Saturday, 7 July 2012 - Granada
Made it to Granada with ease - checked in to our hotel, Hotel Almenas, dropped our bags in the room and headed off to visit the Alhambra. The Alhambra was, until 1492, the last stronghold of the Moorish kingdoms.
The site, its grounds, gardens, buildings etc are incredible. It is an exhausting visit, the paths are mainly cobble stone so your feet and legs really take a beating. Add to that they make you stand for long periods in queues in the sun waiting to get in to one or the other buildings.
One BIG bonus for me was an exhibition they have of Sorolla paintings. We missed quite a few of the Sorolla's in Madrid, because they are here, plus there are quite a few from private collections on display. It is a fabulous display.
I do wish I had more time to just visit the gardens at Alhambra, another time. Being here, and knowing what I know now I think getting the split ticket and seeing half one day and half the second makes way more sense.
On our way back to the room we stopped for a beer and a few tapas. We got to the room about 7/7:30, tried the internet and were able to connect with the ipod but not the ipad. Unfortunately this hotel has internet only in public spaces, but they do have a nice lounge so its not horrible.
We showered, changed and were picked up at 9 for our ride to the flamenco show. We went to a different style show - Zambra, which s a style developed by the gypsies of Sacramonte - our ride took us into the Albayzine neighborhood which is the old Muslim section of town, really quite interesting and afforded us some spectacular views of Granada. We got back to the room about 11:30, I was hungry but too tired to struggle finding a place so ate a fruit bar and pre-packed then went to bed, slept straight through till 7.
It's unfair, after less than 24 hours, but Granada is not high on my list of places to return. It is obviously a college town, and there are younglings everywhere trying to be either hippie, bohemian, or downtrodden, all in very expensive shabby style. Else they are the uber thin uber well dressed.
There are some really great art-graffiti pieces but also a lot of tagging. And there are people on top of people.
Passing from Toledo to Granada we passed hectares upon hectares of olive orchards. While at the Alhambra there were quite a few olive trees heavy with olives, and olives laying unused on the ground. In our hotel lobby I picked up a flyer for an olive oil tour which I think would have been really interesting but we had already purchased our train tickets out. So note, don't pre-plan, things come up.
So it is 9am Saturday morning and we are off to spend the day in Córdoba before passing on to Sevilla?