Monday, November 24, 2008

Granada: The Alhambra, "Paradise on Earth" . . .

Before my trip I read somewhere that the Alhambra is considered the “Jewel” of Andalusia and now I know why. The use of space, light and water is so ingenious and the intricate detail of the wall carvings and beautiful tile work is beyond comparison to anything that I have ever seen. The rooms are airy and the beautiful arches gives way to the views of the city below. Patios and flowing water moves through the palace giving it a calming and relaxing feel. I can’t even begin to adequately describe my feelings as I walked through the Alhambra other than to say that it simply took my breath away.

And just when I think I’ve seen everything and I can now begin to catch my breath, I walk over to the General Life and find these gorgeous gardens and patios that have these well trimmed hedges, colorful flowers, well placed trees, fountains and reflecting pools. More arches . . . more views!

For my visit I purchased an Audio guide for $4 euros. As I walk through the Alhambra I can hear the words of Washington Irving brilliantly describing everything to me as I am seeing them. It inspired me so much that I picked up a special 175th edition of Washington Irving’s “Tales of the Alhambra” and decided to read it while sitting just outside the palace overlooking the city view below. How's that for being creative!

I wish I could be more descriptive but I am at a complete loss for words (and I’m talking both my outer and inner journey thoughts too).

I absolutely love Granada! I have such a great vibe here. The people are super friendly. The town is not too small and not too large…it has ample bars and restaurants to select from, shops and the bus system seems easy. There is an Alhambra bus that you can take for only $1.10 Euros between the Alhambra where my hotel is and the city center below.

I will say this for sure, if you decide to visit Southern Spain at all, you must include Granada in your plans. It is a must visit!

And for your enjoyment, a few photos of paradise . . .

The walls and towers of the Alcazaba . . .

Mexuar Room

Close-up of wall on the Patio del Mexuar

Close-up of one of the wall carvings and tile work, Interestingly, some of the calligraphic decoration on the walls of the Alhambra contain poems by three poets of the Court of Granada . . . Columns from the Patio de los Leones . . .

Patio de Arraynes...this patio was designed so that the pool would reflect the sun into the rooms surrounding it and to also make this patio larger than it really is.

Close-up of reflection . . .

Palacio del Partal . . .

Patio de la Acequia (Located in the General Life) . . .

The Alhambra from the Albaicin . . .

The entire grounds of the Alhambra had such great beauty. Sometimes when I was walking along a big gush of wind would come along and these beautiful fall leaves would rain down on was pretty cool!

One of the many sweeping views of the city below as seen from the palace . . .

Alhambra at night . . .

And just so you know, the city of Granada is a wonderful place to go and hang out. And I managed to tear myself away from the Alhambra to do so . . .

Tommorrow morning I head for Ronda so I can stand top of the “New Bridge”. Not sure if my Hotel will have wi-fi or that I’ll find an internet café. If I do then I will blog from there. But just in case I don't get connected before Thursday, I just wanted to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

And I'll say goodnight with this precious look a like photo of AnnieNC's Lulu . . .


  1. Kathy, the Alhambra sounds spectacular. Your photos are lovely, it really seems to be utterly fantastic.

    I love the poems in your link, particularly the last one. And I'm envious that you have a special edition of Washington Irving's book, what a wonderful souvenir. I've been meaning to read Tales of the Alhambra for a long time -- let us know what you think of it.

  2. Oh my gosh, LuLu has a Spanish cousin! What a cool photo (and a very beautiful cat!).

    Kathy, Granada and the Alhambra sound wonderful, and your photos are fantastic. I think being at a complete loss for words is a great place to be sometimes (I love seeing those mind-blowing places!).

    Thanks so much for all these great blog posts! And yes, I have checked the weather in Venice. It's cold over there but not quite as cold as NC was this weekend (it has warmed up now, thank goodness).

    Have fun in Ronda!

  3. Oh Kathy, I've just caught up on your blog and am surely going to dream of Spain tonight! Sevilla, Cordoba, Cadiz, the Alhambra, the Cathedrals, Flamenco all sounds so incredible. Your photos are fabulous, interesting views and intense colours. Thanks for taking time to write these wonderful entries and share your travels with us. It is a delight to "visit" the warmth of Spain with you on this snowy cold Canadian night!

  4. Kathy, the photos are fantastic! I especially love the reflection photos. PhotoHunt's theme this week was reflection - perfect timing :)

    I am so glad you decided to go out of your way to visit this amazing place. I can't wait to hear more!! I hope your train rides went smoothly.

    Happy Thanksgiving!! Have a wonderful day!!

  5. Hey Kathy, just wanted to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving! I have 4 days off...woo hoo!

    I hope that you are continuing to have a wonderful time in Spain...I can't remember when you are coming home, but if it's this week, safe travels to you and thanks so much for taking us along with you on your trip!

  6. Hi Everyone, thanks so much for all of your comments. I finally found an internet cafe here in Ronda and it is actually a pretty cool place. Sort of a hip bar/restaurant. And so I posted the final three blog entries for my trip. Today, I´m going to be lazy and not do any sightseeing!

    Sandra, I really like the book so far. I´m almost done with it. If you want, I can let you have it after I´m done. I´m not the kind of person that re'reads a book when I´m done. Besides I visited a guitar making shop and picked up my prize sourvenir from Granada. :) I find it interesting reading the book after having seen the Alhambra. Kind of brings it to life.

    Annie, that´s so funny...actually when I saw her I nicknamed her Lola so maybe she is Lulu´s spanish cuz . . . Happy Thanksgiving to you too! I hope that I´m back before you leave. But if not, Have a really wonderful time in beautiful Venice. I really miss it a lot! You´re going to have so much fun. Safe travels to you too!

    Thanks so much for your comments Leslie! I appreciate it a lot.

    Anne,thanks for all of your comments. I can´t wait to catch up on everyone´s blog when I return home. I really miss everyone!

    Girasoli, thanks so much for your comments and for joining me in this adventure. It was a total blast. All my train rides went so smoothly (my Cordoba missed train was actaully my fault). And I learned how to travel better by train from reading all of your blog entries. Do I get an ¨"A"? Happy thanksgiving to you too! And enjoy your 4 days off!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.