Valencia to Granada

Trip Start Nov 10, 2013
Trip End Nov 24, 2013

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Monday, November 18, 2013

Wake up was 6:30, bags out 7:15, departure 8:00.  We are off early as we have a very long journey today.  Granada is over 300 miles from Valencia.  As we left Valencia we passed again the Serrano Towers part of  the old wall.  We also went by The Arts and Sciences Complex and cross the Flower Bridge.  It took us about 30 minutes to get out of the city as it is the third largest in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona.  We will see the 4th and 5th largest cities of Granada and Sevilla.  Once out of the city we saw the Ford/Opel factory that employs over 10,000 people.  We saw more orange groves and rice paddies.  Valencia is known for its rice and paella, a rice dish, was invented there. 

Before long we came to the coast and could see it off and on for most of the morning until the coffee break.  We stopped at the Cruzanda La Pasaela for our morning break.  Derek and I took a walk around the parking lot to stretch our legs and Larry got coffee.  We drove for a couple of more hours passing lemon and pomegranite trees and fields with cabbages and kale and spinach etc.  We saw large resorts with very tall buildings all along the coast.  There are several coasts with names in Spain.  When we were on the north coast that was Costa Verde (green) as they get a lot of rain.  On the Mediterranean north of Barcelona is the Costa Brave a very rugged coast.  South of Barcelona is the Costa Dorado and near Valencia the Orange Blossom Coast.  When we got to Alicante on the Costa Brava we headed inland across more arid land with almond trees and then into desert.  We stopped for lunch near Lorca at La Parada another cafeteria type restaurant.  I had bread and salad, Larry had a beef stew and carrots dish and Derek had chicken with rice. 

When we started off again Raymond had a 20 point quiz for us with all kinds of trivia questions.  It helped to pass the two more hours until our destination.  He also send around a list if we wanted to give out our emails/addresses to everyone.  After the quiz we started going through more mountainous areas.  We came to the Grand Canyon and descended into it.  Along the sides of the road we started seeing cave houses along the road.  The people who live in them are called troglodytes.  When we got to the Sierra Nevadas there was snow along the road.  We went up and up and crossed the mountains at La Mora Pass.  We started down from the pass and soon we could see Granada in the valley below.  It wasn't long before we getting off the bus at the Hotel. We have a very nice room and can see the Alhambra Palace from our window on the 8th floor.  Sixteen people are going on a tour of Granada but we decided not to take this tour.  It is a good thing because now Larry is not feeling well either.  So we have 3 hours to ourselves.  It is cold and grey outside and we are far from the downtown so we are just staring in the room until it is time to go to supper.  Larry and Derek slept for two hours while I blogged and looked at emails and played Free Cell.

We left for supper about 7:00 and took the bus into downtown Granada.  Our destination was Restaurante Paco Martin.  We had to walk just a little way from where the bus had to park.  When we walked in they were ready and waiting for us.  Each of us was handed a Sangria before we even sat down.  On each table was a bottle of red wine called La Mancha and a hard roll with butter.  Bev sat with us again tonight.  We hadn't been seated very long when they brought out the first of four starters: salad with lettuce, tomato topped with egg, and tuna.  The second starter was a small square of fried bread with Cerrano ham.  My favorite was the baked eggplant glazed with honey.  Lastly, there was breaded deep-fried baby shark.  They were all delicious.  Larry and Derek got the pork spare ribs w/o barbecue sauce which came with potatoes, peas, and carrots.  Bev had the grilled chicken with the same vegetables.  I had the fish which came with a slice of poblano pepper and a great red sauce.  Bev shared her vegetables with me.  During the meal, Raymond brought around more baby shark and white wine.  I drank white wine after the Sangria.  Raymond filled my glass at least two times.  Bev, Larry and Derek had beer, Cruzcampo.  Larry and Derek also finished off the bottle of La Mancha.  For dessert there was a puff pastry with chocolate glaze and of course coffee if you wanted it.  When we left, Larry, Derek and Ed visited a little store to get some more beer.  We got back a little before 10:00. 
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