Travel to Granada
Cheap North African cuisine can be found around the Albaicln, while more typical menu fare awaits in PI. Nueva and PI. Trinidad. The adventurous eat well in Granada try tortilla sacromonte (omelette with calf s brains, bull testicles, ham, shrimp, and veggies). Get groceries at Supermercado T. Mariscal, C. Genii, next to El Corte Ingles. (Open M-F 9:30am-2pm and 5-9pm, Sa 9:30am-2pm.)
@ El Ladrillo II, C. Panaderos 13. Sumptuous food. Entrees ‚6.60-12. Open daily 12:30pm-l:30am. MCV.
O Naturi Albaicin, C. Caldererla Nueva 10. Excellent vegetarian cuisine in a serene Moroccan ambience. No alcohol served. Menu ‚6.90-8.30. Open M-Th and Sa-Su l-4pm and 7-llpm, F 7-llpm.
Restaurant Sonymar, PI. Boquero 6 (958 27 10 63). Relish in the nouveau Moorish decor and amazing service of this secluded neighborhood eatery. Mend ‚6. Entrees ‚7.20-12.60. Open daily l-4pm and 8-ll:30pm. AmExV.
Taberna Salinas, C. Elvira 13 (958 22 14 11). Rustic tavern that serves generous portions. Entrees ‚7-18. Open daily 12:30pm-2am.
La Nueva Bodega, C. Cetti Meriem 9 (958 22 59 34), at the corner of C. Cetti Meriem and C. Elvira. Pleases locals and tourists alike with hearty traditional cuisine. Menu ‚4.20-9. Tapas ‚4. Open daily noon-midnight.
Restaurante Asador Corrala del Carbon, C. Mariana Pineda 8 (958 22 38 10). Savor traditional Andalucian grilled meat in an indoor re-creation of an old neighborhood courtyard. Entrees ‚8-17. Open daily l-4pm and 8:30pm-midnight.
Botanico Cafe, C. Malaga 3 (958 27 15 98), 2 blocks from PI. Trinidad. This hip cafe is a major student hangout which brings new life to traditional Spanish dishes. Entrees ‚4.80-9. Open Su-Th noon-lam, F-Sa noon-2am.
Los Italianos, Gran Via 4 ( 958 22 40 34). Popular geato parlor with 26 heavenly flavors draws nightly crowds. 2 scoops ‚1, ice cream sundaes ‚1.20-2.50. Cold drinks (lemonade and leche fria) ‚1.20. Open daily 9am-3am.
THE ALHAMBRA. From the streets of Granada, the Alhambra, meaning the red one in Arabic, appears simple, blocky, faded a child’s toy castle planted in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Up close, however, you will discover an elaborate and detailed piece of architecture; one that magically unites water, light, wood, stucco, and ceramics to create a fortress-palace of rich aesthetic and symbolic grandeur. Celebrated by poets and artists throughout the ages, the Alhambra continues to inspire those who visit with its timeless beauty, and many would argue that the age-old saying: Si mueres sin ver la Alhambra, no has vivido (If you die without seeing the Alhambra, you have not lived) still holds true. (Walk up C. Cuesta de Gomerez from PI. Nueva (20min.), or take the quick Alhambra-Neptuno microbus from PI. Nueva (every 5min. ‚1). s 958 22 15 03; reservations 902 22 44 60; online reservations www.alhambratickets.com. Admission is limited, so arrive early or reserve tickets in advance at local banks (reservation fee ‚0.75) or BBVA branches around Spain. Enter the Palace of the Nas-rids (Alcazar) during the time specified on your ticket Open Apr.-Sept. daily 8:30am-8pm; Oct.-Mar. M-Sa 9am-5:45pm. Nighttime visits June-Sept. Tu, Th, Sa 10-11:30pm; Oct.-May Sa 8-10pm. All visits ‚8. The handicapped and under-8 free. Moonlit tours June-Sept. Tu, Th, Sa 10-11:30pm; Oct.-May Sa 8-10pm; inquire for details at the info desk at the Alhambra; ‚8. Audioguides narrated by Washington living’ in Spanish, English, French, German, and Italian; ‚3.)
THE ALCAZAR. Follow signs to the Palacio Nazaries to see the Alcazar, a 14th-century royal palace full of dripping stalactite archways, multicolored tiles, and sculpted fountains. The magnificently carved walls of the Patio del Cuarto Dorado (Patio of the Gilded Hall) are topped by the shielded windows of the women’s chambers, such that they could see out but no one could see in. In the elaborate Sala de los Embajadores (Hall of Ambassadors) Granada was formally surrendered to the Catholic Monarchs, and Ferdinand and Columbus discussed finding a new route to India. A fountain supported by 12 marble lions babbles in the center of the Patio de los Leones (Courtyard of the Lions). The Sala de los Abencer- rajes is where Boabdil had the throats of 16 sons of the Abencerrajes family slit after one of them had allegedly had amorous encounters with the sultana Zora-hayda. The rust-colored stains in the basin are said to mark the indelible traces of the butchering; evidently, none of this bothered the Emperor Charles V, who dined here during the construction of his neighboring palazzo. Light streams into the room through the intricate domed ceiling, which features an eight-pointed star a design said to represent terrestrial and heavenly harmony.
THE ALCAZABA. The Christians drove the first Nasrid King Alhamar from the Albaicm to this more strategic hill, where he built the series of rust-colored brick towers which form the Alcazaba (fortress). A dark, spiraling staircase leads to the Torre de la Vela (watchtower), where visitors get a splendid 360° view of Granada and the surrounding mountains. The tower’s bells were rung to warn of impending danger and to coordinate the Moorish irrigation system. Every January 1st, during the annual commemoration of the Christian conquest of Granada, an old legend holds that any local girl who scrambles up the tower and rings the bell by hand before the first day of the actual new year will receive a wedding proposal within 365 days. Exit through the Puerta del Vino, the original entrance to the medina, where inhabitants of the Alhambra once bought tax-free wine (alas, no more).
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