Granada 2024

March 18, 2024

The drive to Granada was beautiful. Again, olive trees were growing in rows for miles and miles. We stopped at a White Hill town called Antequera. We saw the view from the top near the church and another Alcazar, then had lunch in town at an outdoor restaurant.

We arrived in Granada, checked in to our Airbnb, and walked into the vibrant town to get groceries. We stopped at a bakery for bread. They have the most amazing pastries in Granada.

We returned to our apartment building and couldn’t find our apartment. I had to check with our Airbnb host, Arturo. We had accidentally entered an identical-looking building but the layout was completely different after we left the lobby. Once in the correct building, we found our apartment right where we left it.

March 19, 2024

We bought tickets for the bus around town. It was like a little toy train and riding around the cobblestone streets was torture. Up and up it took us through the town of Granada.

We jumped off after just a few stops to see the Alhambra, which means “red castle” and is the eighth wonder of the world. This is the number one most-visited tourist sight in Spain. Wikipedia says: The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It is one of the most famous monuments of Islamic architecture and one of the best-preserved palaces of the historic Islamic world, and it also contains notable examples of Spanish Renaissance architecture.

I was deeply impressed with the Generalife gardens, full of fountains, flowers, and cedars formed into arches. I had paid extra for the entrance to the royal bedrooms of the palace, but there were no furnished rooms or even much of a roof left anywhere. It was more like a stone castle in ruin than a palace. It kind of reminded me of the remains of Native American stone homes at various monuments in the western US, such as Bandolier National Park. I guess we missed the opulence by a few centuries. A guide pointed out the indoor toilets in each little home, basically a brick-lined slit in the floor that connected to a central sewer system. From the high tower of the palace, the views of the Sierra Nevada mountains were impressive, mostly because I didn’t even know there were huge snow-covered mountains in southern Spain.

I overheard a guide at the Alhambra say that Granada is the California of Europe because in 45 minutes one can be skiing in the  Sierra Nevada mountains. Forty-five minutes in another direction takes you to the nicest beaches in Europe.

My pictures are hazy because there was a bad wind from Africa clouding up the skies.

We took a taxi to a fun plaza along a river with restaurants and views up to the Alhambra and waited for our rambling tourist train/bus to come along. We finished the route and got some groceries to make dinner at home.

After shrimp and pasta dinner, Jen and I did some shopping during the paseo time when Spaniards walk the streets, shopping and talking. It was really fun to be out in the evening.

I need to take some time tomorrow to relax and recover from the cold that I have now. It’s the worst cough I’ve had since before Covid.

March 20, 2024

We left the house at about 11 after a yummy breakfast of French toast to shop our way to the Cathedral. You know, another day, another massive, opulent cathedral. I wonder, when I see these incredibly over-the-top churches in Europe what the everyday parishioner thought about all the money spent on them in the old days. If I had had hungry children at home, sitting in a fancy gold-encrusted church freezing my ass off on Sundays would not have made me happier or less hungry.

We came back home and rested for a while. Then I went out for dinner ingredients at El Corte Ingles. We ate and talked, then went back out for gelato, but the shops were already closed. Sometimes in Spain, you’re too early to eat, and sometimes you’re too late. It’s hard to figure it out.