Green Delight : Alhambra of Granada, Spain

The gardens might just be the best part of visiting the Alhambra. I love the fact that they manage to talk both about geometry and free-form. You might expect such an elegant place to have stuffy gardens (We have a lot of those in France, and to me they feel quite soulless) but instead they have a sort of freedom about them, something that speaks of the passion of the gardeners and about the admiration for nature’s whimsy. Manicured hedges frame eruption of flowers and geometric basins welcome forests of waterlilies. This generous nature seems to also have a taste for indolence, it leaves juicy oranges to roll on golden cobblestones and impossibly frilly flowers to soften in the afternoon heat.

It really brought to life my fantasies of dreamlike Arabian Nights gardens, of sanctuaries of sensual beauty hidden behind high walls, where sweet perfumes and heavy fruits compete with ravishing flowers. It’s a true testament to heavenly Andalucia and its half Mediterranean, half Middle-Eastern charm.

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More pictures of the Alhambra here. I read you can also visit at night, this must be fantastic too…
More pictures of Andalucia here.

Je serais tentée de dire que les jardins de l’Alhambra volent à la vedette à l’Alhambra lui-même. J’adore la façon qu’ils ont de parler à la fois de géométrie et de forme libre. Dans un endroit pareil, on pourrait s’attendre à des jardins très classiques et guindés (comme ceux dont on a souvent le secret en France), mais on y ressent au contraire quelque chose qui ressemble fort à de la liberté et qui laisse transparaître la passion des (nombreux) jardiniers et une vraie admiration pour les splendides caprices d’une nature laissée libre. Les haies manucurées y côtoient des fleurs folles et les bassins rectilignes accueillent des forêts de nénuphars. Cette nature généreuse se laisse même parfois aller à l’indolence, les oranges juteuses roulent sur les pavés et les fleurs opulentes s’affaissent doucement dans la chaleur de l’après-midi.

L’endroit a vraiment tout ce qu’on peut imaginer d’un jardin décadent des 1001 nuits, et convoque des images de beauté sensuelles cachées derrière de hauts murs, de sanctuaires lourds de parfums et de fruits mûrs. C’est le charme de l’Andalousie dans toute sa douce splendeur, toujours à mi-chemin entre Méditerranée et Moyen-Orient.

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Plus de photos de l’Alhambra ici. J’ai lu qu’on pouvait aussi le visiter la nuit, ça doit aussi valoir le détour…
Plus de photos d’Andalousie ici.

2 Comments

  • Reply June 17, 2017

    Jenna

    What gorgeous and lush photos! I visited Granada in the heat of August and I remember the blooms, but not the green like this. Such a beautiful reminder of a place I so want to revisit.

    xx
    http://www.scarlettandgiselle.com

    • Reply June 17, 2017

      The Voyageur

      Ah that’s interesting ! They probably have a hard time keeping it that lush in the heat of summer. Even on a very hot June day the gardens were pleasantly cool. I love this idea of fresh water coming from the mountains to cool the place. I read somewhere that the first owners, who were Arabs, were absolutely fascinated by the abundance of water there, that’s why they put basins and fountains everywhere. That was a real picture of paradise for them, and I feel you can still get that feeling now, of a place that’s more fantasy than reality…

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