Arabian nights

So many crevices for Genie to hide. So many nooks and crannies for multiple genii to spring a surprise.

Alhambra
I walked up Sacromonte to take this pic, but we could breathe in the awesomeness of The Alhambra right from the doorstep of our barrio Albaicin

Here we are in Alhambra, Granada! We reached at night and hung around our barrio Albaicin for tapas that came free with every alcoholic drink. It is home to gypsies and flamenco, and our short 3 day trip was filled with lively music and awesome busking, lots of snacks, and jaw-dropping architecture. Even Dad was in awe of the buildings and architectural elements.

The first day was a massive scare! I was not able to purchase the tickets to the Alhambra even a month before our trip! I thought we would just head over and try our luck at getting in, or finding some other methods of access when we reach (yup, I have that much faith in Universe, and dad had that much faith in me. hah). The minute we checked in, I enquired about admission, but they had no tickets either. We had two choices – try our luck at the actual entrance, or pay for a private tour. I was all ready to pay (super a lot more) for the private tour, and I definitely would not mind skipping the crowd.

The bane of stubbornness though. I just refused to take no for an answer, and we walked up the hill / mountain (!!my tired feet!!) early in the morning to queue. I was shocked to know that they really do not have tickets. Not sure which Genie came to our rescue:  somehow my insistence of getting my way brought us into this location where purchasing tickets was not an issue at all. Not that I want to keep it a secret, but I could not remember at all how we managed that! I was too exhilarated and relieved that we would get to see it! But, the catch was that we had to go there only in the afternoon slot that very day. Ouch. We had to decide between hanging out there for four hours till it is our turn, or heading down, grab either a nap, or a drink, a tapas, and then head up again. So we chose the latter, and strolled down to the hotel to nap.

Dad was sooooo relieved that we got to see what we went there for. “We travelled 11,000km here – it’ll be crazy if we didn’t get to see it at all”. I can still feel the euphoria merely from browsing through these old pics.

The majesty of very fine intricate carvings in repeated geometry and motifs. It is unbelievable. The material and texture, and the play of natural light on their surfaces. Oh my gosh. I could make another trip there anytime. The landscaping speaks of grandeur at every step – axis after axis, flowy water, fountains after fountains. Even the drains are pebbled and pretty.

As though all the awesomeness was not enough, there is even an Alcazaba from the 9th century. It is not grand and pretty like the above sections, but it holds much history and strength – one can see how people lived then (look at how the spaces are compartmentalised) and the need for survival (or proud expansion) of the different kingdoms.

And that is just The Alhambra.

Just half a day at the Alhambra. We spent another two days wandering the rest of the Granada city and its hilly barrios.

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