Km travelled today/sum: 171km / 8528km
Sun shine, 30 degrees, country road
We managed to leave Ronda the next day after all. Following a beautiful ride through the mountain we hit the highway and were in Granada in no time. From our hotel room, we had a nice view onto the surrounding mountains.
The next day we hopped onto the train, which would bring us close to the Alhambra.
We walked from the train station to the entrance, most of the way being… uphill. The Alhambra is a fortress complex, which was built on the ruins of a roman fortification and then extended from around 600 BC by the Sultans and later by Kings. We entered the Alhambra through the Justice Gate.
The tickets to the Nasrid Palaces, the most interesting part of the Alhambra, are time bound. We got some tickets for the late morning. We were amazed as soon as we entered the palaces. The details in the decoration were magnificent!
Entering the Palace of the lions was the highlight of our visit. The rich decorations as well as the court yard were just awe inspiring. Below is the entrance to the court yard.
And here is the court yard and the fountain, which gave the palace its name. Each of the twelve lions is slightly different. Some have different paws, other different faces or fur.
One side of the court yard leads to the hall of two sisters, which had a dome honeycombed with tiny cells comprising the ceiling.
We were again and again amazed by the intricacy of the craftsmanship in plaster, stone or wood.
Some ceilings had small windows with colourful glass, which illuminated the wall with different colours.
Below is a nice view into a garden with a fountain. In the palace, the temperature was pleasant even when it was around 35 degrees outside. The open design with the fountains and the garden worked like a natural evaporative air condition.
From the place we walked to the ‘General life’, the sultan’s summer place outside of the fortified Alhambra. In case of danger, the Alhambra could be reached in minutes by foot. The garden with the water fountain felt really nice, particular during the hot day.
One staircase had a water channel as a handrail, which I found quite unique.
From here we walked to the older part of the Alhambra, ‘The Alcazaba’ which was the fortress only. Later on, the Palaces, Gardens, Housings and new rampages with defence towers were added. I must admit, we had the best view over Granada from the largest tower.
And here is the view from the tower along the rampage. It is hard to show the dimensions of this defence structure.
After around seven hours in the ‘warm’ weather, we were exhausted and went back to our hotel with aircon J. Tomorrow we ride to Cordoba to have a look at a cross pollination between Christian and Islamic architecture.