It was an early morning for these two travelers, as we had a 7:50 train to catch in Ronda. As much as we loved Ronda, we are happy to be in Granada--it's great so far.
We got to the station plenty early, as usual. We relaxed with a nice cup of coffee and had some toast for breakfast.
Our train left Ronda right on time for the 3 hour ride to Granada. Just like our bus trip from Cadiz to Ronda, we were on the "milk run", and we stopped at about 6 little towns along the way.
It was a very pretty trip, though:
We rolled in to Granada right on time, and we hauled our luggage off the train and looked for the exit. Hmmmm-this station is so small that we actually exited our train then walked across the tracks to the station! We didn't have any trouble finding a taxi, and it was a quick trip to our apartment in the central part of Granada--in the old historic district.
Our apartment wasn't ready yet, so we left our luggage and set out to find a grocery store and a bite of lunch. Today being a Sunday not much was open, but we did find a tiny grocery and picked up a few breakfast supplies. We explored our neighborhood and picked a small cafe for lunch. We just had a pasta dish, and it was OK--nothing to take a picture of!
While we were waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for our pasta, they brought us a free tapas of couscous with fried sardines. The couscous was good, and I tried to convince David that the sardines were delicious, but I couldn't keep a straight face! They weren't so good…...
We found our way back to our crummy little apartment (for the next 3 days know as our C.L.A!), and were able to check in and drop off the groceries.
Now---about our apartment! Hmmmmmm….I'll just say it's not quite what we expected. The pictures sure looked nice on the internet, and I'm not so sure what all those glowing reviews were about, but in real life it's not so great! The neighborhood is fine, but the apartment itself is kind of sad and a bit run down. But it's only for three nights, and we DID check for bedbugs………..Oh, the joys of travel!
Kitchenette, very minimally equipped:
Living room, kinda ugly. It has an ugly, uncomfortable green sofa along the other wall:
Looking into the bedroom from my spot on that ugly green sofa:
We needed to accomplish a couple of things this afternoon, find an ATM and pick up our prepurchased tickets for the Alhambra. Using our handy tourist map we found a main street and walked along for several blocks. We found a bank and also picked up our tickets, then spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the pretty streets of Grenada--I think we're going to like this place!
Some newer building along a main street shopping area, this one looks so "French":
We walked along and eventually came to a very old area of town near the Alhambra. We walked along this narrow street with old bridges:
It was HOT here today-or it sure felt like it to us. After an hour or so in the hot sun, we stopped for a cold drink, then just continued with our wandering. We happened on several interesting places!
We found the Capilla Real de Granada--a beautiful old church that houses the huge and very ornate tombs of Queen Isabela and King Ferdinand. The church itself is quite grand, and there were several displays of artwork from the 15th-16th century, including a Botticelli and several paintings by the Dutch artist Hans Memling--they were incredible. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed inside the church.
There are at least 2-3 ice cream shops on every block and I always like to look at the many different flavors. When I saw Mango Sorbet, I couldn't resist! Hey Mom--remember when we used to get mango ice cream in Peru? It's still my favorite!
Near the Capilla was an old Moorish Palace, La Palacio De La Madraza, built in 1349 as a palace for a Moorish Sultan. It was used for a mosque school also. After the Christians conquest of the Moors in the 1500's, it was heavily remodeled, with much of the beautiful plaster work being covered by wood panels. In the 1700-1800's it was again remodeled in the Baroque style--so now it's a strange mix of a few different periods and styles. The building now houses the University of Granada, and some of the more historic parts are open to visitors.
There is an area where the original Moorish plasterwork has been uncovered. As it had been covered from the 1600's until the 20th century, it has retained its vibrant color and is in almost perfect condition. It is stunning!
After leaving the Palacio we wandered a few more blocks, and spotted this dome down a side street. It was the dome of the Cathedral of Granada. Construction was started in 1529, and completion took 181 years:
By now it was about 7 pm, and we were getting pretty tired. We decided to head for home (AKA our C.L.A!), looking along the way for just a small bite of dinner. We walked past a nice cafe on a narrow side street, and the salads looked so good. We sat down and each ordered a glass of wine and a salad.
While we were waiting for our salads, we had a nice conversation with a delightful couple from Australia. They are on "holiday" for 4 weeks, and have gone to many of the same places as we have.
It wasn't too far back to our CLA, and now we're relaxing and resting our weary feet.
Good night from hot and sunny Granada!
Tomorrow: A visit to the Alhambra!