Southern Spain Sampler Platter: Part 2
Granada, and the Alhambra, are on every “what not to miss in Spain” list. Some might even say if you only go to one place in Spain, this should be it. While I’m not sure I’d agree with that statement, it was on our itinerary and I was very much looking to the visit!
Upon arrival we dropped our bags off and immediately headed up into the Albaicin neighborhood for a lovely view across the way of the Alhambra and to watch the sunset over the city. This is a neighborhood that has a lot worth exploring, but unfortunately we didn’t have much time and were antsy to find some dinner in the city down below. In fact, Granada has a lot more to explore than just the Alhambra, but for our first-timers visit we could only focus on this famed palace/fortress.
We had a near moment of panic in the morning when we got to the line to enter the Alhambra grounds and learned that all tickets were sold out…and sold out for several months. (what???) It took a little digging and asking around to figure it all out. What was sold out was a pass to view the inner most palace, the Nasrid Palace, but we were able to get tickets to view the rest of the monuments, gardens and areas of the fortress. It was a big disappointment to not be able to see the Nasrid Palaces as I’ve seen in some pictures what we missed out on – but we were thankful to at least have the day to view the rest. Such details! Amazing water features! Beautiful gardens and terraces! Stunning Islamic architecture. What more can I say? It was an incredible privilege to have had the chance to see what we saw:
It almost seemed an insult to Granada to leave after less than 24 hours, but I had to keep reminding myself that this was just an introduction and we’d make every effort to get back here for more time one day. And besides, we had a night in Sevilla to look forward to!
A few hours in the car and we were pulling into Sevilla, the intensely Andaluz city. Our trip allowed for an evening in this beautiful town, so we had to leave all of the important stops, like the Alcazar, for another time and just enjoy our evening finding a good place for dinner and drinks…and randomly, the most luxurious spa experience of my life. We surprisingly saw a lot in our short walk from the hotel to find paella & wine (score!!!)….we passed one of the city’s largest Gothic cathedral and through many of the narrow streets that give this city its charm.
We had passed a very alluring spa on our walk to dinner that advertised luxury Arab baths. On a whim, Renee and I grabbed the brochure and while we were at dinner decided to look it up online. I was so sure it was going to be crazy expensive or fully booked until who knows when – after all it was already 8pm and we only had the rest of the night in town. But, I was wrong. The price was right and they had spots available for their 10pm-midnight spa package. I didn’t even know people went to the spa at 10pm. Given that all the signs were screaming “YES”….we listened and while the gentlemen headed off to find some live flamenco music, Renee and I headed for the spa. I don’t really do spas/massages/etc all that often so I’m no connoisseur, but damn if this wasn’t luxury at its finest! I’ve heard of spas in the Middle East that are probably way more luxurious, but this was heaven in a beautiful, 3 story building in the middle of Sevilla. We made our way through the various baths, including one on the rooftop with a beautiful 360 degrees view of Sevilla and all its cathedrals illuminated in the nighttime, into the steam rooms and enjoyed a 30 minute massage. Wow! We left in a state of complete bliss and left to find our husbands and a nightcap before turning in and ending another epic day in paradise (after all, we’d just been at the Alhambra that same morning!)
Spain, I love you!