Granada, a place that I think is famous: 1)The Alhambra and 2)The Sacromonte area. The Alhambra is a must-see attraction and we have actually booked a tour with Granavision to bring us around for a half-day tour, given that The Alhambra is huge and not easy to explore. I have actually learnt that The Game of Thrones was also shot in The Alhambra as well, which makes me want to visit even more although I am not exactly a big fan of that TV series.
If you happens to stay around Sacromonte area (which we happened to stay at that area), you will be able to see The Alhambra from far. For your info, the name ‘Alhambra’ means red fortress in Arabic due to its walls and towers look red during sunset. Some of the places that were highlighted during the tour were ‘Court of Lions’ and ‘Generalife’.
The design of The Alhambra is very ‘Arabic’ in its own manner that wherever we go, we can recognized some of the motifs and their language. After the tour has ended, we were allowed to stay around and continue to explore this place.
After the visit, we walked to this tapas place called Bar La Riviera. They offer big food options and their tapas were really good. For every alcoholic drink ordered, it comes with a complementary tapas. As we were not aware of that, we ordered some drinks and planning to order 3 different main courses to try when the waitress actually stop us from ordering. So, we ended up having two complementary tapas and two main courses which almost ‘killed’ us when we left that place. Recommend this place for budget travelers as the pricing is reasonable.
After the meal, we went to Granada Cathedral, which can be easily located along the Gran Via area. And, outside the Cathedral, you can buy some tea leaves and preserved fruits from the vendors as souvenirs. The Granada Cathedral is a small place that will only require less than an hour to complete the tour. Their opening times can be very weird, so make sure to do your homework before going.
From Granada Cathedral, we went circling around, trying to locate Palacio de la Madraza and Capilla Real de Granada. Finally, we managed to locate Palacio de la Madraza. For 2 euro, it comes with a 20 minutes tour that will give an brief introduction to the design of the architecture. After the tour, we stepped out of Palacio de la Madraza and realized the Capilla Real de Granada was just right in front of it. But unfortunately, it was already very late and it was closed for the day.
When we reached our accommodation (located at the Sacromonte area), we decided to go up to the rooftop to check out the night view of The Alhambra. It was just nice that the crescent moon was hanging right above the palace. A very nice view from our place. Would recommend travelers to stay at this area and experience the nice night scenery. A tip for travelers is to have packed light as these accommodations are usually located on the slopes and the steps are usually very steep. We have trouble moving our luggage up to our accommodation when we first reached Granada that night. Another thing to note is that Granada is famous for Zambra performance and it just so happens that Zambra Maria la Canastera is located right at the bottom of our accommodation. As we were super tired moving luggage, we did not manage to watch their performance.
In the following morning (which was also our last day in Granada), we started off with Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte, a museum about the Sacromonte. It is located about 10 minutes walk away from our accommodation. The museum is worth visiting as they showcase the different caves and their purposes, as well as how the people in olden days lived in this place. The interesting feature about Sacromonte is that they are actually caves that are white in color and some of these caves were used as residential area.
Our next stop of the day is El Banuelo, the oldest and best preserved Arab baths in Spain. The highlight of this attraction is the star-shaped and octagon-shaped skylights lined along roof, which is the only opening for sunlight to shine through.
After a 30 minutes visit at El Banuelo, we continued walking to Mirador de San Nicholas, a great spot for seeing The Alhambra from far. Here, there is a short performance by the local artist playing a guitar and singing to accompany this nice scenery. There is an ice-cream place nearby and their ice-cream tasted so fantastic in this cold weather. The shop owner even gave us some postcards for free.
Having ice-cream as our ‘appetizer’, we went hunting for our next lunch location, i.e. Carmela Restaurant. Somehow, I think we went to the wrong outlet and ended up paying for the most pricey meal in Granada. But to be honest, their food was really delicious and portion is huge.
With limited amount of time left before returning to our accommodation to pack and rush for the airport, we tried to locate this bakery, Pan y Dulces. Unfortunately, we made a few wrong turns and by the time we managed to find this shop, it was closed and will only be open at 5pm. Although we were disappointed not able to try out the pastries, we continued down to Alcaiceria, a small street selling a lot of souvenirs. The shops sell mainly key chains, bracelets etc at reasonable pricing.
And, that it is all for Granada. Adios!