Spain Granada 2001.01.21 - 01.23


A visit to Granada must include the Alhambra. Throughout the massive ½ kilometer long Alhambra flow a multitude of fountains powered by gravity and water pressure. Melted snow from the Sierra Nevada mountains is channeled to the elaborate and complicated Alhambra fountain system. The centerpiece of Alhambra is Casa Real, the Royal Palace. Islamic patterns are carved in minute detail throughout the expansive rooms of Casa Real. See it to believe it.

Tickets to Alhambra sell out early in the summer high tourist season, and advance reservations are essential. The reservation office is open daily 08:00-18:00 (Tel: 902-224-460, Int'l: +34-91-374-5420). Payment over the phone is by credit card. Admission ticket: PTS 1000, reservation fee: PTS 125. English is spoken.

During low tourist season, it's better to purchase tickets at the Alhambra ticket office in the morning and save the PTS 125 reservation fee. Don't wait until the afternoon to purchase tickets. Every tourist in Granada will be at Alhambra, and there are a surprising number of people visiting even in the lowest of low seasons.

For Japanese speakers, there's a helpful Nihon Joho (Information) Center run by Señor Masaki, a Japanese who's a 20 year resident of Granada. He can recommend the cheapest places to eat and demonstrate Flamenco rhythm on his guitar. Through Masaki-san, we got tickets to our first Flamenco dance in Spain. Nihon Joho Center address: 3rd floor, Reyes Catolicos 14; tel: 958-227835; hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00-13:30 and 17:00-20:00.

Flamenco is performed nightly starting 22:15 at Jardines Neptuno on Calle Arabial. The program lasts about 1½ hours. Reservations can be made at Tel: +34-958-522-533. The ticket price is PTS 3800 including one drink.

An Internet Café with floppy drive and FTP client software is FreeMEMory Internet at Calle San Jerónimo, 14. They charge PTS 250 per hour.

The Alhambra is on a hill overlooking the city of Granada. To the north loom the snow capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Fountains throughout the Alhambra spurt water propelled by gravity and water pressure. Without the aid of electricity, the water flows continuously through a labyrinth of complex underground channels.

The Patio de los Leones (Patio of the Lions) within Casa Real has continuously flowing water in the center fountain and in the 4 radiating channels symbolizing the Islamic 4 gardens of paradise.

Throughout Casa Real, elaborately carved stone decorates almost every structural surface.

Occasional serene pools of water reflect buildings within the Alhambra giving a peaceful, meditative feeling.

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