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Chapter 2 - Granada
We didn't have reservations for a hotel in Granada but we found several listings in our travel bible, Let's Go Spain, right next door to each other and just down the hill from La Alhambra, our purpose for visiting town. It turns out nobody had a double but Hostal Gomerez had a triple for 1000 pesetas more, around $6, so we took it. Our room had a little balcony overlooking the street, where I watched other backpackers in search of a room, and a window overlooking the valley. The bed was a bit squishy and we had to share a bath with the rest of the floor, but it was clean, quiet and a great location.
We hadn't done a lot of research about Granada since we were just there to see La Alhambra. We'd expected Granada to be a quaint little tourist trap village huddled around the Moorish castle, it's only attraction. Instead we found a bustling college town of 300,000 that just happens to have La Alhambra at the top of the hill overlooking the valley.
Despite the size, it's still kind of quaint, and very picturesque. And the locals are friendly, happy, and beautiful. I haven't seen as many beautiful women per square foot since Copenhagen - everywhere you look is some dreamy, dark haired, big eyed, big lipped, shapely woman with the most beautiful dark gold skin either of us had ever seen.
We slipped off the tourist strip in search of food and stumbled into a small bar and restaurant district. Some of the aforementioned lovely ladies were giving out free drink cards to random bars so after a delicious and cheap dinner at Restaurante Boabdil we did the free drink tour. The bars were just starting to fill up as we started, but as we finished the trek they were packed to capacity, even on a school night. So we retreated back to the hotel and looked out our balcony, with a quiet, cool view of the streets at night.
Sleepy but rested, we hit the hill early in the morning. There's a shuttle from the bottom of the hill but our hotel was 3/4 the way up so we opted to hike it. By the time we got there degenerate SW was wishing we'd taken the shuttle - it's a hell of a hill.
Rick Steeves' guidebook had warned us about getting lost in the Moorish complex of La Alhambra. But it's only 200 yards wide so I didn't take the warnings seriously. After we ended up wandering the same garden twice trying to find our way back to the main palace we were wishing we'd forked over the pesetas for the map. I'm sure we missed a few things we didn't stumble across, but what we did see was utterly magnificent.
|In the Moorish palace every square inch is decorated with intricate patterns (subtlety spelling out "Alla") and in a few places you can see where the details were once painted in reds and blues.|
|Fountains burble in the courtyards, gardens and in several rooms, leading out to the irrigation system that trickles down the mountainside.|
Next episode: Barcelona
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All content on this site is owned by Degenerate Press and cannot be used without our permission. We have lawyers for friends with nothing better to do than cause trouble (no kidding), so play nice. Copyright © 2002, All Rights Reserved