ECLECTIC MIX OF ARABIC, GYPSY & SPANISH

Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
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234
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Trip End Oct 31, 2013


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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Tuesday, March 13, 2012



   Weather: Cool and sunny
                                                  
Another lovely Spanish city.

We had arrived late yesterday afternoon in Granada and had only investigated the city for a couple of hours.

Can't say that we got going early this morning but that's okay and we set off with the walking shoes and a "Discover Granada" guide and managed to get a good feel for the city.

Granada has a population of 300,000+ and 25 centuries of history; hot summers and mild winters- days of azure blue skies and warm sunshine. Spring for us meant cold nights with dark clear skies pierced by bright shiny stars and gorgeous dry sunny days.



From our terrace we can admire the city, the hills and mountains of Sierra Nevada, still snow peaked and Spain's skiing area and highest peaks. The snow glistens in the sun and the views are spectacular.

The city has been variously occupied by Romans, Arabs and Christians and more....and all occupants have left behind monuments, traditions and architecture that creates a diverse and eclectic city.












Handmade guitars, beautiful rugs and textiles, leather and ceramic shops and crafts with an Arabic touch pop up in the winding lanes and plazas but best for us because we are not shopping, just looking are the food  and wine shops where we buy treats of fine ham, olives, breads, pastries and hams.

  
 




Sheila has asked lots of questions to gain an understanding of the different hams, some $150 per kilo because of free range and 3 years in the curing; she has got pretty good at selecting good cheap wine- around $2-3 a bottle

Tapas bars are good here- you order a glass of wine or beer and receive a little serve of olives, or paella or croquettes etc and sometimes the tapas makes a meal.








We made our way up the most scenic street in Granada, Carrero del Darro, along the river past old churches, palaces and convents, all with a long and complicated history. The Road of Sorrows, once the way to the cemetary was a good place to stop and listen to the buskers and take a rest.




Unexpectedly we discovered an area called Sacromonte, once inhabitated by gypsies in the 18th century who built their houses into caves and painted them white. Mid afternoon the steep streets were quiet but there were signs for bars, flamenco and tapas that would open ater in the evening.





Miradors,  (lookouts in English) are scattered along the way and the best today was Mirador San Nicholas with incredible views of Alhambra, the city and mountains.










The Albaicin barrio,a UNESCO  site now, some call it the oldest area in Europe, is built on extremely steep and narrow  lanes that amazingly cars travel, was our way down and we marvelled at the closeness of the houses and the interesting little cafes and stores. Must mention here the dexterity of the Spanish drivers when it comes to parking in these streets - they get their small cars into the tiniest parking spots!






















Well, there is much more to describe in this very attractive city but we'll let the photos tell the rest. Suffice to say that we really had a happy time here in Granada, found a favourite tapas bar and had fun exploring the very diverse areas and streets.
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