Spain - a birthday stroll in the Alhambra
To start this blog I want to thank you all for the many amazing comments and messages on our last blog. I (Nina) had tears in my eyes reading them. It was great to hear that you could feel our happiness with our changed life after our difficult year 2012. Well, I hope I can keep up with the high extpectations on the blogs now ;-).
Our next destination on our little andalusian journey was the region of Granada. I had been to Granada in my crazy study times with 22 years when I lived in Alicante/Spain for half a year (with only having parties in my mind). To be honest, I could not remember a lot when we entered the city. Of course, there was the Alhambra which I remembered. Was it that much alcohol the last time I came there? Noooo, I think, the city has changed a lot since then...... ;-)
Coming from the coast, our first destination was Bubión. It is one of the famous alpujarran pueblos blancos (the middle one). We started looking for a place to stay for the night and were very lucky to find the Hostal Las Terrazas de La Alpujarra. It is quite old, but was spotlessly clean and had the most amazing owner we have ever met. He was so nice, funny, talkative and helpful. He even invited us for a cool cerveza at night. We went hiking a bit up to the highest village in the valley, Capileira, and enjoyed the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere of the 2 villages. Unfortunately, I was not fit enough to hit the big hiking trails of which there are loads of. Well, when we come back the next time, we are sure to reach the summit of Mulhacen. This time, we treated us with some nice food and enjoyed the views and the tranquility. The next day we moved on and made a short stop in Pampaneira, the lowest of the 3 villages. This was not our favourite place with hordes of tourists walking through the narrow streets. Quickly we drove onward through Lanjarón. Somehow we did not feel like going immediately to the city (we wanted to have some more Sierra Nevada atmosphere) and we decided to drive to Monachil for a small hike and a nice lunch. We did not find a decent carpark but a small road winding up the hills. We took this road and reached a wonderful mountain pass with great views. We parked on the roadside and went for a short walk before we had a little picknick. It was a peaceful place and again we wished
to return for longer hikes. Then it was time to drive down to the city. We found a free carpark not far away from the hostel - how lucky we were, as the regular parking for the car would have been about the same price as the accomodation. We checked in our hostel which was ok but nothing special (well, especially cheap) - sometimes you only get what you pay for. Then we went to a first walk through town and had a nice tinto de verano in a small cafe in the Albaicin area. Later on, we went for dinner in the arab quarter of town and had some drinks in a lively bar. This bar was better than a night at the movies: it was packed, caotic, loud but wonderful! We had good fun.
The next day was my big day - my birthday. And how could we spent it any better than visiting the famous Alhambra. Those, who have followed some of our trips, know that normally we try to avoid really touristic places. But the Alhambra is really special (I could remember at least this!) - and it was worth it. We spent 5 hours in there and it was amazing: the wonderful flowers in the Generalife (it was spring!), the great views, the amazing architecture. We were speechless sometimes especially when we saw these amazingly detailed ceilings in the Palacio Nazaríes. The Alhambra is indeed a magical place. And celebrating my "first birthday starting with 4" there was so special. Happily we walked back to town to relax with a nice tinto de verano before walking through the Albaicin where we had a great dinner with a WOW-view: the sunset over the Alhambra and the snowcapped mountains of the Sierra Nevada in the back. Slowly, all the lights in the city turned on, the Alhambra was shining in an orange-gold tone and we were celebrating happily. And of course, we ended this unforgettable day in our favourite bar.
Our time ein Granda was over - way too fast. It is a great city, very lively and we loved the mix of cultures and the arab feel. And, for sure, next time I will remember more....