Thursday, January 29, 2009


Wednesday was an excellent day! I slept wonderfully in my gem of a room. Headed off in search of the famed Alhambra which is almost straight up the hill from where I am staying. I walked up quite awhile and arrived at the ticket entrance.
In peak season 6000 people a day visit the Alhambra. Fortunately, since I am here in very much off-season I didn’t even have to wait in line – somewhat unheard of. The only minor hitch was that for unreserved tickets purchased on site for immediate entry you needed cash and I had none. I had forgotten to get any prior to heading up the hill. A lovely woman in the mini gift shop showed me where there were ticket machines and an ATM. FYI- like French rail ticket machines – these rejected my perfectly valid credit card. Thankfully the ATM worked and so off I was to take in the Muslim palace.
There is a lot to the complex and it was confusing to some of us, but we figured it out. The super attraction is the Palace - for which you have an assigned visit time – the rest of your visit is either all morning or all afternoon. The Palace is jaw-dropping – just unfathomable detail in every wall and ceiling. I spent over three hours at the complex and recommend you allow at least that much time.
I then spent the rest of the day walking, walking, walking, checking out the happening little neighborhoods. In one I found a cheap and delicious natural foods restaurant, in another a darling little health food store all the while winding through tiny stone streets squirreling through the old part of the city.
Unlike Malaga, the University students give Granada a very student pulse. I heard magnificent flamenco music in one plaza, found little artisan shops, and finished my day with a trip to the Hammam – the Arab baths – for deep soaking and a short massage. I will say goodbye to my friend, Serjio, and head off to Cordoba on a morning train.

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