I think it was 5 years ago that I had a dream about Granada. Since then I wanted to come and see it! During our tour of southern Spain, the place I was waiting to see the most was Granada! As I read about it, I realized the famous Alhambra palace was there as well! So, after the amazing city of Cordoba it was our next stop and we decided to stay a night there!
When we were booking our hotel in Granada the website said there is parking available! The funny thing is that whatever we did we couldn’t get to the hotel, because it was in the center and all the roads were blocked to traffic. Finally, Shane made it to the hotel, but they did not have parking available and we had to use the public parking, which we ended up paying 40 euro for (around $50)! So that’s what they meant by parking available….expensive public parking! The good part is that the hotel was right in the center and we could reach anywhere by foot. [Shane – I must admit I was fairly upset with the hotel over the parking issue, but it was a good location otherwise.]
Our main destination was Alhambra palace and as it was a popular place, unfortunately the tickets were sold out. So, if you ever go there make sure that you get a ticket online a week or so in advance. We were told that we could arrive at the ticket office at 6 in the morning to line up and wait until 8 for office to open in the hopes of getting two of the limited tickets they sell each morning. Shane volunteered for this job and said you’ll sleep while I will go and get the tickets (such a gentleman). Luckily, we found out that many of the hotels can provide tickets (with a commission of course), so we paid the extra money to save Shane from waking up early and to make sure we got tickets. If you ever visit last minute make sure to keep this option open! [Shane – I think it was $5 extra which is not bad for a last minute option]
Of course, with this amount of demand, Alhambra was packed and it was hot! To get into the palace part they give you a certain time to be there as they take certain amount of people every 30 minutes to avoid too much of a crowd (trust me it was already crowded as we needed to wait with many people to take pictures so we can take one). I have to say it wasn’t the most impressive palace I have ever seen, but it was good. After that we saw the church and Arabic baths next to the palace! The garden parts were very nice with the pools in the courtyards. Seeing this place took us around 4 hours of walking so it does take time and it is tiring but we liked it! [Shane – when you are told you have a ticket for such and such a time, what they mean is that is when you can get into the Palace. Otherwise you can enter Alhambra anytime either in the morning or afternoon depending when you Palace time slot is.]
In general, as a city and historical places Granada did not meet my expectations but I fell in love with Cordoba, so go back a few days to read about that city!