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The Alhambra as seen from Mirador San Nicolas.

7 March 2011

Built in the 14th century during the Moorish invasion of Southern Spain, the Alhambra is hard to miss as it sits there atop the hill against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada.  We went up to see the palaces early in the morning since we hadn’t pre-booked the tickets and only a limited number of visitors are allowed in per day.  First on the list was a walk through the gardens of the Generalife (Jennat Al Arif) and it was beautiful to say the least.  There were water features set amongst the greenery.  Stone paved walkways that led you through a maze of greenery with the distant sound of the water running through the canals and fountains.  There were orange trees in the many courtyards and an atmosphere of calm and tranquility.  I can only imagine how much better it would be in the heat of the summer when you can walk through the gardens, finding respite in the coolness of the shade whilst listening to the soothing sound of the water flowing by.

Gardens of the Generalife.

Don’t you just want to take out a book and spend a lazy afternoon lying in the sun here?

Next it was on to the Nasrid Palaces and for a moment I felt as if I was back in Rajasthan.  The style of the architecture is very similar to those found in the forts and palaces of North-West India during the rule of the Moghul Empire, with Arabic calligraphy gracing every possible column and wall.  Beautiful mosaic designs cover the walls and there were huge arched windows that allowed both light and a refreshing breeze to flow through the hallways and rooms of the Nasrid Palaces.  Of course, in the middle is yet another courtyard with orange trees and a water feature, all very symmetrical and well designed.  The arches of every entrance are beautifully adorned with arabesque designs.  If anything, Granada’s Alhambra is a place to put on your list of things to do when visiting Spain because to experience this in person is one thing that photos can’t come close to do.

Arabesque designs on every doorway.

By the court of the lions.

Walls covered with tiles and calligraphy.

View of the Nasrid Palace.

The Portico and pool just outside the palace.

To the Alcazaba!

One of the many water features of the Palacio de Generalife.

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