This morning we woke up early and headed out for the Alhambra. Rob lent us his bus card and took us up to the Alhambra on the local bus to show us the way. We arrived just on time, but found out that we should have arrived an hour early. The lady at the desk told us in Spanish and in body language to run! We ran and ran and ran, past beautiful gardens and impressive palaces. It was cold and our breath puffed out in frosty plumes. We arrived at the correct line for the Nasrid palace, just ten minutes after our entry time and were permitted to enter. Yes!
The palace was amazing. The intricate designs carved in plaster and the tile were so beautiful. We wandered from room to room admiring the details and taking pictures. Davis and Michael and I were totally engrossed, but Samuel was cold and slightly unimpressed. We made our way through the palace and walked through a plaza, soaking up some sun and following the arrows to the next part of the Alhambra.
We stopped at a refreshment stand for bocadilla and coffee and then headed for the Alcazaba. This is the most ancient part of the Alhambra and is the fortress. This part really engaged Samuel's imagination and both boys loved climbing the ramparts and admiring the defenses. The views were incredible and we enjoyed climbing the tower we had admired from all over Granada.
We wandered around the castle and stopped for more bocadilla for Samuel. Then we went to tour the controversial Charles V Palace. We went upstairs and visited the art museum there. The kids were mildly impressed, but mostly interested in Jesus's tortured hands and feet and the still life of grapes.
By this time the sun had warmed the hill and we were thrilled to walk through the gardens on our way to the Generalife. The gardens were the most amazing I have ever seen. I can only imagine how beautiful they will be in a month or so when Spring is in full bloom. the Generalife (the summer palace) was my favorite. We enjoyed the water and the trees and the flowers. The views were stunning and gentle breeze and warm stone made it a perfect moment.
We had been in the Alhambra, walking, for almost four hours and the kids were all done. We walked out and found our bus, while listening to Samuel discuss all the ways he could create the Alhambra in minecraft world. We managed to make our bus and the transfer to the other bus and find our way through the maze of the Albaizin all the way back to Rob and Cheris's house. We were very proud of ourselves!
We got back just in time to go with Cheris to pick up the kids from school. We were all ready for lunch and so we headed out to a beautiful restaurant below the aljibe with a fantastic view of the Alhambra and the mountains. The food was good, and the wine was fantastic. I don't think I've ever had such a beautiful view at lunch.
We came back to the house around 4pm and had a rest, before heading out to the soccer field to watch Graham play. It was so fun to watch Spanish kids play soccer. They are fantastic! We cheered Graham and his team on and they won the game!
We had plans to go to see Flamenco, but Graham was feeling poorly and a last minute sitter could not be procured and we were all exhausted from the Alhambra so it was decided that evening drinking Spanish wine in a real Granada cave home was culture enough. We came back to the house and made dinner and put the kids to bed. We are packing up and getting ready to head back out on the road. This time we have rented cars and will head through Andalusia to some cottages we rented in the middle of nowhere. I am really looking forward to it!