Can't believe it's the last day.
Trip Start Feb 17, 2010
17Trip End Mar 07, 2010
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Where I stayed
We first wandered through the remains of the medina. There was a thriving city behind the walls at one time, and this was where the majority of the 2,000 or so people lived
We got in line and waited to get into the palace. The information is VERY clear - you enter within a half hour of your scheduled time or you don't get to go in, so we didn't mess around. We did our best to wait around for crowds to move through areas so we could have it on our own when possible. The rooms were even more decorated and ornate than the places we'd seen previously although these weren't restored to the level of some of the places we've been. The "stalagtite" ceilings really were amazing. Apparently MC Escher was here and these ceilings gave him inspiration for some of his work. The gardens and pools were beautiful and you could imagine the serenity here (minus the crowds) that is so often associated with this place. There were a few rooms at the end that were the "Washington Irving Rooms". These few rooms are where he stayed for months and wrote "Tales of the Alhambra" (of course I have to read this now). On our way out to the gardens, we stopped - thanks to Rick Steves - in the former baths and checked out the "Secrets Room"
The Partal Gardens were next - formal gardens attached to the palaces which were very cool. Again, lots of fountains and nice walkways. I never realized how much I like this sort of place - maybe I'll have to come up with something at home...
We stopped for a snack and of course made some new cat friends. We opened a bag of chips and one cat just followed us to the wall we sat on and waited. We started feeding her some chips and she was VERY happy. A bunch of her little friends joined us and waited for chips. It made me think of Bonnie & Clyde (my cats growing up) who would wait at my dad's side until he gave them a chip.
The Generalife palace and garden was next. This was on the other side of the "moat" and the sultan's summer hang out. The palace itself only had 3 or 4 rooms, but the gardens were AMAZING. The courtyard in the palace had a great pool with plantings all around that were actually the original plantings from 500 years ago or so. Paintings from that time show the gardens to look pretty much the same. The outer gardens had some of those huge cypress (?) shrubs formed into alleys and arches. I just love those. Unfortunately it takes decades to grow those sorts of things and I just don't have that kind of patience.
We went out for our final Spanish dinner to a nice little place on Plaza Nueva. We both had paella (veggie for me, meat for Rog) and toasted a great vacation. Although we miss the gang at home and are ready for our own bed, it's hard to imagine that this is our last night. This has been an amazing vacation and a birthday that I will never forget. It was all that I hoped it would be ... and more. I'm a lucky, lucky girl who counts her blessings every day. H'am du Allah.