Granada! What a wonderful town nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Alhambra watches over the city like a grand father, making sure the city is safe while keeping its treasure carefully hidden. But the treasure is in the city…it’s in the small streets that tumble down the hills, waving small and large in width. The city center is around the cathedral, a grand structure overshadowing the neighboring squares.
I started my day with the intention of going to the bus station for a ticket to Seville, but instead went to El Campo, the Wal-Mart of Spain. I bought jamon, cheese, fresh bread, tomatoes, and, get this, juice boxes of red wine! What a perfect brown bag lunch. I never did make it to the bus station, I want to research Seville more and maybe find a beach town instead of another cobblestone European city. Instead, I headed back to the hostel, made my sandwich, and then took the bus to the Alhambra.
The Alhambra ticket has a specific time for the palace viewing, so while waiting for 1:30, I toured the perfectly maintained and geometrically sound Generalife gardens. At the palace, here were massive lines, evidentially all tourists arrived at this time. We were let into the palace, piecemeal fashion…and it was very impressive. The arches are Moorish, Muslim influence, the same round tipped doorways that I had seen in India at the Red Fort. Each doorway, each arch had intricate, elegant carvings of Arabic writing and Islamic shapes (the eight pointed star). Like all palaces, each room is grander and grander and open to perfectly symmetrical gardens and magnificent archways. After the palace, I walked to the fort and saw the view of Granada below from the towers.
In the afternoon, I embraced the Spanish idea of the siesta and crashed on my happy little cubby-hole bunk for three hours. A very nice Australian, Caroline, and I are going to the film festival tonight, so I walked out and pepped up with a Cafe con Leche at a neighborhood bar and then saw gazpacho on a menu at another bar, so stopped there. The cold soup was served drinkable in a tall glass with a cucumber garnish and accompanied by potato salad and a baguette striped with olive oil. I also ordered the house white and sat with delight at my meal, the setting, which overlooked a little square, and the summer night still lit up at 7:30.