Granada

Trip Start May 30, 2008
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20
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Trip End Nov 02, 2008


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Where I stayed
Oasis

Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Andalusia,
Monday, July 21, 2008

Got on the bus with a big headache this morning, but made it to granada without any hassles. My hostel is in an amazing area. Cobbled streets, arabic markets, tea and smoke houses, kebab shops. It's like being in Egypt but I'm not getting constantly harrassed and yelled at. I can wear what I want and have my hair out and not attract attention.

After I checked in I headed straight to the Banyo Turkos - the Turkish Baths. Completely relaxed in the 7 baths (6 of various hotnesses and 1 freezing cold one), then got a massage. After carrying a backpack around for weeks, it was bliss.

Headed back out into the searing 44 degree heat and chilled in my hostel, chatting to the barman to get tips on what to do and see. When the temperature cooled down a bit, I walked up to St Nicholas's balcony, the best place to watch the sun set on the Alhambra - the amazing turkish palace/castle which I'll be checking out tomorrow morning early.

It's crazy how many hippies there are in Granada. When I walked around the old part of the town, everyone has dreads, is wearing fisherman pants and is carrying a guitar, diablo or something else hippified. Apparently they squat in the caves in the mountains and have crazy full moon parties.

I walked around the river on the cobbled streets, alone, feelign the cool breeze on my back and the sun on my face. It was beautiful, so relaxing and such a great atmosphere. That is, until I stacked it hardcore down a slope. The guys who were sitting outside their shop rushed to help me, but when I smiled and said I was ok, they laughed and smiled back. Everyone is so amazingly friendly here, I love the people.

On my way back to the hostel, I decided to be brave and went into a tea/smoke house. Made friends with the beautiful bartender, Ikram, a 24 year old from Morrocco, who started the bar as her own business. She's married and her husband is back in morrocco but she goes home every weekend to visit. I was really surprised by her independance. She served me a tea whose name translates as "dreaming of the Alhambra", which I'll hopefully be doing tonight.

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Just found out that the tea I was served is apparently an aphrodisiac...nice.

Spent the morning at the Alhambra. Itīs really hard to distil its beauty down to a few paragraphs, but suffice to say, it lives up to its reputation. Well, the palaces and the Alcazar (big fort) do, canīt say the gardens were that impressive. Iīm struggling to find a cafe where I can put my photos up, so youīll just have to use your imagination for now.

Went up to St nicholasīs balcony to watch the sunset over the Alhambra, saw a lot of people spinning fire poi and staff which was cool. I brought my hoop and made friends with a group of guys fromCyprus who were having a play.

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The next day, (after some issues with the spanish public transport system, I went horse riding in the southern mountains, in a town called Lanharon. Ït was boiling hot but very beautiful, and my horse, Flicker the Kicker, wasnīt as bad as her name made out. Got to go for a long canter up the mountains and walk down the other side. Lovely. 

That night I went back to my friends Morrocan tea house and smoked apple flavored sheesha. Off to Valencia in the morning.
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