Visiting the Alhambra in Granada
On Wednesday, we docked in Malaga, but since both my wife and I know that city well, we took a bus to visit the Alhambra in Granada.
Malaga is a wonderful city I hold dear in my heart (the more museums they add, the better it gets, although it’s time they do something with their dry riverbed like Valencia did) and have visited many many times. My wife had also been there before. But she had never been to Granada, and her customers always ask about the Alhambra, so it was clear we had to take the opportunity and go.
The two hour bus ride was comfortable, and once we got to Granada, we took a taxi straight to the Alhambra because we knew it takes several hours to visit properly, and we had to be careful to return to the ship on time for its sail away.
What can be said abut the citadel, fortress and palace complex built on Sierra Nevada’s Sabika hill, and its beauty, that hasn’t been said before?
It was started in 1238 by the first Nasrid emir, and was subsequently expanded until 1526 when Charles I commissioned his Renaissance Mannerist palace to be built there. After neglect that lasted centuries, and surviving Napoleon’s retaliatory attack for being pushed out of Spain, foreign intellectuals “re-discovered” it, and now it’s a major tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We visited and marveled at the Alcazaba, the Royal Palaces (with the iconic Court of Lions), and the Palace of Generalife. Once of the most astounding aspects of the whole complex is the water supply system that uses only gravity to provide water (and cooling and ventilation) to the whole complex and its many fountains.
As much as we would have loved to stay longer, not just at the Alhambra, but also so I could show my wife around enchanting Granada and its wonderful teashops, we had to go back to the ship. And that’s when the real adventure started. We had planned to return by train, but the last train back was surprisingly a little past 5pm. So we went from the train station to the bus station. But the next bus was all sold out and the following one was cutting it too close. So we went to the airport in order to rent a car. Yet the prices they quoted us were so preposterously high (due to no advanced reservation and returning the car in another city) that we decided to take an Uber. It wasn’t cheap, but it was quick and extremely convenient. So much so that we even made it back in time for the formal night dinner, which we enjoyed at the Atlantide restaurant.
Some photos here.