Our travels are now in full swing as we continue clockwise around Spain to the city of Granada, Spain. Our main reason for coming here was to visit the famous Alhambra Palace. Normally, one would have to reserve tickets weeks in advance to see this attraction, however due to COVID-19, we were able to book our tickets for the same day.
The Streets of Granada
COVID-19 is changing nearly everything about modern life. Painted signs indicate which side of the street to walk on…
…and painted reminders to maintain 2m (6.5ft) of distance between each other. The fact that their painted makes me think that the city planners expect this pandemic to last for a long while.
Our wonderful Airbnb hostess, Angela, prepared a self-guided walking tour of the area: http://angelarte.com/access/ENG/recom_eng_sight.htm
Although Google Maps says the tour take about 1 hr 20 min, we ended up taking all afternoon since we stopped and enjoyed various attractions, including the Alhambra and various sights along the way. Here is some advice – if you want to travel fast, don’t travel with a photographer.
Our tour started with the steets and shops of Calle Calderian Nueva, also known as “Little Marakech” but it was to early in the afternoon for business.
If these walls could speak they would have a history to tell.
I liked this tiny red scooter that was parked in the large balcony.
Occasionally views of the Alhambra, sitting proudly on the hill, would pop out from the streets below.
The walk up the Cuesta de los Chinos was peaceful. We both felt like it was the pefect way to reach the heart of the most visited monument in Spain – the Alhambra.
Alhambra Palace and Gardens
Passing through the archways and to the entrance of this incredible palace.
COVID-19 reminders are never to far away. We were required to wear a mask while in the palace and anytime we were near people in the garden. Fortunately there were almost no people here.
Since we had about an hour before our scheduled ticket time, we enjoyed walking around the large garden areas.
Our tickets time was 4 PM. It ended up being only us and about ten other tourist. Lucky us – no crowds.
I was impressed with how relaxing the palace was. Incredible views from the windows made me feel like I was walking in a different time. Perhaps during the 13th century when it was a royal palace of Yusuf I, the Sultan of Granada?
The circular patio of the Charles V Palace.
The Arabic influence is obvious throughout this amazing building.
The detail and craftsmanship of these 13th century artists is quite amazing.
The detail of the tile work and intricate painting.
Every window offered picturesque views of the city.
The Hall of the Ambassadors is the most majestic with its walls covered in decorative inscriptions and Arabic poems.
More details of the craftsmanship.
Window of the Hall of the Ambassadors
Court of the Myrtles with its white marble patio, myrtle bushes, and central bright green colored pond.
Detail of one of the intricate doorways inside the Court of the Myrtles.
One of the most impressive areas is the Court of the Lions with it’s open courtyard and irregular placed yet symmetric columns.
The Fountain of the Lions is an alabaster basin supported by twelve white marble lion figures.
The details of the Arabic calligraphy is impressive.
The area just outside the castle walls features walkways that provide incredible views of the hills and city below.
The gardens were full of fruit trees and beautiful flowers.
Just a short walk from the palace is Generalife – a leisure place for the royalty of Granada to get away from the affairs of the palace.
Flowers of many varieties with their beautiful colors.
Details of one of the metal doorways.
A very relaxing place…
…detailed stone walkways…
…and exquisite architecture.
Patio of the Irrigation Ditch
Court of the Sultana’s Cypress Tree
An artist draws in the relaxing courtyard.
We both felt extremely fortunate to enjoy this World Heritage Site without the typical summer crowds. It was especially enjoyable to be able to walk among the gardens and enjoy the peacefulness of what it might have been like in the 13th century.
More of the Streets of Granada
Our tour continued as we walked back down the Cuesta de los Chinos toward the older section of the city of Albaicín.
I love the message on this mailbox. No bills, no junkmail, just love mail.
The streets are labeled with these beautiful ceramic signs.
View of the Generalife from the street of Albaicín.
This region of Granada features Flamingo Dancing. Later that week, we scheduled a show but it was canceled due to low attendance. We’ll try to catch a Flamingo Dancing show later when we pass through Seville, Spain.
There where so many bright and colorful doorways in this region of the city. This door also featured some metalwork with a Flamingo Dancer on it.
“Without the valley and its river,
without the sonorous orchard,
they would not have dreamed of the
red towers and gardens.
Granada is the flower left
by the course of that river…”
Most of the stray cats would run away but this one seemed to actually like having its photo taken.
This scooter just seemed to be quintessentially perfect.
The Mirador de San Nicolás is a very popular spot to enjoy the postcard perfect views of the Alhambra with the Sierra Nevadas in the background.
Our tour continued along back towards the Calle Caldería Nueva with its…
…small apartment balconies…
…Moorish styled shops…
…and street art!
We ended up having a very wonderful time experiencing the Alhambra and exploring the city streets. A huge thanks to Angela for putting together the self guided tour that helped us create these wonderful memories of the gorgeous city of Granada!
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