Andalucia – Granada

Granada, Spain

4 Days

Stayed at the lovely Cortijo del Marques

By our trusty car rental

The gist of it:

Through countless rows of olive trees, we arrived at the Cortijo del Marques, our B&B outside of Grenada. The Cortijo was a beautiful spot and very relaxed. I would have spent every day there, but I am glad J got me to get off my sunbed and into town.

Our first day in Granada, we had one of our best meals of the trip at Iberico & Alhambra. It is a tiny shop with only a few tables that served mostly cured meats and salads. I highly recommend it. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Granada and figuring out how to get to tickets to the Alhambra. I really stressed out about that before arriving but once we were there, getting tickets from the Alhambra official shop in town was very easy.

The Alhambra is incredible. But there is a lot of hype. The tickets, parking lots, signs and manicured hedgerows make it feel a little like Disney Land. That may sound cynical. But J and I were both struck by how that changed our experience of exploring the Alhambra. I am not going to try and describe its beauty or its character. The pictures below will scratch the surface for you. But, suffice to say, the Moors knew how to design a palace.

Photos:

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Blue skies and a fall moon over the Alhambra

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Palacio de Comares

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Patio de Arrayanes

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Looking up in Patio de los Leones

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Jardines del Partal

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J and Granada from the Alhambra

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A lone photographer in the Palacio de Carlos V

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Generalife

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View from the Cortijo

 

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Andalucia – The Drive to Granada

This is a weird story. On the drive from Cordoba to Granada, we wanted to stop off at small towns in between. It was a great idea in theory, but in practice, was always going to be a little random.

We saw a castle/church on top of a hill that looked easy to get to, so we decided to check it out. As we pulled off the highway it started to rain. It was not raining hard but as we drove towards the castle we saw some lightning.

We decided to go up anyways, and started our hike up and up towards the castle. When we got to the top, there was a little more thunder and lightning. We decided to hang out in a turret before heading over to the church. From there James, suddenly exclaimed ‘I just saw the turret next to us get hit by lightning‘. So I am like crap. This was really stupid,why are we up here, alone, on top of hill, with an umbrella.

It still isn’t raining that hard, so we wait for 15 minutes or so then decide to run over to the church. J is holding the umbrella and I am holding his arm. When we are about half away between the two structures, there is a flash, J yells and drops the umbrella. In a flurry of rain, yelling and general chaso, we run towards the church.

I didn’t feel anything, but J’s hand that was holding the umbrella is in pain. He says it felt like someone pitching his skin really really hard and he felt a shock up his arm… His right hand is swollen. I didn’t feel anything, but definitely saw a flash. J describes the flash as a spark on/around the umbrella.

SO, it is CRAZY to say to that J was hit by lightning. Right?! But equally, what happened? It was so quick and so scary. And I feel like an idiot for insisting we head up there. I definitely insisted we head up there.

Having done some research, we found that lightning can jump. So we think maybe lightning hit the church then wasn’t diverted to the ground properly and jumped to our umbrella?

I honestly don’t know. But it was terrifying.

That night, when we got to our hotel outside Granada, we were greeted by a full rainbow. It was a day of man versus the elements. And I am still not sure how I feel about it.

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The panorama photo is from J’s iphone. This photo is from my camera.