We were in Granada visiting the most popular tourist attraction – Alhambra Palace. Visitors have to book tickets in advance as one may not get tickets if you just decided to walk in. This is because only a limited number of visitors are allowed in a day and they are distributed through each hour, so that the Palace can be preserved and doesn’t get too crowded at any point in time. I appreciate the idea, I think this approach should be adopted at many historical sites which tend to wear & tear due to so many tourist visiting them.
Going back to Alhambra – there are many tickets you could buy - the day tour, the evening tour, the walk through the gardens, the general life tour etc. We chose two tours – a visit to the Nasrid Palaces, scheduled at 9:00 AM and then a visit to the Palacio de Generalife (which is another section of this palace), scheduled at 2: 00 PM.
I was enthralled with the Nasrid Palace and its beautiful Islamic architecture. The views it had to offer of the town, the beautiful gardens that open to fountains, the intricate work on the doors, ceiling and pillars made it impressive place. Huddled around the magnificent gardens the palace was almost like a paradise and I was lost in it. There was couple for their wedding portrait and I thought of it as incredibly romantic! Alhambra sure is one of the most romantic background for a photo shoot.
We sang, danced around the Palace Halls, Towers, Alcazza gardens, posed for photo at every step, strolled through the souvenir shop but couldn’t decide what to take home and stopped for long lazy lunch. After all this we took the long walk from Alhambra Nasrid Palace to Palacio de Generalife (though its not far, we were walking slowly enjoying every view the place had to offer).
At the entrance of Palacio de Generalife, was a doorman, who was a old gentlemen dressed in uniform of sorts. I handed my admission ticket but he refused our entry. I was stunned! How could he refuse our entry and so I enquired why he did not allow us when we had a valid ticket. He pointed out the time on the ticket, which showed 2:00PM and we were late. It was almost 4:00PM!! The doorman asked us to move back as there were other visitors.
In all the wandering, singing, dancing walking lazily through the first part of Alhambra Palace we had lost a track of time. My husband was disappointed and started the ‘I told you so…’ conversation. We had such a wonderful time the whole morning it couldn’t possibly end feeling sad.
I was all flustered and angry, but I decided to try again and walked up to the doorman and spoke to him to explain that we were around the palace itself but we lost track of time. He did not understand what I was saying. I presume he didn’t follow English and spoke only Spanish.
Now I tried to keep my cool and I tried again, I used sign language to explain that we got late and we have come from very far to see this place. It didn’t seem to work. He could not follow me. He gestured me to move back.
I tried again, this time I simply smiled and he ushered us in. I then realized - Smile, the universal sign opens many doors, many hearts . It makes up for language barriers, distance barriers and maybe even can amend some rules.
Needless to say I enjoyed touring the Palacio de Generalife too. We sure would have missed something if we had not pushed our entry through the doorman. And I now remember to smile before I give up on anything or anyone, it might just open the door I have been waiting for.
Have you ever pushed your way through a doorman? How did you get past? Did you ever lose track of time because the place was so beautiful - when and where?? Would love to hear your experiences.