Imagination sparked in el Alhambra in Granada

M. C. Escher's work was
inspired by the Alhambra
With lush gardens, fabulous fountains, gorgeous carved walls and ceilings, oiyo, it's no wonder that the Alhambra Palace has inspired writers, musicians, poets, and artists for hundreds of years. In 1829, American writer Washington Irving was inspired to write "How unworthy is my scribbling of the place" in his "Tales of the Alhambra."

Adding to my list of "stumbled into 'must see' tourist spots",  I place Alhambra in the top hundred. Though my husband and I only had about five hours here, I managed a few photos of this resplendent example of Islamic art and architecture: click to Flickr set.

The Alhambra and the Generalife were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The places open for public visits are divided into four areas: Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, Partal and Generalife.

Sustainable Tourism Effort at the Alhambra

Just a few weeks ago, it was exciting to read that my former employer American Express join with the World Monuments Fund in a Joint Sustainable Tourism Effort at the Alhambra. For more info, visit the WMF site here.
“The Hidden Alhambra" is a sustainable tourism project supported by American Express and World Monuments Fund in the form of a donation of $200,000 through the American Express® Partners in Preservation program, in collaboration with World Monuments Fund.

My tips on your visit to Alhambra

You are given a specific time slot to visit the Nasrid Palaces. This time will be printed on your admission ticket. After this time, you will not have access to the palaces because they only allow a limited number of visitors at a time.

sit, gaze, reflect: go to flickr set here:
Give yourself some time to explore, as the palace grounds cover quite a large area. We had about two hours time from our admission to the time allotted to visit the Nasrid Palaces.

It was a hot June day and the sun was intense. We walked through the shadier places, then took time out for a quick lunch.

We snacked from our own picnic basket. Tourist cafes on site are pricey and not for budget conscious. We were able to get through the entire palace grounds, and still have time to return to the spots that we most enjoyed.

It is definitely difficult to soak everything in on one afternoon visit. The advantage of long summer days is that the lighting stays delicious into the evening hours.

Sustainable travels with a simple lunch from our stash in the car.

Date of visit: 12 June 2011

What places have you stumbled upon that have inspired your creativity?

line forms for entrance into Nasrid Palaces

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