Saturday, December 14, 2019

Granada in Winter

William Dalrymple:

I saw in the new year with my family a short walk down from the Alhambra in Granada — one of the best travel decisions I’ve made for years.

It was also just what was needed at a difficult time. My father had recently died, following a decline brought on my mother’s death several months earlier. The home I had been brought up in was suddenly empty, and Scotland with its frosts and bare trees, its short days and long nights, seemed black with grief. Andalucía brought us back to life.

Even arriving in Granada was like coming up for air. I never knew a European winter could be so mild or so beautiful: the high, cold perfectly blue skies of early morning, with wisps of mist in the valleys, would give way to wonderfully warm afternoons: shirtsleeves weather. Bright wintry light illuminated the stucco stalactites of the Salón de los Embajadores, and swelled the oranges ripening in the Generalife palace gardens. Without a breath of wind, the still mirror-pools perfectly reflected the Moorish horseshoe arches rising behind them. Concluding every view, brilliantly illuminated, rose the snow-peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

Andalucía is beautiful in winter, particularly around Christmas. Explore in amuz