Granada is a city I could visualize myself living in, though I would find it difficult to be so far away from the beach. Central Granada has the usual combination of old and new buildings. Gran Via de Colon and Calle Reyes Catolicos are main streets that have restaurants and other businesses lined along them. We found the Plaza Nueva area a good place to find a room and keep us nearby to our main interest, the Alhambra. The plaza has many hotels or hostals close by, and in the evening the restaurants in the plaza offer some decent meals while the local musicians come out to add to the atmosphere. One night we were fortunate enough to strike up a conversation with a Flamenco guitarist. We spent the evening listening to a master player and discussing music, and our national and cultural backgrounds.
Granada’s main attraction is the Alhambra and Generalife. To get there take Cuesta de Gomerez from Calle Reyes Catolicos up the hill to the entrance. We walked up the road, but there are buses that will take you up, as well. Once inside the Alhambra monument, we were pleasantly impressed with its beauty. There are many different parts to the complex, but the combination of European and Muslim architecture, beautiful greenery, and ever-present use of water will leave a lasting impression. You will be able to walk through the living and meeting areas of the buildings, and visit the Generalife (garden) where you can easily spend hours enjoying the tranquil setting hearing the sounds of running water everywhere you go. Taking the time to visit the Alhambra in the evening was a good choice. Even though the entire site is not open at night, it is quite a different perspective and we found it a very magical experience. We ended up visiting the Alhambra on a third day to enjoy the Generalife gardens. That afternoon we had a relaxing lunch at the restaurant Parador San Francisco adjacent to the gardens. The food there was quite good; I would recommend the curried goat, a little pricey, though very delicious, and all with the beautiful picturesque gardens in the background.
Part of my stay in Granada I spent taking a walk up along Carrera del Darro, which later becomes Paseo de los Tristes and brings you to a north side view of the Alhambra. At this point I was in the old Muslim quarter called Albayzin. A walk around its hilly and narrow streets gives another look at Granada’s colorful history. Some of the hills are very steep, so bring some good walking shoes. Small buses squeeze through these streets, so there is another alternative if you are not up for the walk.
I felt there was more to enjoy in Granada, but we only had a few days to spend there. Being limited on time is always frustrating, but our next destinations were Valencia and Mallorca.
Do you know you know of any other interesting sights in Granada?