Adjacent to the Alhambra is the Generalife, the summer palace of the Nasrid rulers of Al-Andalus with its splendid gardens, and this is the subject of part 3 of my Alhambra photo-series.
The Patio de la Acequia (Court of the Long Pond) at the Generalife
Fountains in the Patio de la Acequia (Court of the Long Pond) at the Generalife
Flowers in the Patio de la Acequia (Court of the Long Pond) at the Generalife
Archway carving at the Generalife
Gallery at the Generalife
Fountain and pool in Patio del Ciprés de la Sultana at the Generalife
Looking out from the Generalife towards the Alhambra
As with the Alhambra palaces, patience is key when visiting the Generalife; it seems near impossible to access it at a quite time so the best advice is to go in (you can only enter once by the way, multiple visits are not permitted) and to simply wait for breaks in the crowd. In one of these rare moments you can then view and fully appreciate the gardens and buildings without trying to look over or around someone else.
My wife and I used the same trick in the palaces; simply hang back and let the flow of people pass you by. It amazed my how quickly people moved through the palace complex; a click of the camera here and there and they were off to the next room leaving one to wonder how many visitors to the Alhambra actually see it, rather than just glance, point and shoot?
The palace rooms are places to linger, to allow oneself to be consumed by the detail and exquisiteness of the architecture and craftsmanship and to imagine them as they once were at their most opulent; to move through them in a manner that lacks in focus or concentration and as though one is in a great rush to reach the end is perverse: why bother going at all?
Before I finish I implore you to do one thing should you visit the palaces: sit on the floor and look around you. You may get some odd looks but who really cares about that? What you will also get, however, is a great perspective of the buildings; the Nasrid rulers would have filled the floors with cushions and sat on them and so you get to experience the rooms as they may have done, to a degree at least.