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Michael celebrated a “special” birthday earlier this week – though I know he doesn’t want me to mention that particular “number” here, so, by way of a distraction I whisked him off to the beautiful Andalucían city of Granada for the day.

Did you know that the Spanish word “granada” means pomegranate?  Well, you do now!  Anyway, I digress!  Granada is only about an 80 minute drive from home, so we got an early start and were walking into the city from the car park by 10am.

We have visited the Alhambra Palace (a Moorish fortress and one of Spain’s most visited tourist attractions) on previous occasions, so this time we wandered around the Alcaiceria (the old Silk Market) where you could believe you were in Morocco rather than Spain.  Of course, most of what is for sale in the Alcaiceria is “tourist tat” but it’s easy to imagine the traders of hundreds of years ago, selling their wares.  The streets are narrow and shaded from the glare of the sun.  The sound of a flamenco guitar pierces the air, and the familiar smell of spices penetrates your senses.

Eventually we made our way from Plaza Nueva through the Albayzin district to Sacramonte (the gypsy quarter) where many people still live as they have done for many generations in cave houses.  It’s still early in the main tourist season yet, so there were few people around to tempt us inside.

But one of the principle reasons we chose to visit the Albayzin and Sacramonte districts of Granada was for the wonderful panoramic views of the Alhambra Palace, particularly from El Mirador de San Nicolás.

The Alhambra from Plaza San NicolasLater we strolled downhill along the Carrera del Darro until we arrived at El Paseo de los Tristes (the Promenade of the Sad – so named because of the frequency of funeral corteges passing by on their way to the cemetery behind the Alhambra) where we enjoyed a delicious lunch under an archway of wisteria in the shadow of the Alhambra.

The Alhambra through my wine glass

We had a wonderful day.  Salud