Spain Trip: Day 5 – (Part 2): Generalife and Granada
Patio de la Acequia

Spain Trip: Day 5 – (Part 2): Generalife and Granada

Within visible walking distance of Alhambra is the Palacio de Generalife, the summer palace of the Nasrid sultans of Granada. Generalife is Arabic for “Architect’s Garden”. Although smaller than the palace at Alhambra, Generalife has a quiet charm and restful demeanor that the rulers of this volatile region probably required.

Gardens

To access the Generalife, we had to walk through the gardens separating the Alhambra and the summer palace. Per our tour guide Christina, the sultans typically did not sleep in the summer palace, and rode between the two palaces by horseback, primarily due to fear of assassination. That was their loss, as our stroll through the gardens to the Generalife was soothing walk, even on a hot day like when we visited.

(more…)

1 Comment
Spain Trip: Day 5 – (Part 1): Alhambra
Alhambra

Spain Trip: Day 5 – (Part 1): Alhambra

One reason I travel is that I want to be changed. I want to go somewhere and see things that transforms me in a positive way.  Alhambra did that for me. To say that I was blown away by the beauty, history and grandeur of the place would be an understatement.

Journey to Granada

With so much to see, we had to get an early start.  It is about an hour drive from Nerja to Granada, so our driver Christian picked us up at 8:45am and off we went.  The journey there was scenic, with the tall peaks of the Sierra Nevadas all around us.  When we arrived at the entrance of Alhambra we met Christina, our local tour guide for the day.   As all our guides have been on this trip so far, Christina was extremely knowledgeable about everything on this tour.  As we had a little time until we could access the palace/citadel,  Christina took that time to explain a little about the history.

(more…)

0 Comments
Spain Trip: Day 4 – Travel Day to Andalusia
Town of Nerja, Andalusia

Spain Trip: Day 4 – Travel Day to Andalusia

Day 4 was a relatively quiet day, mostly traveling from the northeast part of Spain down to the south to Malaga in Andalusia, about 60 miles from the Strait of Gibraltar.

Domestic Flying in Spain

In planning our trip, we debated the best way to get from Barcelona to Andalusia.  Eventually we decided to fly and not take a train or car because it would take much less time.

It is always interesting to fly domestically overseas.  While we are very comfortable traveling domestically in the US, when we fly within a foreign country, we see the differences in how things work.  For example: I don’t like to rush when I’m flying.  I like to budget a lot of time for check-in, security, etc.  Flying is stressful enough for me.  I don’t want to add the concern of missing my flight to it.  We left our hotel in Barcelona at 9:45 and arrived at Barcelona airport about 30 minutes later.   Typically Sunday mornings are not busy times at our local airport.  That is NOT the case in Barcelona, the airport was packed.  However our flight is not until 12:20 and we had priority check-in so we were not concerned.

(more…)

0 Comments
Spain Trip: Day 3 – Villages of Catalonia Tour
Calella de Palafrugell

Spain Trip: Day 3 – Villages of Catalonia Tour

When we visited Barcelona many years ago, we never got to go outside the confines of the city.  This time around we wanted to make sure that we got out of the city. Our plan was to see some of the small villages and towns in Catalonia, between Barcelona and the Pyrenees Mountains.  For this, we decided to try something new… again.  In addition to our valued tour guide Monica, we secured the services of a car (and driver) for the day.  When I travel, I don’t care to drive if I can help it.  In a foreign country in particular, DJ and I typically use public transport (buses, trains) or get a taxi.  It saves me from having to investigate the local driving laws.  Plus, we get to see how the locals get around.  In the end that makes us feel more like travelers and less like tourists.

However, public transportation would not be a good option here for a day trip. We were surprised to find out how cheap it was to have our own driver.   Call me elitist if you want, but when it comes to travel, my goal is always to keep things easy.   Have a chauffeur for the day and be driven around in a spacious Mercedes town car?  Sign me up!

(more…)

0 Comments
Spain Trip: Day 2 – Gaudi Tour
La Sagrada Familia

Spain Trip: Day 2 – Gaudi Tour

Every city has something that makes it unique.  It might be a historical event, magnificent building or famous person.  In Barcelona, the famous person would be Antoni Gaudi and the magnificent building would be La Sagrada Familia Cathedral.  Both Gaudi and La Sagrada Familia where highlights on our tour today.

Tour Guide

We decided to try something new this trip.  We hired an experienced tour guide to guide us through the labyrinth city streets of Barcelona and provide an informational commentary during our tour.  Our guide Monica is a Catalan native and lifelong inhabitant of Barcelona, so was very knowledgeable on local history and architecture. She met us at 10:00am at our hotel lobby, we all walk outside, she hailed us a taxi and we were off!

(more…)

0 Comments