Sunday, 29 August 2010

Tales from the Alhambra

And a prize to the first person to spot the literary allusion! (The prize, of course, being the continued joy of reading Crafty Manoeuvres and that warm fuzzy feeling of success)

And as for the Alhambra, all I can say is Wow, I mean, wow! What an amazing place. Sadly most of the world seems to know that so it is incredibly busy, but I must admit Lonely Planet came up trumps with the recommendation of booking either the earliest or the latest tour of the day for a quieter visit. Since I was travelling on the train this morning (of which more later), it was the last slot of the day I went for and I wasn't disappointed. By dawdling, I actually managed to get some photographs without people in them, and I certainly go to enjoy the Palace in something coming close to tranquility. If you're lucky enough to visit any time, I really would recommend booking ahead and following LP's advice of first or last slot of the day.

The downside of an afternoon ticket was that I was wandering round the gardens for a couple of hours in the scorching sun, but it was still worth it for the beauty of the Palacios Nazaries without too many other people.

And in any case, it's much cooler here in Granada than in Seville - a chilly 37 degrees! All I can say is, it's a good job I've been here long enough to start acclimatising for today's ordeal.

To be honest, otherwise I'm not really sure about Granada - it's possibly the most touristy place so far. And with Cordoba in the mix, that's saying something. It could be that all I've seen are the tourist traps so far - let's see what tomorrow brings. Put it this way, you certainly know you're on the right route for the Alhambra from the quality (not!) of the shops en route.

My other tip for anyone visiting is - don't be proud, take the bus up to the Alhambra - particularly if you're here in the summer. It's quite a trek in the heat!!

So other than Alhambra and checking into my hotel - very central and on what looks like one of the main Paseos for the locals, Ice cream central! - the rest of my day was spent travelling. 3 hours from Seville on a Media Distance train, with only limited airconditioning. Not a pleasant experience! And as for the countryside, it was pretty much dry dusty olive groves the whole way until we got close to Granada, and then the Sierra Nevada hove into view and it was all worth it.

Now, if I can just work out how to get to Malaga airport on Wednesday...

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