The Alhambra

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Perhaps one of the most famous places to visit in all of Spain is The Alhambra.

Dating back to AD 889, layer upon layer of diverse cultural history can be found within it’s walls. It was well worth dragging ourselves out of bed early to be one of the first in line to visit that day – or so we thought!

Arriving at the palace visitors centre to pick up our pre booked tickets we were shocked to discover masses of people queueing up in front of us waiting their turn to get in at the appointed time. We waited patiently to get our tickets and through the turnstile before hot footing it (literally) up the hill to the Nazarene Palace to get through the door before our time slot expired! We made it – phew.

Being the height of tourist season meant that the palace was packed. I don’t do crowds! Although this wasn’t my first visit to the palace, it has been over 30 years since I was there as a child. I didn’t remember too much from that childhood visit so I was really keen to take it all in this time. I have a feeling the palace is best visited in the low season and while it may be cold in the winter….the quieter corridors and walkways must make for a more pleasurable experience. Still I did the best I could to take it all in.

However…sorry I’m on a rant here….if I see one more person with a selfie stick….I will snap it. There were SO many people taking selfies that it really got in the way of the enjoyment of the place at certain points. The takers seemed more interested in themselves rather than the beauty and history surrounding them – such a shame. Nevertheless, a visit to this beautiful palace is very worthwhile and not to be missed. Just take your time, let the crowds pass and drink in as much as you can.

The Generallife gardens are a feast for the eyes and senses! Occassionally I’d take a seat, close my eyes and imagine what it must have been like to walk here in years gone by. What stories do these walls and plants have to tell?

A visit to the Alhambra truly is worth the time and while it’s a challenge to take it all in – it’s magical, mystical and other worldly. Simply stunning.

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