Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Alhambra!


Friday 24 April 2015

24 degrees - blissfully warm and sunny

Things to know about the Alhambra

1.  Booking tickets online just doesn't work

2.  Booking at the ticket office in Granada is fraught because virtually all the tickets are sold out for weeks ahead

3.  Thanks to Australian couple I met on a bus, I learned that if you go and queue from 7 am onwards at the ticket office at the entrance to the Alhambra, then you stand a good chance of getting some of the 300-400 tickets issued each day.  We didnt know this with the result that we only got one ticket from the town ticket office and I went alone.  OH went to a garden and read his book on Wellington and how he enjoyed thrashing the French and the Spanish

4.  There are few places to buy refreshments when you are actually in the palace complex. The shops do not sell sun tan creme or hats.  You can buy water, drinks and ice cream. There are toilets.  You can take photos in most parts of the palace and gardens.

5.  The Alhambra is VAST!  You need easily four hours to get around.  The best parts are the Generalife and the Nasrene palaces.

6.  The footpaths are cobbled and uneven.  You need good solid footwear, hat, a light pashmena to shade yourself from hot sun, water, suncreme and a bag where you can easily access your ticket, which is asked for at the entrance of every part of the palace and gardens.

7.  There is a hotel Parador right in the heart of the complex.  There is also a hotel called the Hotel America which looks absolutely charming. http://www.hotelamericagranada.com/index.php/en/

8.  Access to the Nazrene palais is by appointment only - this is marked on your ticket.  If you get there late, THEY WILL NOT LET YOU IN.

I spent five hours in the complex and it was completely wonderful.  The views of the mountains and the city were without compare.  The gardens were green and tranquil.  I got to the Nazrene palais late and they wouldnt let me in.  I was very tired and stopped to cool my feet in a fountain, which was deliciously refreshing.  Small fish came and investigated my toes.  A girl from Alaska joined me and showed me pictures of the Nazrene palais.  I decided that I had not come to Granada not to see the best bits; walked around to the exit area of the palais and waited until no one was around, shinned down a couple of terraces, hopped over some barriers and ducked under a turnstyle and sauntered casually in by the rear of the complex.  Trust me, it was well worth it.

What was not worth it was not looking where I was going and falling off a step.  I landed on the cobbles with some force and was picked up by a Cruz Roja man and a lady.  They put my glasses back on my nose and the CR man asked if I wanted some water.  A nurse came out and wiggled around my blackening leg and said I was OK to continue on the visit.  The CR man offered me a cigarette.  Only in Spain.

I, of course, took 5 million photos which I will be posting when I get back home and reduce them in size.  I hope you love it as much as I did and I hope you get to go and see it for yourselves one day.