We took a last minute trip to Granada over the weekend between our 2 weeks of classes in Seville. The Alhambra is a palace built during Muslim rule in Spain. The grounds were initially built as a fortress, but were renovated across the centuries to become a magnificent palace. Each section of the Alhambra has Moorish influence in the architecture but varies in interior design depending on the ruler who commissioned the work. The main living quarters of the Alhambra are laden with geometric designs and passages from the Quran carved into the wooden walls and ceilings. However, one of the later rulers did not adhere strictly to Islam’s laws regarding human images and commissioned portraits of his family for their summer home in a different part of the compound. The rest of the grounds consist of manicured lawns, colorful gardens, and fancy fountains.

It is a good idea to reserve your tickets for the Alhambra in advance because lines can get pretty long and you need to reserve a time slot to visit the Nasrid Palace, the main palace. We didn’t actually have tickets purchased, but still found a way around the line. Ticketmaster conveniently has a number of electronic ticket kiosks set up in a little building not in plain sight. We tried to purchase our tickets but could not as we did not have EMV smart chips in our credit card. Luckily we found an Italian couple who happily bought our tickets which we paid them back for of course. This saved us about an hour wait in the cold on line.

Many ticket machines which accept credit card in Europe require a pin code. We hopped on the internet and learned that we could also get a nifty EMV credit card with a pin code that comes in handy at automated ticket machines all over Europe. Ask us if you want to know how to get one.

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