Architectural Beauty of Granada
I took more pictures in Granada than in any other city during our summer in Europe. Everyone had told me how wonderful Granada was – they gave me reasons like long summer nights drinking beer and eating free tapas. Who doesn’t love those things?!
But what I fell in love with was the beauty of the city.
I loved the mix of Arabic and Spanish architecture. I couldn’t get enough of the mosaic tiles. Put them with brick and I will never leave. Oh, and the plates attached to the outside walls of the buildings were whimsical and beautiful.
The most famous Arabic architectural structure is the Alhambra.
How do I describe this place…? First of all, it’s old. Really old. It began as a Roman fortress in 889. Then, it was renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century when Granada was under Moorish control. However, the emir and sultan who built much of the current structure, including a palace, only built it to last one generation. Yet, nearly 700 years later its still standing! After the Christians took over in 1492, the Alhambra was renovated again in a Renaissance style. So, this amazing compound has Roman, Arabic, and Renaissance architectural elements. I was blown away.
We took the English guided tour, which lasted all morning (beat the heat!) and was amazing. Without the tour, I would have been lost. Plus we got to see some things those not on a guided tour get to see. Worth every penny. This was also one of the few things I booked several months in advance since it is so popular. Its nearly impossible to get tickets the day of.
We spent a lot of time relaxing in this city since Martin was fighting a bad cold. The days were hot and the nights were cool and the air was dry. Our skin, having gotten used to the humid weather of Barcelona, became rough and our voices became scratchy, which only made Martin’s cold hang on that much longer.
There was a delicious vegan restaurant that we loved so much we ate there twice.
After Granada, we took a bus to Seville where we spent the night before catching a plane to Barcelona and then another bus to Montpellier. Seville was nice because it wasn’t filled with tourists. This also meant that we finally had to use our meager Spanish (yay!)
Southern Spain deserves more than just a few days. I hope we can go back there very soon.