Oh man it’s been too long since I’ve shared stories from our family trip last year (which was four whole months ago, I can’t believe it), but I didn’t ever really finish sharing our adventures and I wanted to take a few posts to do so.
I can feel the memories slowly slip away… and I know that if I don’t capture them in writing right now that soon they will be gone. The little memories – like where we stayed, our favorite foods and what we loved about various towns – not so much the big ones which are definitely there to stay. The second reason is that I’ve received some emails from readers who are planning their own upcoming adventures to Ireland, Spain or Morocco and it’s high time I be as helpful as I can.
For those of you needing a quick catch up, you can check out this post. Our little family of three – contrary to popular believe, 20-month-olds can be great travelers! – embarked on a four week getaway (read about how we managed our small budget here) and have already shared our travel adventures in Ireland - complete with Liv jigs (here’s a round up of where we visited, where we stayed, etc) and half of our Spanish road trip as well. I’ll try to sprinkle in these last few posts on Spain and Morocco throughout the usual going ons around here, and I thought that today would be an excellent day to start.
Last we left off we had celebrated with Festival La Merce in Barcelona and were road tripping down the coast of Spain through a Paradores and Valencia. Let’s jump back on track with our trip to Granada.
We were fortunate enough to book the very sweet B&B Solar Montes Claros in the heart of old Granada. The courtyard (despite the rain) was beautiful, the rooms inviting, the style very authentic. Granada rooms are hard to come by last minute (this stop was part of our ‘go with the flow’ road trip portion of the trip) and I might give myself a few weeks for a reservation the next time around.
Nevermind the snack stains, Liv’s photoshoot as she checked the place out for herself was priceless.
We had only one night in this beautiful (but crazy) city of winding roads, industry and white washed walls. I recommend keeping it all in El Albayzín – the original Granada – and of course a visit to the Alhambra shouldn’t be missed.
There are three well known dinner-dance shows in the old town, one of which lined up with our schedule and arrival into the city perfectly. Ahhh what beautiful dance Flamenco is! You can’t miss out on the stomping and passion and melodic guitar strings.
Torre del Oro is a show that came highly recommended to us. Jardines de Zoraya ended up being ideal for a family though with plenty of room near the back for Liv to dance her own passionate number to the music.
The singers were also incredible.
Walking the old city was wonderful. There’s hardly room for cars (though they manage) and much of the shops are accessible only by climbing the steep cobblestone streets.
By the time we arrived at the Alhambra we were greeted with buckets of rain! I think maybe the one full day of rain in Spain, but we made the best of it.
The rain turned off and on and off again as we weaved through the incredible gardens and Moorish architecture of this 10th century palace. The fortress-turned-castle was conquered and reconquered many times over its long and lengthy life, but the original Berber Islamic architecture is ever present (and became even more recognizable after our trip down to Morocco where we found similar structures).
Liv, the photographer. The girl LOVES to shoot photos, the iPhone being her camera of choice.
A view of Granada from up high on the hill at the Alhambra.
If you plan a visit, make sure that you reserve your tickets several days (or even weeks in the high season) in advance as they sell out quickly each day. I was able to secure next day tickets by calling the box office directly even when the website said sold out (we ended up being able to change our visit date thanks to this little fluke, though we had to purchase two sets of tickets since they are non refundable).
Once you arrive, you’ll have to pick up your tickets from Will Call which may be on the other side of the huge palace. We entered on the west end and didn’t realize that our tickets were on the east end (and a 20 minute walk away) until we were there, thankfully we were about 45 minutes early. Arrive as early as possible :).
Beautiful! Also worth a trip while visiting the Albambra is Generalife, if you don’t have a toddler and it’s not raining, that is. :)
Shortly after, we hopped back into our little speed wagon and headed for Sevilla. One day was far too short to truly enjoy Granada, but hopefully we’ll be back.
Next up on the travel list? Sevilla and then Marrakesh, Morocco.
PS More on our Ireland + Spain + Morocco trip right here.