We were recently in Granada doing a little filming for Airbnb, and I just wanted to share a few pictures and memories from our trip. I’m always thankful to have this space to record all these details and thoughts. It encourages me to take the pictures, and to take note of the tiny details in the places we visit. I feel that we look more closely at things now, are more thoughtful about architecture and heritage, history, and the melting pot of cultural diversity. It’s something that we’re both keen to pass on to our children and, although I know it may not impact them greatly now (I’m nothing if not a realist and they are, to all intents and purposes, still little children who are more concerned with when the next sweet treat is coming! 🙂 ) I think they’ll like to look back on this some day.
I hope they’ll remember little snippets captured in photos and words, and it will affect them then maybe.
I think children learn by osmosis maybe. That constant drip-feeding of being exposed to new things. It’s why I’m so passionate about independent travel I think. The other week Noah recalled something he had learnt at the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition in Venice last Summer. It came totally out of the blue and I wasn’t even aware that he had taken it on board at the time.
Little sponges. I want them to soak up as much of this world as they can.
We flew to Malaga and hired a car for the hour and a half drive to Granada. It was a straightforward enough transfer with good motorways and signage. The city itself is tricky enough to navigate (particularly in the Albaicin where streets are super narrow and corners tight!) so I’d definitely recommend Sat-Nav.
Parking is very limited in the old town and a lot of people suggest parking outside it and taking a taxi to your apartment. I can see how this would be a simpler process and definitely encouraged if you are a nervous driver. Once you are there everything can be seen on foot anyway so cars do become redundant for the duration
We stayed in this Airbnb listing, right in the centre of the old town with its beautiful cobbled streets and listed buildings. It was a stunner, complete with original tiles, shutters and yet all the modern conveniences. The only thing I would say (and we’re finding this increasingly with apartments in Europe) is that it could be quite noisy at night. I think it’s an occupational hazard of being perched right on the street edge (ironically it was so quiet during the day though!) and the poor sound proofing and lack of secondary glazing in old buildings. It didn’t bother the kids at all but my top tip, if you are going down this route of city breaks, is to always travel with ear plugs. We bought some for our second night and slept like babies!
We were so unlucky with the weather on our weekend break, which was such a shame as I can imagine how much more stunning this beautiful place would be in the sunshine. I mean, it was still absolutely gorgeous – little streets to explore, squares and steps, cobbles and corners. The wonderful thing about Spain in early Spring is that it is already so green too. Everything is in bloom after the Winter months and so we were treated to Bougainvillea and blossom, and the most amazing show of Mimosa you ever did see!
After dinner on our first evening (tapas, churros and local wine!) we headed back to rest up for a full Saturday of exploring.
We had heard lots about the Alhambra before our visit (thank you again Instagram friends!) and, despite the torrential rain and wind, we decided to make a beeline for there anyway on Saturday afternoon. It’s advisable to try and book your tickets in advance (queues are long and move at a snail’s pace, even when you have tickets in hand!) They only allow a fixed number of people in to the palace each day and, although it was fully booked according to the website, our Airbnb host managed to garner us some.
By the time we made it there we were wet and cold and, I’ll not lie, I kind of wanted to turn around and head home again, but I’m so glad that we persevered and made the effort to see it. Fuelled with coffee and pizza slices, we took in the gardens and the Nasrid Palaces. The whole area, perched on a hilltop, is a UNESCO world heritage site and more than deserving of the protection that that offers. The kids loved all the twists and turns of the palaces – the water features, coloured tiles and carved ceilings. It’s just amazing to think that this was all done by hand in intricate detail. So beautiful!
We had taken the tourist train up to the palace – a hop-on, hop-off affair lasting about an hour – but decided to walk back down again as the weather had dried up a little. The parkland surrounding the Alhambra is stunning, and the views over the city breathtaking too. I’d love to go back and enjoy it all in better weather.
Sunday was our photo and video shoot, but I’ll tell you all about that another time!
We had the best weekend taking in this really pretty city. It was something different for us, a bit more unusual, but we were totally won over by the friendly people, accessibility, gorgeous food and stunning location. We’ll definitely be back (with a side order of sunshine the next time! 🙂 )
** We were invited to Spain to take part in a campaign for Airbnb. They provided all travel expenses and compensated us for our work over the course of the weekend. This post is not endorsed or sponsored by them and contains only our own opinions and views. All love of tapas, churros and big, yellow trees is entirely our own. 😉 **