Almunecar - Granada

Granada Travel Blog

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The drivers.
After a good night's rest we got up at 8 AM and after checking my e-mails and uploading the blog through the handy free wifi network in the lobby we went for breakfast. This turned out to be an excellent buffet with a wide range of choices. Filling up to survive until 'tapas time' in the afternoon proved to be very easy here. ;-)

I took today's driving shift through the western edges of the Sierra Nevada mountains. An amazing, breathtaking ride. Sure, sea sides are cool but my own heart beats much faster for mountains, especially if they have snow covered peaks like the ones that lay in front of us part of the route. Combined with the excellent new It Bites album on the stereo this made for the perfect start of a new day.

Passing by a dammed up lake we approached Granada.
In the Sierra Nevada
Initially we tried to get into the Sierra Nevada mountains to one of the ski resorts but the only road up there was closed from Granada and neither the navigation system or the map helped us to find an alternative route. So, in order to waste no more time we decided to head for the hotel, fighting the jammed traffic of Granada. Arriving around noon in the stylish Ralleye Hotel we enjoyed a cup of coffee while waiting for the rooms to be ready.

After dropping off our stuff in the rooms we made our way into the center of Granada. Fortunately all of the sights in the city lie around the center in an area of roughly one square mile, so everything is within a reasonable walking distance. So while we made our way eastwards we passed many beautiful places (monestaries, churches, squares) and people.
In the Sierra Nevada
Blimey, it seemed like all of the beautiful women had moved to Granada. Okay, they might all dress and look quite the same way, but it almost seems like they had agreed to do so based on my own personal taste. ;-)

After passing the Royal Chapel and the big Cathedral we made our way to the Albayzin, the old Muslim quarters of the city that lay perched against a hillside below the Alhambra palace. This oldest section of the city, with its steep, winding cobblestone streets, was originally founded in 1227 when Muslims settled here after the Christians had conquered their city of Baeza. At the end of the 15th century Albayzin was again conquered by the Christians and a lot of the churches in this area still incorporate sections of the original Muslim building, like the minaret in the bell tower of Iglesia de Santa Ana.
Checking the route into the mountains.
We walked from the Plaza Neuva to Plaza de los Tristes, both offering nice views of the Alhambra above (more about this complex tomorrow). Along the way we noticed how most of Granada's cats seemed to be gathered at the small stream at the foundation of Iglesia de Santa Ana, a lovely sight. We also visited the Banos Arabos del Banuela and even though the ceiling with it's shaped holes was interesting I couldn't spot any single bath in this old Muslim bathhouse! From Plaza de los Tristos we made our way uphill until we finally arrived at the Mirador San Nicholas, a lookout with stunning views on the Alhambra. And an atmospheric place as well with many visitors and hippy musicians. We decided to have a drink here and while the rest settled for a coffee con leche I asked the waiter for a strong Vol Damm beer, which unfortunately was not available anymore.
Cathedral of Granada
He suggested an Alhambra 1929 which was hardly as strong but would do for now.

When we made our way down Calle Caldereria de Neuva it became more than obvious that we were in the Muslim part of town. Everywhere you looked were little atmospheric shops selling Arabic knicknacks, kebab restaurants and ... hold on ... sheesha bars! Just what I needed to make this a perfect middle eastern flavoured afternoon. So after having a quick croissant to fill up an empty stomach and mom, dad and Mark went off to visit the Cathedral (I've never been that interested in the inside of churches), I headed back to a nice sheesha bar I'd seen, ordering an apple waterpipe and pot of mint tea. Excellent ! And a good moment to catch up on some blogging. Unfortunately my old PDA that I use to write travel blogs on crashed when I tried to save the document.
Spot the minaret (Iglesia de Santa Ana).
I later found that I'd lost all my work. But then again, I did have a sheesha today ! ;-)

I met up with the rest at the Cathedral after an hour or two.
While mom and dad went back to their room to rest like 'old people' do Mark and I walked to a huge Corte Ingles shopping mall that seemed to sell everything and the kitchen sink. We stocked up on snacks, water, 43 liquor (they didn't have Drambuie), new sunglasses and two Kinder Surprise chocalate eggs. ;-)

In the evening, at 8 PM (slowly shifting to Spanish dinner times), we walked back to the Plaza Bib Rambla near the cathedral for some food. The square where the Inquisition used to burn their victims might not seem to be the best choice for the occasion, but as long as you don't order mixed grill you won't have to think about it too much.
Granada´s gattos.
We picked the paella, which went down extremly well after the day's long walk. Tiramisu and helados (ice cream) topped it all off and when we walked back to the hotel I quickly dropped by and Internet cafe to upload some pictures to the blog. Back in the hotel I re-wrote today's blog while enjoying a good glass of 43 or two with Mark, who immediately decided he had found his new favourite drink.
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The drivers.
The drivers.
In the Sierra Nevada
In the Sierra Nevada
In the Sierra Nevada
In the Sierra Nevada
Checking the route into the mounta…
Checking the route into the mount…
Cathedral of Granada
Cathedral of Granada
Spot the minaret (Iglesia de Santa…
Spot the minaret (Iglesia de Sant…
Granada´s gattos.
Granada´s gattos.
The ceiling of the Arabic bathhous…
The ceiling of the Arabic bathhou…
Alhambra from the Plaza de los Tri…
Alhambra from the Plaza de los Tr…
Alhambra from the Mirador San Nich…
Alhambra from the Mirador San Nic…
Los Sandreros.
Los Sandreros.
Busted !
Busted !
Paella !
Paella !
Granada Hotels & Accommodations review
Average hotel in a recommended city
This hotel offers everything you would expect from a 4 star hotel, but nothing more. Therefore I cannot give it more than an average rating. The hotel… read entire review
Granada
photo by: Chokk