Back in the UK...
Granada Travel Blog› entry 9 of 16 › view all entries
Firstly 1,000 apologies to my legions of fans for not having written in such a long time. Life has been busy and life is hard without a laptop! I´m writing this in a marble floored, open roofed house is Granada. I have been here for about 4 hours and I absolutely love it. The 6 weeks point has been and gone and my time here is rushing past.
I enjoyed my time in Cadiz, especially my second week, but it didn´t quite have Sevilla´s magic. It helped that during the second week I had a few more companions at the school; an Australian couple and a Brazilian guy who was also in Sevilla.
On Friday night a friend and I drove (she owns the car, the brave soul) to Gibraltar to stay for 2 nights. All I can say is that it is an immensley weird place. It was like a particularly strange and not that interesting dream, or like someone went crazy in a London tourist shop and decorated a street in Spain. We crossed the line and suddenly there was a double decker red bus, a red phone box and Winson Churchill Avenue. Obviously the director of the film Caffeine had taken inspiration from here; if you´ve seen that movie you will know what I mean if you havent then don´t bother. We had fish and chips (of course) and went to a couple of bars but one of the things I don´t miss from England is the stingy alocohol measurement system. So we tried a club, were refused because we were not under 19 (the most offensive moment of my life) and went back to Spain to a club in La Linea.
The views are stunning. No amount of English tack and monkey cuddly toys can distract from that. Africa is very clear and a thick line of cloud sat around the mountains of Morrocco, giving it a mysterious edge. We walked around the touristy bit where the cable car stops and then we were on our own. Literally. It is strange that the cable car area is so catered to tourists yet the walk is actually very badly monitored and there are very few maps/signs. We befriended a bewildered looking American girl and we set off together to try and reach some kind of peak. We climbed on some ruins though God knows what they were, though they gave fantastic views, and I sweated and panted my way to the other side of the rock. After reaching it, feeling a little underwhelmed (on reflection we probably should have gone to the other side of the rock) we found St Michael´s cave and it was wonderful, not only for its stunning beauty but because it was nice and cool :) I have been lucky enough to see a natural cave before, on a boat in Pennsylvania, and this one was just as good. They played classical music and it was just a lovely, peaceful and slightly eerie experience. Not as eerie, however, as the descent back down. The cable car had shut so we decided to go down on our kackered little legs. It gets very quiet, there are shut off areas probably owned by the Naval base in the rock (weird) and at one point we were on a path with about 7 dead birds in a line. I half expected to turn the corner and find a dead dog, a bear and then possible a tourist with a Nikon camera around their neck. Lets just say I was glad to get down and we celebrated with more fish and chips (our new American friend photographing the meal and the sachets of brown sauce) and Pimms & lemonade. It being England, however, all the shops had shut (well it was after 7) and we decided to go back to Spain and pass out at the hotel.
Yesterday we discovered Tarifa. I got the idea to see it months ago when I saw it on the map and saw that it was the Southernmost part of Spain. A few days later I read a small article about it in the paper. I still had the idea and had done a bit of research when I saw someone with a Tarifa tshirt in Cadiz. For some unknown reason that single sight made me think, "ok, I´m going to go there" and I´m glad I did. A few people had warned me about the wind and told me it was boring, with nothing to do, but the few hours I spent there made a huge impact on me. Once you get past the ugle buildings and signs for crossings to Morrocco, you arrive in a small town and we headed straight to the beach. We had an absolutely amazing Morroccon meal on the seafront and then ventured to the sea. It is windy, yes, and not the kind of place to lounge around for ages, but to be honest that suits me fine. The best part was the water. The waves crash and gather momentum unexpectedly and the water is so beautifully clear, it just invites you back in again and again to fight with the waves. The sand is white and the mountains of Spain sit behind you and the moutnains of Africa are so close you feel you can touch them. It is pretty magical and I love the idea that I have seen the southern most part of this country. The town too (once you get away from the slightly seedy ferry port area) is beautiful and tiny with little hippy and surfer shops and bars. Being Sunday, a lot of them were closed though thats probably a good thing as I could have spent a fortune. It is definietly a cute place and on the drive back Colleen pulled over to a campsite and we walked through it to the beach and watched children on boodie boards and people kite surfing. I will go back for sure.
So now I´m in Granada after a traumatic start - well - actually I just got locked into Colleen´s house for a couple of hours and then had to walk to Utrera station in the Sevillian heat then a 3 hour train journey here but I´m happy. Granada from what I have seen so far is gorgeous and alas, full of wonderful shops that I have to try and avoid. I´m staying at the White Nest hostel and so far I´m impressed though my bedspread is like they skinned a character of Sesame Street. I will have to write another thumbs up review soon. I have a wash one, which always makes me happy (maybe I am more like my mum than I though) and I´m still aching from that British rock so think I will finish up and have an early one. I´ve booked a ticket to the Alhambra for Wednesday and looking forward to exploring tomorrow. I´m back in 35 degrees plus heat but so far, everything is fantastic.