day SEVEN (Sept’07). A sight to behold - Alhambra.
My quest fulfilled. I managed to cover one more of UNESCO site (which has also nominated for New 7 Wonders of the World). As usual, we have our day mapped, we’re going to Alhambra in the morning, the site will take 4 hours at min (according to the Alcazaba hostel friendly owner), we will finish by afternoon; carry on with walk and a little exploring of the town. “smile” can’t ask for more.
We have booked our tix online back home to avoid the queue as we read reviews that they control the amount of crowd in and also there are timing to adhere. The tixs are to be redeemed at a machine whereby Andrea just need to insert her credit card that was used to purchased the tix and the machine will just purge out the tix. Wow! Changgih!
We entered the fortress and rent a mobile tourguide narrator (available in few language), with this; you don’t need a human tour guide to take/show you around. Just press the numbers according to the location shown and it will tell you what is there to see and a brief history of it. More changgih (again!)! This is one place where we took sooooooo many pics that our camera ran out of battery before the day end. Hahahah… *satisfied*
Alhambra is divided into 3 parts which as created originally for military purposes; "alcazaba" (fortress), an "alcázar" (palace) and a small "medina" (city) , basically it’s like a town inside a town. As it is located on top of the hill, at night it looked rather majestic & mystical all at the same time. As we walked in, we passed by Charles V Palace, displaying a Renaissance style, it represents Italian classicism in Spanish architecture (obviously I copy this from website!). We don’t expect much as we have seen this type of buildings in other part of Europe country. We didn’t even venture into the museum located inside either as we need to read the Nasrid Palaces as per the stipulated hour.
We reached Nasrid Palaces (Palacios Nazaríes) on time (phew!), the queue is not that long in fact we were quite early. The Nasrid Palaces were the residence of the kings of Granada. Its construction was started by the founder of the dynasty, Alhamar, in the thirteenth century. And you have to see the walls and the carving! These walls enclose the refinement and the delicateness of the last Hispano-Arab governors of Al Andalus. Three main palaces form these premises: The Mexuar, The Comares, or Yusuf I Palace and The Palace of the Lions, or of Mohammed V. Water is the element that shapes the palace, combining the garden with architecture. We manage to cover all, thanks to our “tour guide”.
From Nasrid Palace, we are able to see The Daraxa garden; a closed garden - a place of charms and delights. You can see a fountain in the middle with flowers and orange trees surrounding it (hemm… can we eat them?).
Later we took a tour to Generalife, villa of the sultans of Granada (good to be king!), it is surrounded by orchards and gardens. We followed our “tour guide” advice and climb the Water Staircase, to hear the clear, cold water running thru the stairs. At the end of the Water Stairway is the highest point in the Generalife - Romantic Observation Point, built in 1836.
After all the girl gardens, we went to a macho honcho area - Alcazaba; fortified military complex and also the oldest part of Alhambra. The bestest thing is that this area contains the famous Torre de la Vela, a watchtower that has an unbeatable view of Granada. We took a walk on Armas Tower and as high as Vela Tower. If only we had a Malaysia flag when we were up there - it could have been perfect.
Another day of Hop-On Hop-Offing
Credits : Wikipedia, Alhambra.info, Trekexchange, Hostelbooker, UNESCO, 7wonders, Granadainfo