So there I was, restless, staring at the ceiling of the bottom bunk in my hostel, and I was ready to go anywhere on a Friday night in Grenada. It’s 11pm, and I just arrived in the city after my bus from Barcelona dropped me off at the station, and I had no idea what I should do since sleep clearly wasn’t happening anytime soon. Opening my phone, I checked Facebook for local events. Nothing caught my eye, so I switched to google maps, searching for potential vistas for night photography. I quickly found an icon of a castle, Alhambra. The photos looked amazing, but sadly, the attraction was closed. Never before have I seen a castle, so choose to walk the 30 minutes to see it with my own eyes.
As I approached the main gate, I noticed it was “still” open. A handful of people were also coming and going, so I passed through the metal gates. Standing on the other side was the courtyard my imagination went into overdrive. It was dark, yes, hardly lit any better than the moon light in some places, but it was fun to think just a few hundred years ago men & women of Moorish and Christian faith fought to defend, or take these walls in battle. Along the ramparts I pictured the guards walking on patrol, torch in hand. And I pictured those same guards fiercely defending the walls during a siege. For the next half hour I continued to walk the grounds, still captured by my own imagination at every turn.
At some point I heard the bell ring, signaling midnight had a arrived. I wasn’t quite ready to leave, but ironically it was at this point when I discovered leaving may no longer be a choice!
Now standing atop a wall with a view of the main gate, I could clearly see the mental doors closed shut! Alarmed, I ran back to the gate. Both the inner, and outer doors were barred with large iron rods. As I inspected them closer, I noted security hadn’t improved much over the years. Opening them would’ve been easy from the inside, but this was no ordinary door. This was historic. If I, an untrained tourist, tried to move the metal bars and caused scratches or real damage to any of the hinges, would I even be allowed to leave the country for the rest of my life?
I turned around, and walked further into the castle grounds. I knew there had to be another way out. Earlier, I spotted several locals still walking about. Although I hadn’t seen any of them for some time, I suspected, hoped, one of them would know of an open exit.
Eventually, I came upon what was obviously a hotel inside the castle. A taxi cab arrived and dropped off two of its’ passengers. I was relieved. All I had to do was follow the car to where it came from and I would be back on my way to my hostel. My small crisis of being the main character in the new hit movie “Locked In The Castle” was over.
Back in my hostel, I stare at the ceiling of my bottom bunk. No longer restless, but smiling fondly at my new tale I would later retell to friends and family alike on several occasions.
If you’re ever in Grenada and feeling adventurous, check out Castle Alhambra! And if you’d like to learn where you can snap a cool photo of the fortress at night, follow me on Instagram and send me a DM!