic view of the Albayzin, the old quarter of the city, from the fortress lookout point.
A daytime visit to the Alhambra, with a scheduled entry time into the Nasrid Palaces, is 12 euro (ticket info). You can also visit in the evening, or just visit the garden (6 euro). The entrance is located up the hill from Cuesta de Gomerez, a street that can be accessed from Plaza Nueva:
I plan to return to Granada and linger for a long while. Someday.