14.08.2013 - 18.08.2013 40 °C
Due to our sad realisation that we wouldn’t make it to Morocco in this part of our trip, we turned to Granada the Spanish city with plenty of Moorish history to make up for our loss. What a lot of pressure for one city to take on and Granada… you didn’t let us down and that is why you get your very own blog page.
Granada was in a word brilliant. We spent four nights and five whole days here and even though we did the usual tourist activities we also spent a lot of time just walking the different quarters and plazas experiencing the variances in cultures and history. One of our favourite spots was the Alcaiceria (the old Arab market) where we spent many an afternoon exploring all the lively, brightly coloured stores set in the narrow alleyways.
Our favourite dinner in Granada was at the Moroccan restaurant Arrayanes where the tagines, homemade non-alcoholic drinks and coffee were to die for. One of the most delicious dinners we have had on the trip so far, if you visit Granada you have to eat there and that’s an order!
Everyone says when you go to Spain you have to see a Flamenco show and we don’t think we could have chosen a better venue to see one at. Thank you to the lady at the tourist office for recommending Duende the flamenco show set in Generalife - the magical gardens of the Alhambra. What a venue to watch a Spanish tradition in and under the stars on a warm summers night no less. Another bonus of Duende was that we got to take a sneak peek at the Alhambra before our scheduled day to visit and as it was quite late at night the palace, grounds and Granada city were all lit up- a pretty magical experience. I think watching Drew enjoy this show was one of my favourite moments of the trip so far. For someone so against it at the start, he ended up loving it and even developed a man crush on the lead flamenco dancer talking about him for days afterwards – “I want to be that guy” quote unquote. They were phenomenal dancers and the live musicians and singers just added to the amazing atmosphere. A big highlight of our Spanish adventure so far. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photos of the actual show so Drew has no photographic memories of his man love.
Another one of our Granada adventures came in the form of an electric bike tour that took us to the Alhambra public grounds and the districts of Albayzín and Sacromonte. The tour was fabulous with the only downside being the bright orange safety vests we were made to wear- coolest kids on the block.
Drew must have zoned out during the “how to use the bikes” introduction at the start of the tour because he forgot to turn on the electric function of his bike during the first very hard hill climb up the Alhambra. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he arrived last wondering how on earth the four girls cruised up the hill so easily. I must admit I didn’t turn back for him as I thought he was just stopping to take photos, a usual scenario on this trip. Poor Drew I still don’t know how he actually managed to cycle a 30kg electric bike up that hill - power calves & thighs on full display that day.
Sacromonte, the old Roma quarter famous for its gypsy caves was our second stop on the bike tour. This was a great stopping point as we got to explore some of the caves that are still being used as homes and shops and also see a pretty spectacular view across to the Alhambra and our next stop Albayzín.
Our last stop on the electric bikes was the Albayzín, Granadas old Muslim quarter. This area had many steep, narrow, cobblestone streets lined with beautiful medieval houses and large mansions. The electric bikes really came in handy in this area. The Albayzín was a great place to end our tour of Granada and also had a pretty great viewpoint (Mirador San Nicolás) over… yep, you guessed it, the amazing Alhambra.
And last but definitely not least we finished our Granada stay with a visit to the Alhambra. Words can’t describe how amazing the Alhambra experience is. Located high in the hills with a spectacular view over Granada the Alhambra is a work of Moorish art. We spent about six hours at this amazing site and could have easily spent more. The Palacio Nazaríes, the Alcazaba and the Generalife gardens were all breathtaking and as words do this place no justice we hope our photos help rely some of that beauty to you all…
We highly recommend Granada to anyone travelling to Spain- it is a must see.