East to Granada...

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
Trip End May 23, 2012

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Today is a leisurely start with a train at 11.50am, which is just as well... It's my birthday! A sleep-in then breakfast on the rooftop terrace is an ideal way to start the day and Liz presents me with a scarf that I had spotted in a shop yesterday. MARIGOLD! My favourite colour!

Now I just need to learn how to drape it as stylishly as the Spanish ladies.

We catch another local train for the three hour trip to Granada to find that the three-carriage train is much more 'local' than yesterday's... It's a diesel and seats 39 and 40 seem to be on top of the engine! It rides like a bus. The train allegedly tops 150km/hour but with constant braking, lurching, tooting and stopping, the trip feels much slower. And louder.

What's more, for some inexplicable reason the windows either side have been broken. Only the inner panes of the double glazing have been replaced, leaving a view of crazed glass left and right. We postulate how two sides - and these two only - have suffered. Gunshot blast? Imploding carriage? Very accurate stone-throwing kids on a bridge?...

The countryside is drying pastures, olive groves and the industrial backs of small villages at each station. We pass through Dos Hermanas, Pedrera and San Francisco de Loja. Time for some reading on my iPad. It's still "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" in anticipation of seeing the film on the flight home...

At Granada, a taxi (almost) delivers us to the Apartmentos Alhambra. The surrounding area looks somewhat down and out but we open the front door to a reception area set into the remains of the original city wall. Only 11th or 12th century...

Our room is indeed an apartment with a small kitchenette and lounge area as well as a comfortable bedroom and bathroom. Above us is a roof terrace with views directly across to the Alhambra.

We wander into town, initially to retrieve tomorrow's entry tickets. We ordered our Alhambra tickets back in March. The order secures us guaranteed entry but the actual tickets have to be collected from a machine something like an ATM using the same credit card used in the order. I have carefully carried that second card seperately all the way around Europe for fear of losing it!

Now the ServiCaxia machine talks to it and effortlessly spits out two tickets for tomorrow. Joy!

The remainder of downtown Granada is a mix of modern shops, old buildings and the obligatory cathedral. We are past paying to see another one and after all, how can it compare to Seville's LARGEST GOTHIC CATHEDRAL IN THE WORLD!...

Despite sitting half the day in a train, I am weary and claim the birthday privilege of being allowed to sleep if I want to. So I do!
Liz relaxes on the upstairs terrace reading and around 8pm, we head out for a modest dinner nearby before a relatively early night.

After all, tomorrow will include an early start, some hill climbing and both camera batteries! A massive Moorish palace/fort complex around one thousand years old will definitely have something special to record.
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Fiona B on

Happy Birthday Jenny. I am really enjoying going on this trip with you! x

LauraT on

Happy birthday to you happy birthday to you......Enjoying your blog....can't wait to hear about the Alhambra.....

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