A Walk in the Alhambra Woods and World Heritage Albayzin
The Woods are lovely, dark and deep
A Walk in the Alhambra Woods:
If you go to Granada, you absolutely must take the time for a walk in the Alhambra Woods. We walked it many times, as this was the shortest route from our hotel into the tourist sections of Granada, a 10 minute walk.
Seinfeld sent us searching for Serenity Now. We found it in the Alhambra Woods. We breathed the fresh fresh air; we felt the autumn light; we heard rushing water and nightingales. All our senses came together to evoke a feeling of calmness and serenity. The Moors planned the woods with water, light and symmetry to create harmony between people and nature. They planted roses, oranges and myrtles. The Duke of Wellington added English elms in 1812. We lived Serenity Now.
Our mini wellness retreat:
The main road through the Alhambra Woods is framed by matching gutters, lined with river stones. The clear mountain water cascades down the hill, creating a symphony of sound that harmonizes with a multitude of nightingales.
Every time we walked through the woods, we were physically and spiritually rejuvenated. We didn’t mind that we had to stop to catch our breath on the hike back up the hill to our hotel.
Lots of people travel for wellness retreats to Sedona, Arizona; or Ubud in Bali. For me, a walk in the Alhambra Woods on a crisp, clear autumn day will forever be the place in the world where I can truly experience Serenity Now.
A Perfect Place to Start a New Life Together:
On one of our walks, we stumbled upon a wedding party. I asked if I could take a picture of the radiant bride and her handsome new husband.
If you know this beautiful couple, please direct them to this site.
The Albayzin: A World Heritage Site
A fun and lively modern city sits just outside the Alhambra Woods. It is filled with beautiful shops, restaurants and bars. We had lots of fun just wandering around the town. I loved the teas, herb and spice stand that we discovered in a church square. There were dozens of aromatic wares to see, smell and buy.
On the day after our tour of the Alhambra Palaces and Generalife, we set off on a hike through the Alhambra Woods, across the modern city and up the narrow, winding streets of Albayzin. The Albayzin is a world heritage site because it has retained the fabric of its medieval Moorish past. Most of the streets are closed to traffic but watch for cars and tourist busses on the open streets. Sometimes, we had to flatten ourselves against walls to allow cars to pass.
Pop-up Street Band:
We were delighted to listen to a street band that played a long and exuberant jazz-hip-hop set in the middle of a street.
Granada is the centre for classical Spanish guitars. The unique sound of Gypsy Jazz originates here.
Picture Yourself Here:
This was a picture of my sister but I thought it would be fun to show just her hand on her beer mug. Now you can picture yourself holding that beer mug.
I really liked the mugs in that bar. Back in the day, I might have stashed one in my purse. Instead, I asked the bartender if I could buy a mug. I couldn’t buy it: he gave it to me for free!
Every time I fill that mug with ice cold Canadian beer, I remember the fun we had in the Albayzin bar.
Sometimes you see more by looking behind:
If we hadn’t stopped for a rest in the Albayzin maze, we might not have looked back to see the beautiful colours of the vines that frame this entry to a private residence.
The Mirador de San Nicolas is a big, open square with sweeping vistas of the Alhambra Palaces and the modern town below, set against a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. You can enjoy the view for free from the street or the square. For the price of a meal or a beer, you can enjoy the view in comfort.
The evening views are just as spectacular as the daytime views because the Alhambra Palaces are lit up. You will need to go online to see some pictures because mine did not turn out at all. [Need to learn to take night-time shots before my next trip!]
One evening, we took a cab from our hotel to San Nicolas. We planned to have dinner at a restaurant recommended by our hotel. We arrived just as a foursome of American tourists arrived. The restaurant thought we were all part of the same group and sat us together. We had a terrific evening and exchanged many travel stories of our respective trips. The food and wine were excellent. The Americans picked the restaurant because it is a Rick Steves recommendation.