Our second town in Spain was Granada. It’s tiny compared to Madrid but rich in history and tradition. If you ever want to feel the interesting juxtaposition of Christianity and Islam crammed into a small Spanish town, this is it. Granada is over 2500 years old and still has the imprints of both the Moorish conquest around 750AD and the subsequent Christian Reconquista. We stayed in the neighborhood of Albaycin, an area with both Spanish and Arabic shops and restaurants all scattered around narrow, winding streets, with white-washed buildings, old churches and even a mosque. Granada is a town where history and culture is right in front of you. Everywhere we walked we felt like we stepped back in time; be it the medieval fortress and palace above us on the hill, or the gypsy cave dwellings which host some beautiful flamenco dance performances. Here are some pics of our time in this very unique and breathtaking town …
The Alhambra. Situated on a hill and home of the Nasrid sultans and the last Moorish conquest. There is a medieval fortress, a palace with stunning Arabic architecture, and lush gardens here all situated on the edge of a hill and overlooking the town.
Inside the palace, we were fascinated by the varied Arabic decorations in each room. Most were covered with calligraphic inscriptions that formed into interesting geometrical patterns.
One of the last remaining towns in Spain where you get free delicious tapas for every drink you order. One of our favorite things to do here was to sit outside the cafés in one of the various small plazas (like the one here near the Bib Rambla), order some drinks with tapas, and enjoy some live street performance. By the way, even though the tapas are free, they don’t just throw you some cheap inedible bar snacks. These are good and there are different tapas for each drink you order. And we noticed that the longer you stayed and the more drinks you ordered, the better and more interesting the tapas. The ones we had at Bar La Tana were simply divine.
Flamenco dancing. They say it was born here but that nowadays the really gifted dancers follow the money to Barcelona. Regardless, there appeared to be many good places to see flamenco shows, especially in the Arabic quarter of Sacramonte, where we caught one of the performances.
The beautiful and enchanting streets of Granada will never cease to amaze us…
… now, onward to Barcelona!