All of my international home exchanges have been wonderful, but if I had to pick one of my favorites, it would actually be my first exchange in Andalucía in Southern Spain. There are so many reasons why this exchange was exceptional, starting with the wonderful Spanish style casa that we got to live in for ten days and which was set among an ancient olive grove in the mountains. It was really a remarkable place.
But this exchange also afforded me the perfect opportunity to revisit a place that I had been to over a decade before and had never forgotten, The Alhambre Palace and Generalife Gardens in Grenada, Spain. Simply put, this place is my nirvana. I loved it in 1992 and fell deeper in love with it in on this trip in 2009. If I could spend the day anywhere in the world, for just one day, this would be my choice.
Why is it so special to me. Simply put, it takes my breath away. The Palace with it’s exquisitely carved Moorish architecture is pretty spectacular all by itself, but coupled with it’s breathtaking gardens, fountains, and expansive views of the ancient city of Grenada, it is enough to make me swoon. Sorry if that sounds overly dramatic, but I am really passionate about this place!
Every step or turn you take, produces another beautiful sight. When I’m there I can’t help but want to capture every inch of it in my memory, and because I have a lousy memory, also with my camera! I want desperately to return again, for longer, even though I’ve already been there twice. What I’d really like to do is pack a bag and go live in the Palace, or better yet, in the garden.
Beyond the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, the city of Granada’s ancient neighborhoods called the Albayzin and Alcazaba are an added bonus, both are exotic and entrancing.
I love to walk through them by day, stopping in the tiny shops and eating in it’s incredibly quaint squares, almost as much as I like strolling through these neighborhoods at night when they are romantically lit. It’s just magical.
If you would like to see more of my Alhambra photos, check out my family travel album.