Last time I visited the Alhambra I was in my 20s and it was a very crowded and a very hot day trip with no time to see the town of Granada. This time I travelled by bus from Seville – 3 hours – and spent two nights there (at the excellent Eurostars Washington Iriving Hotel) which gave me plenty of time to explore both to my heart’s content. November is a great time to visit – comfortable walking temperatures, clear skies, far less tourists and snow on the Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance (a place where snow belongs as far as I’m concerned).
From my hotel I could walk through the forest by the Alhambra into town. Autumn comes much later here so the colours were a bonus. Like Seville, although festive decorations are up nothing has been switched on yet – it is after all still November! Very civilised. The town of Granada is a decent size and there are nice walks in the modern parts and the old Jewish and Moorish quarters.
Next on to the iconic Alhambra Palace – right outside my hotel. It is hard to realise that only about 20% of the original palace exists (it is still huge) as the rest was destroyed – a fair bit by Napoleon I think?! Washington Irving’s book Tales of the Alhambra,which I now have to read, helped bring in initial money which was used to restore the place. There is still more that can be restored but Andalucian bureaucracy is slow.
There are so many things to love about this place.
Is it the architecture?
Or the ceilings?
Or the interiors?
Or the views from the inside out?
Or the gardens?
Or staggering up the steep roads of the Albaycin- the old moorish quarter on the other side – to get to the St Nicholas lookout and watch the sun set over the Palace and the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains?
You can decide………