The pathways were lined by legions of slender towering cypress trees, dark green tips meeting the deep blue sky in stark contrast. The hedges, so neatly trimmed, sharp edges lining the gardens. Orange trees, with bright citrus orbs peeping out from so many green leaves. A magnificent view of the city showcasing tiny buildings lining the hillside. Opaque white fluffy clouds floating against a deep blue sky. Beautifully patterned stone paths greeted our feet. We wandered in and out of shaded gardens, relishing spots of direct sunlight, then slowly meandering on. At every turn there was a gentle trickle of water, making me suddenly feel calmer, more serene. We oohed and aahed at courtyards, at arches, at views. We stopped for long moments, staring at the views before us.
Our ticket for the main palace had a time stamped entry for 16:30. We got to the line at 16:15. There was no one in line, no other tourists in sight. We approached the ticket taker. “No. Not time.” We shrugged, then sat down on a bench nearby, basking in the sunshine. I was drifting into sleep when the others said, “It’s time” and we re-entered the line.
The palace, so unassuming on the outside, was magnificent on the inside. Glazed tile in deep blues, greens, and yellows lined the walls. Faded blue tile peeked up from the floor. Ceilings offered intricate wood carvings. Views of the city appeared through intricately carved windows. Fountains met us at every turn.
Each time we entered a new part of the palace we stopped in our tracks, amazed by the beauty before us. How did they make such incredible architecture? How did they carve such intricate designs? How did they coordinate work teams with no smart phones?
We walked back to the city, quietly reflecting on all the beauty we had seen.
151 thoughts on “Afternoon at the Alhambra”
Seeing your pictures brought back some awesome memories from my time in Granada. thanks!
This is my first time visiting Granada – what a beautiful city!
I’m so glad you loved it. It’s one of my favorite cities…the people, the culture, the atmosphere…its just unbeatable!
Love the calligraphy intertwined with the architecture!
It’s stunning! I wondered how long it took them to carve all the Arabic throughout the buildings.
The Alhambra is the only “touristy” place I’ve ever visited where I bought a photo book, because I despaired that my own pictures could never do justice to its stark beauty. Your photos are fantastic!
Thanks, Jeni! We had such a lovely day walking around the grounds – photos don’t do its beauty justice!
Brings back memories of a beautiful place.
i like the quietly reflecting picture at the end
Thank you! We were the only ones walking through that section of the garden. It’s hard to imagine that in such a touristy spot as the Alhambra you can be alone, but you can!
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Magnificent and fascinating site indeed!
I also keep a great memory of an afternoon at the Science Park from my stay at Granada!
Most people don’t know the site but as a science geek I couldn’t have missed it! 😉
Loved your photos! Recently saw a video about the recently restored Alhambra Theater.
Great post! . . . Wonderful to experience the wonders of the Alhambra through your descriptive writing. Really enjoyed the intricate Islamic architecture. Thank you for sharing!
Your words and pictures took me back to my visit of the Alhambra, truly a work of art! Great post!
Thank you! We were in awe all afternoon as we explored the Alhambra – such a beautiful place!
Gorgeous – thank you for the pics and the post!
Oh my gosh! I’ve been there before back in 2007! This was during my high school winter break for an entire week traveling all over Espana. If I could go back, I would! I fell in love with the architectural design, especially the calligraphy! You were very fortunate to have nice weather. It was all overcast when we went. Here’s a picture: http://i50.tinypic.com/2zi8zgy.jpg . Thank you so much for sharing!
For a few more pictures from Spain, check out, “Thinking Outside the Fingers; Linguistic Enthusiasm and Cultural Awareness,” at http://wp.me/p2TeFs-f3. I mention my linguistic enthusiasm for studying foreign languages and then dive straight into the cultural awareness with my travel stories. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks again for the trip down Memory Lane!
We’ve been so fortunate to have sunshine every day during our stay here! I enjoyed your article about Linguistic Enthusiasm – thanks for the link.
some nice photography you did lovely
Thank you, Ayeshha!
i remember visiting the alhambra in 2007, it was truly astonishing. thanks for sharing such intricately detailed memories:).
I’m glad you liked them! Thanks for stopping by!
You conquered my heart with lovely alhmbra pics…
The Alhambra conquered my heart as well…
Awesome ! You should also visit Langkawi, you’ll love it, check out our post about it.
Wow! The waterfalls in Langkawi look gorgeous! Thanks for the rec!
love the tilework and carvings. was the carving done in stone or wood? looks like it must be stone but can’t believe how intricate the detail looks in that medium.
oops, I think you mentioned that the carvings were done in wood. in that case, I wonder how it seems to have aged so well.
I think most of the carvings are in stone, which makes me even more curious about how they were able to create them and have them appear so perfect – no room for error. The doors, and several of the ceilings, are wooden, but most of the walls were stone or marble.
beautiful pictures 🙂 thanks for sharing!
Beautiful photos.After reading ur stuff i would definatly visit this place soon.
It’s a gorgeous place where you can lose yourself for a day, just wandering and marveling at its beauty.
Your post gave me a sense of this place–its colors, sounds, and aromas. Beautifully done.
Been to the Alhambra twice. It’s a beautiful place and visiting never gets old. Though your feet hurt after spending a day in there because there is so much to see! Beautiful pictures. 🙂
We had sore legs the next day from all the walking and climbing. It was well worth it though!
Beautiful photos and description. Visiting Granada is one of my favorite travel memories.
What beautiful digital pictures! Thanks for sharing. Do you have a favorite?
Thank you! My favorite is the chair in the hallway with shadows.
That is a nice one! http://www.segmation.com
I laughed about your waiting to wait in line! We did an afternoon and an evening entry. Dinner was slow, so we rushed back up the hill to get there in time, and again were told “not time”.
We couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t go in – there literally was *no one* around. I guess there have to be rules… 🙂
Your pictures brought back great memories. What a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you – I’m glad they brought back good memories 🙂
I visited the Alhambra in 1988. I’ve traveled to many places since that time but it remains one of the most beautiful and moving places I’ve ever been to.
Thanks for posting!
Wonderful post and photos! You must have had a fabulous time! It brings back memories from long ago, when I was a high school student on a week-long trip to Spain. Our hotel was in Costa del Sol, and early in the evenings we would watch the fishermen pulling their boats and nets onto the beach. We took the ferry to Morocco, and a friend of mine smuggled a mug full of hashish back across the Strait of Gibraltar. (I shudder to think what would have happened to him had he been caught.) But the highlight of the trip was the Alhambra…
Thank you! Isn’t it wonderful when you can relive something you’ve experienced through words or pictures? That’s one of my favorite things about blogging – going back and reliving memories.
Love your photographs and descriptions here of this serene and stunning place. So glad to have strolled these grounds with you!
Thanks, Cheri! I really enjoyed spending the week with you in Granada. Thank you so much for making arrangements for us to see the Alhambra!
I’m green with envy! Have to include Granada to my bucket list next year since this year is already full! Happy travelling. :=)
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La me encanta! Estudie en Granada la primavera pasada.
Lori, This is gorgeous … and wonderfully told. We were there a few years ago and were gobsmacked for the same reasons as you. How did they create this beauty? Congrats on the FP – so well deserved. All the Best, Terri
Thank you, Terri! I’ve really enjoyed reading about your adventures as well!
I was at Alhambra last year and first time in Andalucia and Granada as well. What a beautiful region! Would love to go back to Alhambra in Spring or Summer when the flowers are out. Did you do night tour? Lovely photos btw.
We did an afternoon tour. A night tour would be fantastic, though. Our lodging was at the base of the Alhambra, so each night coming home from dinner we looked up at the Alhambra, illuminated by spotlights. Equally beautiful.
I may have to put this on my list of places to visit. Also, I loved the question with the smartphones. Congratulations on being freshly pressed.
God, I love my country. What a magnificent place. Thanks for sharing.
Spain is magical. 🙂
I’m glad you like it. 🙂
Beautifully written with lovely pictures! I hope to visit alHambra one day!
Thank you! If you get the chance to visit the Alhambra, it’s definitely worth it. Such a beautiful place.
Beautiful! Never been, but I know Morocco, and its similar in its moorish architecture.
I’m heading to Marrakesh for the first time in a couple of weeks and can’t wait to see how it compares!
Beautiful post and pictures! I think the Alhambra is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. Sadly, my visit was very rushed, but posts like yours are a mini-trip back.
I’m glad you enjoyed them!
Great shots! The Alhambra is one of my all time favorite places!
Such a beautiful, inspiring place!
This is a brilliant blog entry! I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you 🙂
Looks breathtaking- enjoy! One day!
I was fortunate enough to visit the Alhambra when I was in high school, after saving money to go on the Spanish class’ trip to Spain. Such a lovely place! Thank you for bringing back such pleasant memories!
What a treat to visit it in high school! I wasn’t prepared for how beautiful it is!
I went to Spain last summer and Grenada was my favorite city I visited! LOVED the Alhambra!
It’s a gorgeous city, isn’t it, Sara Ann? I’m so glad I had the chance to visit.
Lori, I found this post via Freshly Pressed (congratulations). Your photographs of the Alhambra were lovely and reminded me of my January term trip there is…wait for it…1992. Yikes! One of my favorite details were the wooden rails on some staircases in the garden. They were carved out and water flowed down them, clear and cold from the mountain. So cool. Thanks for the memories.
Thank you! Wow – 1992! That’s awesome. We loved the water flowing down the bannisters as well. We thought that on a hot summer day they would be lifesavers, just splash some water on you and keep walking.
Enjoyed your post. We were there 2 years ago in January. So cold that day but so interesting. I’d go back in a heartbeat.
It was cold, but so incredibly sunny, on the day we visited. I’d visit again as well!
Thank you for reminding me of such a wonderful, miraculous place, one of the few I’ve actually visited. On seeing it, you no longer feel surprised that hardened Catholic warriors, after generations of bloody war and hatred towards Muslims, on capturing it nevertheless left this gem quite intact.
I’m so thankful that it wasn’t destroyed as well. What a marvelous piece of architecture!
Wow, really stunning shots. Will make time to stop through there soon now!
I’ll make sure to be there sometime later inshAlla 🙂
Great photos, thanks.
The pics are just AWESOME..thanks Lori….no pic will really do justice to it’s unbelievable beauty..brought back lovely memories…Alcázar of Seville – Royal Palace is another gorgeous place to visit..in fact I liked it more…
Thank you! I’ve never been to Seville, but will put the Royal Palace on my list of places to visit when I do!
Granada was where my love affair with Spain began. 🙂 Great post and photos! The Alhambra and Albaicin are magical places – thanks for bringing back those memories.
Granada holds a special place in my heart as well. 🙂
i went to the main palace in the evening and morning….both are magnificent despite the difference of lighting…..your photos are beautiful i love the way you frame each one of them…..
Thank you. I would like to go back at night; I imagine the shadows are beautiful.
There are so many angles in every inch of the place, so gorgeous! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you! There’s so much to explore there.
have you ever been to the region, in Italy, that many call the “new Tuscany” (i.e. Marches)? If you ever do, please let me know and I’ll give you some really good suggestions – as I am fond of my land.
Congratulations for your blog!
Hi Simona, I’ve never been to the new Tuscany. It sounds lovely, though. Thank you for the offer of suggestions! Lori
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This makes me want to come back :p I so love this city :O It’s just one of the most beautiful in spain…wait no there is also sevilla, madrid is beautiful too, barcelone, cordoba’s mosque, toledo…I can’t choose my favorite
I’ve only been to Barcelona and Granada – I look forward to exploring more of Spain on another trip. What a beautiful country!
I wish i could write more like you.. 🙂
Awww. Thank you.
AWESOME pics!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
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Afternoon at the Alhambra
Thank you, Lori,for sharing this! Your beautiful takes bring back memories of my trip to Andalucía !
I’m glad you liked it – thanks for stopping by!
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Gorgeous pictures! The Alhambra was one of my favorite places to visit in Spain, so thanks for the memories. We stayed in the Hotel America inside the Alhambra, but the bell in the church next door got stuck and tolled for 2.5 hours in the middle of the night. 🙂 Still, absolutely wonderful place.
Oh, no! A stuck church bell! I hope it was at least a pleasant sounding one. 🙂
Well, not at 3am. It was quite clangy. Still, I’ll forgive it because of the beauty of everything else.
Such wonderful images! Thank you for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
Thank you for your kind words!
I loved the Alhambra. Thanks for all the great memories!
Thanks for stopping by!
What a beautiful account! Thank you for sharing. I must make an effort to go to Grenada next year 🙂
Thank you! Granada is a beautiful city – a must see!
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Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks for these lovely photos! We spent our honeymoon in Spain and I have such happy memories of Granada and most especially, the Alhambra. I am drawn to those patterns when I see them replicated elsewhere like no other pattern. I saw one just yesterday on a quilt and thought of the Alhambra fondly, funny to have run into this post on your blog today!
Oh! A honeymoon in Granada sounds magical. 🙂
The pictures are amazing! Awesome architectural designs. I would love to visit this place someday soon! Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience. It entertained me so much!
Thank you! It’s such a lovely place – if you get a chance to visit you should!
You’re most welcome! This place is definitely ideal for family trip 😉
Brilliant! Always wanted to go there. Thanks for the photos. Excellent!
It is really a magic place, so beautiful, so calm,
Great place to visit!
Your photos are beautiful! It looks like there was a lot more vegetation there when you visited.
Great piece of writing, accompanied by some stunning images.; Applause!
Great photos! Thanks for sharing!
Looks like an incredible place
Well written and photographed in an immediate personal way. Number of countries visited? Nah.
What a wonderful descriptive piece and the pictures are truly amazing. Congratulations on your FP. 😀
Thank you, Fay!
Lovely pictures, great blog!
Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by!
Great pix. One of my favorite places.
Thank you! The afternoon we spent there was one of my most enjoyable.
Beautiful pictures. I went to Granada when I studied abroad in Spain in college. Brings back sweet memories! I am so envious that you’ve traveled to 47 countries! I’ve been to many, but probably about 17 shy of you…but oh can I relate to your love of travel. I love your blog. Blessings!
Thanks! I love reading others’ accounts of places I’ve been to; it always brings back such vivid memories. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
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Goog blog !