Spain
Granada

Here you’ll find travel reports about Granada. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

130 travelers at this place:

  • Day19

    Granada Cathedral

    July 16 in Spain

    The Granada Cathedral could not be constructed until the Christians had regained control of Granada in 1492. The foundations were laid in 1518 on the site where the mosque had stood. The Cathedral was one of the first to be built in the renaissance style whereas most of the Cathedrals that predated this one were built in the Gothic architecture of the Middle Ages. This Cathedral was therefore cutting edge architecture. To stand in it is to feel that one is standing in a Greco Roman temple of massive scale due to its classical influences which at the time were new and untried.

    The wealth and history of Granada and its art are on display in this building.
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  • Day17

    Granada

    July 14 in Spain

    Granada is one of the most important historical places in Spain. It is here that the Moors held out for so long against the Spanish. It was in 1492 the Ferdinand and Isabella finally overcame the Moors and returned the city and the region to Spanish (and Catholic) rule.

    It was also in 1492 the Christopher Columbus received royal support for his trip to the new world, something that would lead to untold riches for Spain and change the world forever. It was also in 1492 the the Jews were expelled from Spain. 1492 was a busy year here in Granada.

    The Jewish history is fascinating in this place (before 1492). More on that later.

    I went on. Tour of the gypsy area of the city, which is outside the old city walls, and where gypsies have been living in cave houses for many centuries. They are still there and have a history of providing labour and agricultural services for the city for many generations. The area of the city is called Sacremente. There are fantastic views of the city from that hill. The main attraction of the city, the Alhambra, can be seen clearly from the gypsy hill.

    The Alhambra is the old Moorish palace which became the palace of king Ferdinand and queen Isabella when they took the city back from the Muslims.
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  • Day18

    Alhambra in Granada

    July 15 in Spain

    The Alhambra is a fortress and palace which is on a prominent hill in Granada. It is the most popular tourist destination in Spain. When we arrived at our hotel yesterday we were told all the tickets for the Alhambra were sold and the next available ticket was in about five days. We were told this waiting list was short because it is the heat of summer. In the autumn and spring the waiting periods can be five weeks. Not to be easily deterred, I got online yesterday evening and discovered a source for tickets for a tour for today. They were expensive but I wasn’t coming to Granada to miss out on seeing the Alhambra. So I bought them. I was very thankful we did. It is a very memorable tour. Don’t miss it if ever you are in this city.

    The Alhambra began life as a fortress in Roman times, then began to develop as a citadel of large proportions during the Muslim rule. The Sultan built a citadel and a palace to impress visitors and create an impregnable fortress to withstand any invader. It served its purpose. The fortress was never taken. The Spanish king and queen Ferdinand and Isabella retook Granada from the Muslim ruler in 1492, the final city in Spain to return to Spanish rule, but they could not take the Alhambra despite besieging it, and only succeeded with a negotiated surrender of the city. The deal struck was that all citizens of the city, including Muslims and Jews, could continue to live peacefully in the city if the Muslim king surrendered the fortress and palace. The deal was struck. The Spanish honoured the agreement for a short time, then the Inquisition began its work and Jews and Muslims could only stay if they converted to Christianity.

    The palace still retains its Muslim architecture combined with a renaissance palace built by Charles V, Isabella’ grandson. There isn’t just one palace, but a complex of palaces, a fortress with three levels of walls and Impregnable gates in medieval style, gardens, water pools, a complex system of bringing water from kilometres away which still flows through the palace, the gardens and to city today.

    The tour went for three hours and we felt like we were only scratching the surface of this huge citadel. It was an amazing place that brought Granada’s fascinating history to life.
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  • Day19

    Museum and Flamenco

    July 16 in Spain

    I visited a museum of the Inquisition and Sephardic Jewish history in the evening, followed by a flamenco concert.

    The museum told the tragic story of the Inquisition coming to Granada and targeting Jews and Muslims who had chosen to stay rather than flee. They had to convert. They were known as conversos. The Inquisition tested whether they had really converted or whether they were merely putting on a facade of conversion in public but still practicing their own religion in private.

    The Inquisition had the power of the church and the king behind it so it’s power was enormous and much to be feared. The museum explained the process of trials and punishment in gruesome detail. There is very little left of Jewish people or culture in Granada as a consequence of the efficacy of the Inquisition.

    After visiting the museum and seeing the sun set over the Alhambra, I went to a Flamenco concert which was a fascinating insight into a very Spanish form of music and dance which has its roots in the amalgam of the cultures of gypsies, Moors and slaves here in Granada. The guitar playing, the dancing, castanets, foot stomping and Flamenco costumes are amazing.
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  • Day18

    More of the Alhambra

    July 15 in Spain

    Some more photos of this amazing palace and fortress.
    Our guide was excellent. Her name was Irene. She reminded me of Priscilla in her younger days. She spent seven years studying to be a guide. She told us that the financial crisis of a couple of years ago has made it very difficult for younger people in Spain to get a job and many of her friends have had to go abroad to find employment.

  • Day37

    First day of School

    September 11, 2017 in Spain

    First day of school! Kids were amazing! Max & ivy took everything in their stride. Tom needed me by his side but was gaining confidence by the minute. Good signs.

    Ivy's teacher speaks some English. Max & tom are completely immersed in Spanish. Quite funny listening to their take on what happened today. Max thinks his class were talking about pirates but isn't sure. Tom only talked about a boy who blew up a plastic bag and popped it on his head. Ivy did a picture of an elephante.

    An embracing school community with a smattering of parents we could talk to from Canada, US, Holland & Germany. Even one Dad from Melbourne on his second year in Granada with his 4 kids!

    You can see the toll the day had on Ivy. She is really embracing the siesta!
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  • Day59

    Ivys birthday in the alpujarras

    October 3, 2017 in Spain

    We ventured out of town this weekend to the mountains above Granada - the Alpujarras. Little white villages built on steep slopes within a dramatic rocky landscape. We arrived a little bit homesick (missing the grand final) & bus sick (very winding roads) but were revived quickly by our very tranquil & quaint little casa in the hills.

    Ivy celebrated her long-awaited 4th birthday. The boys even trekked to the next village to get her a chocolate cake complete with pink sprinkles!

    Now back to our new 'normal' in Granada. School, Spanish, soccer, music & dance & usually a few to many cervezas!
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  • Day10

    Granada!

    September 9 in Spain

    So heute sind wir nach langer Fahrt in Granada angekommen! Nach dem wir endlich unser Hostel erreicht haben, haven wir uns auf den Weg Richtung Sacramonte gemacht. Am Weg haben wir viele kleine süße Kirchen und tolle Aussichten entdeckt! Zum Abendessen haben wir eine kleine Bar mit perfekter sicht auf die Alhambra gefunden (natürlich mit Sangria!!)

  • Day28

    We made it!

    September 2, 2017 in Spain

    We are very pleased to have arrived in Granada! We are already in love with our little house & this beautiful city. We survived our 28 hour journey unscathed however arrived with a sleep deficit that might take a few days to work off. Getting ready now for our first siesta!

  • Day606

    Today was the day we began our 2 week WWOOFing experience on an organic farm in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. We were both excited so we made a prompt start, emptying the van waste and decrying the low water pressure as we waited what seemed like an interminable time for the water tank to fill.

    Currently at 670m above sea level we had nearly 300m to climb. The roads were good until we came to a stretch that had obviously suffered a major landslide. Most of the road had been dug out from under the scree but yellow lines had been painted to divert the course of the lanes, keeping them away from the rubble still piled on the uphill side, and at times, away from the large subsidence cracks on the downhill side.

    Cortijo Don Federico is off grid so it doesn't have an address and even when we entered its coordinates, the sat nav could only get us as far as the nearest village, Lobras. From here we turned off onto a single track concrete road cut out of the hill with overhanging olive and almond trees. We would never usually have taken Martha Motorhome along here, but our hosts had assured us that larger vehicles than ours had recently used the route, so we persevered despite the branches scraping along both sides at the same time. It was to be the most terrifying drive of our lives! The concrete disappeared and the narrow gravel track started to climb and wind tightly upwards. The underside of the van grounded more than once and when we arrived at the first steep switchback bend the wheels began slipping. After reversing and several more attempts we finally got enough traction to continue and took the bends faster after that, our knuckles white at the prospect of misjudging it and tipping over the edge, down the near vertical slope to our certain deaths!

    We arrived physically shaking and were greeted by our host Andi and the two friendly long haired family dogs, Mora and Rita who excitedly barked us to a space in the small parking area the Cortijo shared with the neighbouring property.

    Luckily Andi had the kettle on in the house he and his partner Chiara had rebuilt from ruins when they moved here 14 years ago. Andi is from Cumbria and a trained stone waller, building and renovating dwellings in the local area. The farmhouse was open plan with smooth edged walls that contained little enclaves of cupboards and shelves. They had reclaimed wood for the worktop and unit doors and slate for the winding staircase, whose banister was made of rustic branches from their trees. Quince wine sat fermenting in large glass demi johns and dried sharon fruit hung from long bamboo poles on the ceiling.

    After we'd calmed down, Andi took us for a tour of the 2.5 hectare farm. Near the house were the tool store, compost toilet and solar shower. Andi's partner Chiara builds geodesic domes and we passed an example of her work, covered in sheets in the garden. It was used as additional accommodation and could have been where we stayed, had we not brought our home with us. Passing the vegetable garden with raised beds growing winter salad we dropped down to the horse corral and chicken coop.

    Andi introduced us to the two horses; Capitan, a grey arab cross had recently come to the Cortijo from a neighbour who had allowed him to become dangerously thin. He is still building up body mass but was good looking and alert. Cyrano, standing at over 16 hands is the larger of the two. With his dark brown coat and black mane and tail, he is an impressive looking bay. Part arab like Capitan he is crossed with an Andalucian horse, so is strong and elegantly built. He had arrived in December from a rescue centre where he had been living since his owner had allowed a wound to become infected and refused to pay €300 for treatment. Vicky was delighted when Andi said there would be a possibility of riding!

    Most of the trees growing on the sloped orchard are green leaved olives and blossoming almonds but the family had also planted a few carob, chestnut, hazel, pistachio, mulberry, sharon fruit and mimosas (nitrogen fixing trees) that were in bright yellow bloom. We talked about the measures taken to enrich the soil, such as adding homemade compost and sowing green manure. It is important in these climes to keep the ground covered as much as possible, not only for the root network giving stability, but to provide shade, reduce surface evaporation and the amount by which the top soil is baked by the sun and particles removed by the wind. Much was said about evidence of the changing climate and increasing unpredictability of the weather and seasons.

    Soon after returning to the house Andi's partner Chiara got back with their two children Emil 15 and Nina 11. We had a lunch of chicken soup that Will had helped prepare on the wood burning stove, fed by twigs and branches from the orchard. As we were eating, chatty Nina informed us that someone had recently died driving off the edge of the road!

    We expected to get to work, but were told that today was a settling in day, so we accompanied Andi in his landrover to the village of Juviles, about 30 minutes drive away, in an attempt to find his cement mixer that he'd lent to a friend. Unfortunately the machine was nowhere to be seen but the mountain scenery on the drive was beautiful and we met another English farmer, Damien, who was seeing two WWOOFers off on a bus. They'd worked at Cortijo Don Federico before moving on and seemed pleased to see Andi, so we took this as a good sign.

    The evening was warm and bright so Andi generously bought us a beer and we sat on the bar terazza munching on mixed nuts while he told us about the depopulation of villages in the area. People had moved enmass to Catalunya, with only some returning after the financial crash. As a result several villages have fewer than 20 people living in them, many of whom are pensioners.

    The sun set on the drive home, shedding a soft glow on the valley sides and backlighting the almond blossoms. We spent a bit of time in the van with Poppy then went in to the house for a Shepherd's Pie. Although we'd helped prepare lunch and washed up afterwards, we felt a little strange accepting their hospitality without having done any work!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Provincia de Granada, Granada, Grenade, グラナダ

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