This early summer has me thinking about Granada all the time. Last September, a very dear friend of mine invited some of her friends to stay at her family’s apartment in the south of Spain (a proof for the “travelling leads to more travelling” theory I set up last month :D) and we then went to Granada for a few days.
That city is unlike any other in Europe. You’ll be walking along a modern street and all of a sudden there’s a Nasrid Andalusian portal that looks like it flew there from northern Africa. That’s because the southern part of Spain used to be under Muslim rule and the architecture from that time survived. You can see it in the inner city where the rest of the houses are gorgeous as well, painted in warm colors with beautiful balconies.
On the first day, we decided to go to the Alhambra. After we’d walked up the hill we learned that there were no more tickets available. Apparently they only let 300 people into all of the rooms per day and only 600 into almost everything except the famous Nasrid palaces.
We decided to return early the next morning because we wanted to see everything. So I got up at five to speed-walk up the hill again and was about number 50 in the line for the tickets. I was going to get one of those 300 everything tickets for that day, I was sure of it.
Of course I didn’t. They say they don’t sell them in advance to travel companies or guided tourist groups but something’s not quite right about that, because only the first twelve people in line got tickets. Even if every single one of them had bought twenty tickets they wouldn’t have been limited to those twelve individuals.
So if that’s really important to you, either get up at three or find one of those obscure ways to get a ticket. Nevertheless, the rest of the palace is absolutely gorgeous and I highly recommend going there. Just go in the morning, it gets hot.
The second stupidity was to keep the hike up Albaicín-hill opposite the Alhambra for our last day when we had nowhere to keep our backpacks, so we carried them up the hill and back down again in the midday heat. It was worth it though, this was one of the most beautiful parts of town with old mosaics on the floor, white houses and little palaces with great stories behind them (like the palace erected for the emperor’s wife on the hill opposite the one of the Alhambra palace and a good way away from it).
I also tried to pick a cactus fruit with my bare hands (I know, pretty dumb) and didn’t get the thorns out of my hand until the next day.
So the moral of the story is this: inform yourself online if you want to go somewhere, don’t pick cactus fruits with your bare hands and keep the hiking with added weight to a minimum during the day 😀