The city of Granada is a wonderful place. A temperate climate all year round although with a mountain range for skiing visible from the city, great tapas, cheap beer and many bars that stay open until the last person falls.
It has the Arabic quarter, the Albaicin, where great food, available cheaply is eaten with the backdrop of the Arabic language that I havent mastered in your ears.
And of course it has The Alhambra.
This majestic building that dominates the high ground around the city is the biggest tourist attraction for miles around, and with good reason.
Height being a great advantage for a defender, there was a Roman fort here first of all, which was then succeeded by various buildings of various cultures, Muslim, Moor and Christians, in different guises too. In its life it has been a fort, a Royal Palace and a Royal Court.
Due to the Morisco rebellions in Granada it was never completely finished, it has suffered from neglect, vandalism and some rather dubious restoration projects in earlier years, but the process is now underway to totally restore the buildings to their earlier splendour.
Its impossible not to marvel at the stunning levels of workmanship created several hundred years ago and that are still largely intact.
The themes of water, light and open space are all over the entire complex, both myself and the pigeon found them irresistable.
The centrepiece of the Alhambra is the Courtyard or the Patio of the Lions. This fountain is a copy of the original, which research suggests was taken from the palace of a prominent Jewish businessman in the 12th century. The 12 lions stand guard around the large alabaster bowl, again the fountain in keeping with the theme of water throughout.
There are also towers to climb. Boys never get fed up with climbing towers. Once up there its clear to see why the original Roman fortress was built here. It dominates all the ground around and gives views for many miles, vital for the guardians of the city in bygone times.
There is nothing not to love about the Alhambra itself. Ticketing though is another matter. In tourist season its advisable to book many weeks in advance. For the final courtyards, including the lions, there are only a certain amount of people allowed in at any one time, so your ticket also has the time you must enter this area. If you arrive early or late you have missed your slot, from memory its every 30 minutes.
If you are anywhere near Granada I would urge a visit. A truly awe inspiring place with gardens and architecture and soul and history and beauty and and and and ..