Granada here we come

Granada Travel Blog

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This is actually still in Fuengirola. We are waiting for the stupid train. Again.
We slept in this morning. THAT was weird. Hadn’t done that in a while. We got up at about 10ish and had breakfast at the hotel. I drank a bunch of tea, of course, because I’m now English by association (ha). There was also British breakfast food available at the buffet.

At least after having been through all the confusion of getting to the hotel from the train we knew how to get to a much, much closer stop. It took a while for it to come, though. I’ve been spoiled with the efficiency of the tube. We’d missed the one we were trying to catch, though, since we stayed for breakfast too long, and had to wait half an hour in the morning heat to catch the next one.

The local train to Malaga (which I learned was not Mah-LAH-ga, but MAH-luh-ga) took a LOT longer than we thought it would since we had to wait so long just to get on it, and since generally Spanish people don’t seem too worried about getting anywhere by any certain.
View from the train, post nap. LOOK AT THE MOUNTAINS!
When we arrived back in Malaga we went to catch our connecting train to Granada, but since the local train had taken so long, we missed the one to Malaga. AH! The people at the train station said we should just get a bus to Granada. They said it was across the street, but it wasn’t where we thought it was, and we got lost walking around the train station... It was a big mess. And the bus station was sketchy. Then when we finally did find the bus station, we couldn’t find our bus. I asked someone, bought myself some HIT biscuits (sooooo good), and went to the place where the bus was waiting. The whole thing was frustrating, to say the least, and VERY time consuming.

On the bus, I ate Hit biscuits and Maltesers (again, British by association), and slept.
Spanish countryside
When I woke up for bits and pieces along the way, the views out the window were very pretty.

As the bus rolled into Granada, Josh and I tried to figure out which street we were supposed to get off at... and, again, everything was very confusing. We passed the place I thought we were supposed to get off at, got off at the next stop, and tried to use the little map we’d picked up for free at the Malaga train station to find our way.

Then we continued to get super lost trying to find the hostel. I was really grumpy. I was kind of grumpy a lot on this trip. I was especially grumpy when we got lost on the way somewhere... because we didn’t have much time and all. ANYWAY, we found the right main road to follow, but there were all these little tiny roads we had to take, most of which were unmarked.
A first view of Granada and its unique architecture
.. Getting lost here was lame because of all the suitcases with wheels I was trying to drag over cobblestone, AND we had no idea where to go, but it was soooo beautiful while we were walking around... everything was so dusty and rustic and earthy... it was like stepping into a different time period. Of course, plenty of Europe is like that, but in this part of the city, EVERY house looked like this... mmm prettyyyy.

SOOOOO, ta dum ta dum, we finally came across the hostel on this RANDOM little road. The hostel was super random. It looked like some kind of hippie commune. There was this courtyard hangout type place in the middle with hammocks in it. In the corner was a communal kitchen (pots, pans and all), and on the right were a handful of rooms without doors.
Streets
The showers were wooden, and the windows had no screens. Behind the rooms was a tent for “hanging out” (i.e. smoking out in the tent). Ha. There were quite a few people hanging out in the courtyard pretty much the whole time we stayed there. The vibe was very distinctly relaxed.

Then we spent the rest of the day in hanging out in Granada. We could see some wonderful views of the outside of the Alhambra from outside our hostel. We first wandered down this street that spilled down into the center of the city with a lot of shops on it... filled with lots of dyed cloth, incense, beaded sandals, dresses, scarves, ceramics,... lots of handmade things.

The street lead us to the main drag, which had a lot of shops and restaurants on it went down by the bank of a small stream and followed it until we can to a small plaza down the hill from the Alhambra.
The Alhambra. Huzzah.
We sat here for a little while to cool off, because it was a pretty hot day to be running around.

Around the bend there was a hill that we then walked up to try to find a good lookout point. From there we could snow on some mountains in the distance, which we later realized were the Sierra Madre mountains. There were a handful of people up here hanging out and enjoying the view, too. Beautiful. It was REALLY dusty up there are my shoes and legs got all dirty. I was worried all day about getting a bloody nose, but didn’t get one. We had sandwich things called “bocadillos,” which was basically some meat in a hard sandwich bun.. and orange juice. There was a quote on the wall outside that said something about being immortal versus being infinite.
More houses. Everything is on hillsides. I think this is still before we even found the hostel. I wass pretty psyched.


We went to explore the area behind this where there were a lot of twisty roads lined with stone walls that had spray-painted murals on them. Then we just walked and walked... we found some stuff on the list of “things you should probably check out in Granada,” like some old church behind the hill, then the University of Granada, and some government-y building I don’t think we were supposed to go into.

Then we went on an EXTREMELY long walk to try to find the cave people. We heard that there were a bunch of caves carved into the sides of the mountains in Granada, and we went up these long, winding neighborhood roads to try to find them. We didn’t really find them, and we went so far up this road that we couldn’t catch the bus anymore, and had to walk all the way back to the city.
Markets
.. I’m sure we walked several miles. In flip-flops. Oy. Pretty, though, again. I daydreamed about how nice it must be to live up in one of these houses. On the way back we kind of found some cave doors, but we didn’t know how to get to them. We wanted to be able to go see flamenco in the caves, because I’d read somewhere that you could do that. Oh well.

By the time we finally trekked back to the city the sun had started to go down. We walked around in the city a bit more, and then settled in for dinner by some plaza in the middle of everything... we had bull’s tail, which is supposedly a delicacy in Spain. The meat was very, very fatty, but the actual meat itself was delicious. Random, right? We had to hustle with dinner though, because we were trying to go see.
A house
.. couldn’t see the flamenco show that the girl at the hostel told us about because it was on a different day, so we sat and listened to some dude play the guitar in the plaza we sat in earlier in the day. He was just hanging out, trying to sell cds, just like any random guy on any random street, but it was just SO perfect to be sitting there listening to this passionate guitar...

Then we went to the coolest lookout ever. You could see the whole city. Everyone was hanging out there. This is one of my favorite memories from the whole trip to Spain. The Alhambra was all lit up in the distance. There were more people were playing music up there. The whole city was sprinkled with music. We sat with a bunch of other soul-searching college students on spring break, listening to the guys jamming and watching the hippie dancing.
What probably used to be a bridge (for Josh)


Then on to bed with the usual drunk interruptions and snoring to prepare for an equally full day of walking around in non-supportive shoes. I was grumpy as hell today, but despite the heat and the dust and the roads that are impossible to walk on comfortably, Granada is already a truly wonderful and inspiring place to me. 
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This is actually still in Fuengiro…
This is actually still in Fuengir…
View from the train, post nap. LOO…
View from the train, post nap. LO…
Spanish countryside
Spanish countryside
A first view of Granada and its un…
A first view of Granada and its u…
Streets
Streets
The Alhambra. Huzzah.
The Alhambra. Huzzah.
More houses. Everything is on hill…
More houses. Everything is on hil…
Markets
Markets
A house
A house
What probably used to be a bridge …
What probably used to be a bridge…
A bridge
A bridge
Cactus!
Cactus!
Granada is LOVELY
Granada is LOVELY
Josh and I trying to take a pictur…
Josh and I trying to take a pictu…
Some old English couple took this …
Some old English couple took this…
Haha, yay.
Haha, yay.
Hippies by the river. Man, I misse…
Hippies by the river. Man, I miss…
More buildings on hillsides... eve…
More buildings on hillsides... ev…
Thats why the green stands out so…
That's why the green stands out s…
There are those mountains again...…
There are those mountains again..…
More lovely views from a lookout p…
More lovely views from a lookout …
I dont know what this means. Free…
I don't know what this means. Fre…
This is where we grabbed lunch. Th…
This is where we grabbed lunch. T…
We got one of these. I think the o…
We got one of these. I think the …
I like this one.
I like this one.
There were these windy streets wit…
There were these windy streets wi…
More houses and stuff
More houses and stuff
A church?
A church?
Back in the hills is where we hear…
Back in the hills is where we hea…
This place was really intriguing. …
This place was really intriguing.…
oooooooooooh prettyyyyyyyy
oooooooooooh prettyyyyyyyy
Ok, so, this is when we went on a …
Ok, so, this is when we went on a…
More cactus. Coolz.
More cactus. Coolz.
Me hangin out in Spain.
Me hangin' out in Spain.
Josh and I hangin out in Spain.
Josh and I hangin' out in Spain.
GYPSY CAVES!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!! T…
GYPSY CAVES!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!! …
Close up of the caves
Close up of the caves
Cool fountain with a dude on top, …
Cool fountain with a dude on top,…
A hippie lady with her dog
A hippie lady with her dog
This is where we had dinner-- rabo…
This is where we had dinner-- rab…
I LOVE THIS. This was the guy we l…
I LOVE THIS. This was the guy we …
THIS is the real lookout spot that…
THIS is the real lookout spot tha…
The Alhambra at night
The Alhambra at night
encore
encore
Super cool guys playing guitar and…
Super cool guys playing guitar an…
Granada
photo by: Chokk