In a place known for temperatures of 45-48C in the 'high' season, we felt a bit like tourists who visit Ayers Rock/Uluru during a thunderstorm: slightly damp due to rain rather than sweat, and well aware that not many get to experience it in this way.
Kicking off as a fortress in the 8th century, becoming a Moorish palace by the 11th and reclaimed by the Spanish Catholics in 1492, the place has seen a few changes, additions, dodgy renovations, vandalism, refurbs and a tourist or two. Granada was barely visible during the drizzle and the ticketing system was run on an almost Swiss-like, humourlessly strict 30-minute basis. Miss your slot and you don't get sent to the back of the line: you get told to bugger off and try and book for another day.
Rain I can handle; bone chilling breezes are what make being a traveller with nowhere to hide until late afternoon check-in a nightmare. Luckily was wet but mild and the grey skies helped make the intricate stone carvings stand out even more.
It was a genuine joy to see how Sapphire responded to the place. "I will come back here again," she gasped, "I have to."
Whilst admiring the endless rooms of painted tiles (not allowed to be photographed due to the need for the use of flash), 'glory to god' carvings, blue and green alabaster ceilings and courtyards that would have been the coolest places to recover during a blistering summer day, it was hard not to wonder how the poor peasants of Granada felt seeing an enormous mini-city of opulence literally looking down over their town.
The Four Minute Showerer may have left her birth country, but couldn't help seeing the water tumbling down and thinking, 'What this joint needs are a few humungous corrugated iron tanks dotted about and some guttering."
"This is crazy, yes," said a museum guide, watching as an inner courtyard turned into a plunge pool. We all had to jump in as the circuit only went one way and Alhambra doesn't tolerate tourists who don't toe the line or move in an orderly clockwise direction towards the overpriced gift shop.
Perhaps I've left it a bit late in this piece to let you know just how dazzled and impressed and inspired we were by the place?
And how my photographs don't do it justice? Especially the ones where I'd left a fingerprint on the lens so that the famous lion fountain could only be glimpsed behind what looked like a lonely cloud?
Wet through yes; in awe and thrilled to be there, yes times a hundred.
Sapphire's currently working on a painting for her bedroom based on some of the recurring patterns she saw here and immediately answers 'Alhambra' when polite adults ask her what the highlight of her holiday was.
A slight whinge about to occur now, but nothing to do with the all-encompassing amazingness of Alhambra. I try to be a nice person and hopefully succeed in this endeavour at least fifty one percent of the time. If a couple are taking photos and one poses in front of the monument/silly sign/tower/river/ski field/castle, I'll wander over and ask if they'd like to me take their portrait together, as otherwise it's likely they'll end up with an album full of selfies (see above) or of each photo featuring just one of them.
"Yes please," they'll eagerly reply, but here's my beef: why don't they ever offer to take OURS for us? I can count on one bloody hand how many photos of The Lockett Three there are in existence.
Fingerprint smear, flash bouncing off the glass and someone scraping the side of my eyebrow with their passing umbrella be damned: this is the kind of garden I'll have when the lotto gods smile upon me.
And orange trees. I eat an orange every single morning before breakfast (it's true: ask Love Chunks or Sapphire) and smelling their spring blossoms even in the down pour made the relative lack of chocolate an afterthought.
You haven't seen the last of us Locketts, Spain.