Posted by: Team McSlade | June 6, 2010

Granada… de nada

Alhambra, the Moorish palace is situated here and is a must do on the tour to Spain, thus we got our act in gear and headed south for the cultural experience. As this trip is part of professional development for me (Ryan), we are keeping receipts for everything to claim on the tax return. We have decided that things such as Alhambra come under the banner of ‘Cultural activities’ and as such look forward to the Australian Government paying for a portion of this excursion.

A brief side note here: I am typing this in our apartment in the old city area that has a few bars across the cobbled way with Spaniards strumming out a few flamenco tunes. Wonderful. Free entertainment with the best seats/beds in the house and some guys have gone passed on horses with beers in hands. Remember don’t drink and ride.

Back to it and with 400kms between home and Granada a concerted effort on the drive was needed. Thus a few palmeras bañada con cacao (choc ‘pig’s ears’), chicken sangas and apples fuelled the driver with Jo kipping in the passenger’s seat and the kid’s fraying my nerves. They weren’t that bad, but a few noises were akin to nails down a blackboard and when we hit Granada, that wasn’t a helpful thing.

Generally, we have the directions to our place of slumber dialled, but this tour we decided to wing it and go to the tourist info centre. Awesome idea when the tourist info centre is well sign posted and open – unfortunately for us this was neither of the two, thus we hit up some other hotel for directions to our apartment.
We had to fire through the entire city to the other side and go to Calle Panaderos, cool, how hard can it be? As we scooted through we got onto the cobbled street passed the river, excellent apart from the fact that it is the footpath as well, thus pedestrians are moving chicanes.
The church our street is on is sighted and we go the wrong side of it. No matter, we’ll go around the block. Oh wait, we can’t there are stairs in the way (no driving down them for us). No matter, through a u-turn and go back, we can’t it’s a one way street and taxis are coming at us. So down the hill and do it again.

Quite irritated at poor map reading skills…

( Jo’s interjecting at this point for her spin on it), irritated is an understatement – and in my defence the section of the map for our accommodation was covered with writing so no street names could be seen and it showed a giant green space (park) that would have acted as a useful guide had it been visible – we have come to realise it was hidden behind a giant wall – so no use as a land mark)

Anyway…. I drive along a street only for buses, taxis and authorised vehicles (with a cop behind us), clearly the police must have thought that idiots from Australia qualified us as ‘authorised’ – that or he saw the steam rising from my aggravation and decided he didn’t need that grief in his life.
Back at the top of the hill, take two, drop Jo off, drive to find a park, no good there; then wrong way; thin streets and a drive back down the hill. Third trip was not a charm, thus found a park and decided that I wasn’t driving again until we leave Granada in three days. Add to this when we returned with the luggage Jo was standing on the street as I had her visa card and ID so she couldn’t check in – all in all a great start so far! But we had made it.

Palace grounds

Instructions in Spanish about buses, Alhambra and where to eat and park, then a shower to wash away the drive and we were rapidly out the door to get to Alhambra. On the mini bus and ten minutes later we collected our tickets and headed in. As every man and his dog attend Alhambra you are given a set time to visit the palace. When our time arrived we were promptly through the gates. A dumb American woman asked us if this was the line for the individual ticket holders. ‘Yes’ was the reply (with a softly added ‘…you silly fool, something about that large sign saying ‘Individual ticket holder entrance’ seems to give it away’).

Idiots aside, this place didn’t disappoint. The intricacy in detail and craftsmanship was amazing. The fact that so much is still standing after 600 odd years is astounding. Granted, some restoration has occurred, but the majority is how the Sultans would have viewed it. See the photos to follow for details that I simply cannot describe aptly (even if I could use ten thousand words).
Due to Jo’s cunning logic (she equated ‘under 12 years’ as ’12 and under’) the kid’s viewed this for free and we paid thirteen Euros each. Having paid more for palace’s of a lower calibre in France, we feel a bargain has been had in Granada.

We wandered the grounds of the Generalife section where the food for the palace was grown and as the clock struck 8pm, we were herded out by the security guards. Thus, a few minutes wait for the bus and it was off to get some dinner and enjoy the warm summer night in Granada…

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  1. Hi Ryan, Have loved reading your adventures, but the first part of this one really caught my eye 🙂

    Will catch up when you get back to Adelaide for a beer.

  2. […] This city has soul, it has style and it hasn’t sold it out to the highest bidder. Sure, as the Grenada… de nada blog showed there are a few idiot tourists to fight your way through, but on the whole Grenada […]

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