December 11th, 2015

Today we decided to take a break from our “mini-vacation” and head over to Granada, Spain. Granada is a few hours away from Malaga and it’s located up in the mountains. Our purpose for visiting Granada was to see The Alhambra.

As we mentioned a few days ago we booked a tour to Granada through our hotel. Unfortunately, the tour picked us up at our hotel at 5:00 am, which was way too early to be up. However we did it and got up to catch our bus.

The tour started off interestingly. Our tour guide was a little grumpy and he got slightly upset when a few people were ignoring him. He wasn’t afraid to voice his frustration either. Thankfully he wasn’t with us the whole day and we had a different guide at The Alhambra.

The Alhambra is a palace/fortress and because Wikipedia can give a much better history lesson than what we remember here’s an overview of The Alhambra’s history…

“[The Alhambra] It was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889 and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada.[2]

Alhambra’s Islamic palaces, as we know them today, were built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain and the court of the Nasrid dynasty. After the conquest of Granada by the Reyes Católicos (“Catholic Monarchs”) in 1492, some portions were used by Christian rulers. The Palace of Charles V, built by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1527, was inserted in the Alhambra within the Nasrid fortifications. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the buildings being occupied by squatters, Alhambra was rediscovered in the 19th century by European scholars and travelers, with restorations commencing. It is now one of Spain’s major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country’s most significant and well known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the inspiration for many songs and stories.[3]

The Alhambra was gorgeous and we had a great time visiting the site. Not to mention our guided tour was in English and Spanish, which meant we got in some extra Spanish language practice!

Here’s a look at our tour of The Alhambra…

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After the tour of The Alhambra we headed into the town of Granada to have lunch. We sat with a mother and daughter from Malaysia and received some much appreciated feedback on what to do in Thailand. We’ll definitely be taking their advice when we visit early next year.

Then we had a change of plans, we were told by the hotel that there was supposed to be a small city tour after lunch. That didn’t end up happening and we’re going to have a little chat with our concierge tomorrow about that and the guide for day tour.

After lunch we headed back to Malaga and to our hotel. The bus ride was long but we had a great time on our tour today even if it was slightly interesting. Now it’s time for dinner!

Happy Travels,

Ryan & Melissa