Sunday, November 19, 2017
After a 20 minute walk we boarded a bus for the airport in Barcelona by 5 am. By 10:30 we’d, dropped our bags at the hostel (Pension Olympia) had breakfast in Grenada and joined a free walking tour of the city. It was a good one. There was lots of walking, interesting tidbits and the history directly related to everything we were seeing.
Pedro had recommended trying the churros and chocolate at the Alhambra restaurant and suggested only ordering 2 for the 3 of us as you get so much. They were delicious but even just one order would have been enough. You get a LOT!
After checking into our a room and a quick break, we climbed the hill to scope out Alhambra to best optimize our tickets for the following day. Then back down the hill, wander around town for a bit and climb the hill across from the Alhambra for the sunset views. Dinner was a set menu (10 euro) at a restaurant along the way where we tried the local dish of eggplant drizzled with honey. It tasted more like molasses but was delicious.
By the time we got back to our room we were all exhausted. Our garmins said 24,000 steps and so much of it was HILL!
Spaniards aren’t in the habit of eating breakfast but we needed something before tackling the Alhambra. We finally found a place that would serve us a coffee and croissant, then climbed the hill to the heritage sight.
First was the Nasrid palace. Even in November you have to buy your tickets at least a month in advance to get the time you want. They only allow a certain number of people in at a time (I think it’s 300) so you have to book your time. We’d reserved 9 am so got there at 8:45 to get an audio guide then waited our turn to enter. Here’s a link for the place to buy tickets you can print and take along.
I had to do a lot of searching to find a way that didn’t make it complicated. Many sites have you reserve and pay for your ticket but you’ve got to pick it up when you get here. That’s a pain as you may not want to enter at the main gate. It’s quite far from the Nasrid palace.
According to the audio guide, you can follow their route and tour the whole place in 3 hours. We took 5.5 hours to do it. We REALLY saw the whole thing. The audio guide was 6 euros and definitely worth it. Amongst the heritage buildings there were lots of cats running wild. One seemed to be the pet of a security guard as he would whistle and it came.
There’s a shrub called myrtle planted everywhere as apparently they thought it smells nice. I thought it smelled like perm solution. Sue said she smelled cat pee. I guess “nice” is subjective?
By the time we left, we were starving and a young woman came out of a side street offering a nice looking set menu for 10.90 eu so we went for it. The Tavern El Taller turned out to be really good.
After wandering lots of side streets and checking out vendors, noting that a lot of the merchandise is Moroccan, we headed back to our room for a rest.
The Alhambra. The pictures just don’t do it justice. You have to see it for yourself!