Thursday, February 17, 2011


The next stop was Granada, which is also in the Andalucía region. Its main claim to fame is the Alhambra palace, however it is also popular for its University, the nearby Sierra Nevada  ski hills, and maintaining the age-old Spanish tradition of free tapas with your beverage.

Granada is also another Spanish city that retains the many cultural influences of its past. A city with a history that extends back to Roman times, the cityscape bares witness to the influence of numerous cultures. In addition to the Nasrid Alhambra, teahouses, tapas bars, Christian Cathedrals and hookah bars are numerous. So we went straight to the busiest Shawarma restaurant we could find!

We reserved the entire afternoon of our second day to the Alhambra. Only so many people are permitted entry per day so you have to book in advance. The Alhambra is a massive “palace city” comprised of the residential palaces, gardens, and orchards surrounded by a defensive wall with several watchtowers.

The Lion’s Palace within the expansive Alhambra is the most popular destination. With our tickets we had to also reserve a specific time for visiting the palace. One of the most famous images of the palace is the Court of the Lions; a small courtyard with a marble lion fountain and running waters that stream away from the courtyard centre in the four directions. In 2007 a major restoration project began; due to the destructive nature of running water. The entire fountain was dismantled, and the lions restored to their original state. The restoration was still underway while we were there. The individual lions had been completed and were on exhibition in a separate space of the palace, but the exterior fountain grounds were still being excavated. 

After spending the afternoon walking the entire grounds we were exhausted. We ended the evening with a few tapas, the next day we left Granada to our sunny southern final destination: Malaga!

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