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The Alhambra in Granada is not just one building, it consists of a number of Palaces and fortresses, all built in different centuries. The Alcazaba fortress is the oldest, the Nazrid Palace is the most beautiful, the Palace of Carlos V is very impressive and finally the summer-palace Generalife offers you a very pleasant walk in its gardens.

First glimpse of the Nazrid Palace

Nazrid Palace and Alcazaba

According to a guidebook, the Alhambra receives 6 million visitors each year. Strange ... according to the same guidebook only 5 million people visit Andalucia.

But, 6 million visitors is a number we believe, when we were here in 1997, it even looked as if they were all present on the same day. This is very different from our first visit back in 1989 when we were the only visitors. OK, we must admit we were not the only visitors in 1989. For some reason, one particular place in the Alhambra was crowded with Japanese tourists taking pictures of each other in front of an very ugly fountain.

Patio de los Leones

This place is called the Patio de los Leones in the Nazrid Palace, the most popular part of the Alhambra. In fact, it was so popular, in 1996 some restricting measures had to be taken. 

If you buy a ticket for the Alhambra, there's a period of half an hour printed on it. During this half hour you have access to the Nazrid Palace. There are no time-restrictions for the rest of the Alhambra-complex.

Palacio de Carlos V
So, if it's the fountain you're interested in, instead of the rest of the patio, we advise you to go to Teba, where they have a beautiful Lion's fountain. Nah, we don't think it's just the fountain you want to see.

The Generalife

Water water everywhere

From Granada you can go north, east, south or west ... or up. The Sierra Nevada is very close. The road into the Sierra takes you to the ski-resort of Solyniege and beyond towards the Pico the Veleta, the second highest mountain in Spain. By car you can get up to 2650 meters high. Only authorized vehicles are allowed to pass the barrier and continue towards the top at 3381 meters. This is the highest road in Europe. If you are unauthorized (like us) and want to reach to top, you have to walk. It will take about 2 to 3 hours to go up, a lot less to go down.

Halfway to the top of the Pico de Veleta

View from the top of the Veleta

The climb to the top is very worthwhile if the weather is clear; because you will be rewarded with views like this.

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