We extended Presidents’ Day weekend by a few days in a location that was supposed to be a nice sunny break from Yorkshire.  We chose Spain to see the Alhambra (our 42nd world heritage site!).

We arrived in Granada after a decent amount of traveling via bus, plane, bus, bus and taxi. We stayed in the old part of Granada called the Albayzín. It’s the oldest part of the city and has a great view of the Alhambra. Neil was absolutely fantastic during the entire journey there, smiling at everyone 🙂 By the time we got there it was already past Neil’s bedtime, so we got some groceries and called it a night.

Day 1

The next morning we set off to see some of the historic sites in the city. It was a bit rainy, but nothing we’re not used to in Yorkshire.

Like most of our trips we plan our schedule around eating local food. Keeping with this plan, we had a second breakfast of chocolate churros. During this meal Neil discovered that spoons are fun. He also realized that the Spanish love babies and he loved to smile and get reactions from the locals.

After the chocolate churros we went to the Granada Cathedral. It was primarily built in the 15th and 16th century and has a majestic atmosphere. The architecture is very different from the British cathedrals, which is most noticeable in the very large nave and multiple small chapels.

The Cathedral also had many relics. This was our favorite. Based on the head on a platter (not real) we assume the containers on the side contain something from John the Baptist.

After the Cathedral we adventured on to our next meal. We decided on tapas. Neil had a good time there because the waiters kept smiling at him. We also discovered Alhambra and Alhambra Sin on tap. This is a local beer and they make an excellent non-alcoholic version (Sin), which is probably due to the large Muslim population.

Next we went to the Royal Chapel of Granada. The mausoleum contain the remains of several monarchs including Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II (the monarchs who sponsored Christopher Columbus). We couldn’t take pictures inside, so you’ll have to imagine it.

The rain was letting-up, so we decided to walk to the scenic overlook at the top of the Albayzín. It was a strenuous walk, but well worth it. At the top we had a great view of the Alhambra. There was also a guitar player and several other people enjoying the view and music.

Neil also enjoyed dancing to the music 🙂

Day 2 – The Alhambra

The Alhambra is an extensive complex consisting of a palace, garden, fort and bunch of other buildings. It has been built in pieces for over a thousand years. We figured that this would be a full day activity, so we headed out early.

The walk to the entrance is on the far side of the complex, so it was about a 45 minute walk to get there. Along the way we stopped to show Neil his first waterfall. He was very intrigued by it. We also saw Bonsai.

Once inside, we went to the Nasrid Palaces first. These palaces are the most popular part of the Alhambra, so you need to have a reserved time to get in. We got there a few minutes early, so we spent a little time wandering around the newer Christian built Palace of Charles V first.

Upon entering the Nasrid Palaces, it was obvious why it was so popular. The details in the architecture and decorations are extensive. We have a ton of pictures of tiles. Here are a few:

This Courtyard of the Lions is probably the most famous part.

After the palaces we were a bit wet and needed a break so we stopped by a restaurant and got coffee and cake. Neil had a great time chatting with the wait staff.

The Alhambra is large, so we had to continue on to see it all. The next part we saw was the The Alcazaba, aka The Fortress. It was a relatively large fortress, not that much different from the military style castles in England.

The final part of our visit was in The Generalife. This was the recreational palace. The gardens were nice and probably would have been fantastic if everything was in bloom. We were also finally getting some sun.

We were absolutely exhausted at this point. We took a nice walk around town and then headed in for the night.

Day 3 and the Trip Home

We finally had a day of no rain!

Our plan was to spend the day walking to the San Jeronimo Monastery and then the Basilica San Juan Dios.

On our way to the monastery, we stopped again for some more chocolate churros. These were even tastier than the last time! We got to take some pictures outside because the rain finally stopped.

Neil had a great time smiling at everyone.

We then continued walking to the monastery. When we got there there was a sign out front with a description. Unfortunately, the English translation was on the back which was about six inches from the wall.

It was bigger and more ornate than we expected. We were a bit shocked when we walked in to the chapel.

It was a rather nice day so we continued to walk around town enjoying the nice weather.

When we got to the Basilica they were in the middle of mass so we just stuck our heads in for a minute.

At this point, it was about 2:30, so places were starting to open for lunch. We decided to get tapas again, but this time we did it Granada style. In Granada if you go to a tapas section of town you can order drinks and they bring you complimentary tapas. Again, Neil had a great time smiling at everyone at the restaurants and bars.

After the tapas, we walked around a bit more eventually taking another walk to the observation area at the top of the Albayzín. This time we did the entire walk with no map. It felt like a big accomplishment since the Albayzín roads are laid out like a plate of spaghetti.

That night we got sushi take-away and ate in.

The next day was spent traveling home. It was relatively uneventful except that our plane was supposed to leave at 3pm, but we were delayed until 8:30pm. This means we got to end out trip spending a decent amount of time at the airport play gym.

Day 1 – Full Album
Day 2 – Full Album
Day 3 – Full Album
Video Playlist

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