From Seville we took an onward train to Granada, our last stop of the trip. I am not entirely sure what I was expecting when we arrived, but I was surprised to see that it was larger than I had anticipated, and full of young people (thanks to the nearby university). There were many squares surrounded by restaurants and cafés that made it easy to wander without any destination in mind. We had left the afternoon open, and decided to visit the Cathedral and Royal Chapel, each of which required a €5 euro ticket that was easy enough to purchase on the spot. As a student of European history, it was fascinating to visit Isabella and Ferdinand’s tombs, and to also admire some of their ceremonial clothes.
We spent our last day visiting the Ahlhambra, where again I was surprised by the expansive nature of the site. The complex consists of several palaces and gardens and sits atop an outcrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains, with stunning views of the city of Granada below. As our guide walked us through the various palaces, I was impressed by the beautiful architecture that combines both Islamic influence and Spanish Renaissance style. We spent several hours here, but could have spent even more time wandering through the gardens and admiring the extensive tile work and honeycomb ceilings.
In celebration of our last evening in Spain, our hotel made a reservation for us at a restaurant overlooking the Alhambra, and it was a spectacular way to end our journey.
In reflecting on our time in Spain, we agreed that early May was a beautiful time of year to visit, as the weather was comfortable and while there were people, most of the sites we visited were not totally overrun by tourists just yet. As with so many European destinations, we loved being able to enjoy a drink outdoors without feeling rushed, allowing us to appreciate the movement around us. My grandmother had never experienced tapas or sangria before, and she was hooked from the first day! Traveling with my sisters and my grandmother made our trip that much more special, as we spent so much time laughing and telling stories, all while enjoying the scenery around us. It also gave us plenty of time to discuss our next trip, as we thoroughly enjoyed all that we experienced, but realized that there is so much more that Spain has to offer, so we must come back!