Monday, March 24, 2014

Granada! (i.e, Birthday trip part three, the end of the trilogy)

Hi again,

So, I thought it might be a good idea to finish up the birthday blogging before Mr. K turns 30. Wouldn't be nice to have warring birthday blogs...

Then again...

Nah. He's spared. Just this once.

Anyway, the last time I left you from my trip to Spain in February, we had spent the night in Abrucena  and had awoken to the sound of church bells ringing in another glorious day. What luck we had!

So, after eating the remainder of the birthday cake for breakfast, we headed out again. This time, our destination was Granada.

Along the way we passed the Sierra Nevada and maybe a few castles in the distance. This was one of my favorite shots from the back seat.
Love the Spanish castle!
We got to Granada and parked. Note to those travelling in Granada by car, there are quite a few taxi lanes and bus lanes where cars are forbidden to go. Keep an eye out for the non-existant signs and try your best to follow the locals, which strangely enough look like taxis too. Better yet, ignore the GPS and just go on instinct (like we did) and you'll survive. Parking garages are your friend.

We decided to just meander and see where Granada would take us as we walked to find lunch. Here are some of the shots from our walk.
I have no idea what building this is, but I loved the architecture and the really cool street lights.

This is a plaza where there is a statue of a burro and a man. It was pretty neat.
 I liked all the buildings as it gave you that old world feel.

This is very typical tile work of Granada.
Blue and green are my favorite colors, by the way, so this was a definite must-have photo.

An alley way off the beaten path, which actually was the beaten path due to the amount of tourist shops.
The carvings were really cool though.

We came to a plaza of the large church. With the warm sun, all the musicians were out. 

This guy was really good.
 I love street shots, so when I saw the buildings and the nice old-style lamps, I seized the chance.

After all that sightseeing, we had worked up quite an appetite. So Mr. and Mrs. F took us to a great spot for falafel in a wrap. Delish! While we were eating, flamenco dancers set up 100m from us. If it weren't for the large folded umbrellas of the establishment, we would have had the perfect view. As it was, we had fun watching the umbrella come to life with the dancer's hand motions and feet tapping. Good times, good times.
The nice view and the top of the offending umbrella.
 We payed and headed out. The main plaza in Granada was just lovely. Here you can see a nice church tower and up on the hill is the Alhambra.

Just look at that tile work on the church tower!

We decided to walk along the little river before heading up to see the Alhambra.
 Turning right, we were greeted with our next stop, the gardens of the Alhambra.

Unfortunately, the ticket to see the inside of the Alhambra had a month long waiting list, so that was why we opted to see the exterior, and frankly, it was well worth the 7 euros!

Let's not forget that it was almond blossom time. Such gorgeous flowers.
 In the midst of the Moorish architecture, there was the palace of Carlos the fifth. He basically turned his nose up at keeping with the architecture and built a square palace with a round courtyard. Needless to say, his creation fits like a square peg in a round hole.

The Moorish influence was just beautiful.

And we got to go up the tower of the Alhambra. The view from up top was phenomenal.

 We managed to get in and see the meditation gardens and still water pools before they closed for the day.

Love the carving!


Our lovely hosts, Mr. and Mrs. F

Just a fun picture
To end the wonderful trip, we stopped off at a great bakery called Hicuri.
They had the best chocolate cake I've ever tasted and it was made with almond milk. Also, highly recommend the almond milk Cafe Bombon.
You'll be in heaven on a decadent cloud.
Thus we ended our trip and all headed back to Almeria. The last day in Almeria was not great weather for sightseeing (rainy and cold) but we had a nice time with our host and got a chance to take one last stroll on the boardwalk. We stopped into a cafe when the dark and foreboding rain clouds came in and then as we were sipping the last drops from our cups of tea, we got a chance to watch an amazing sunset, with the surf crashing gently on the shore.

Not a shabby way to end a trip, I say. Spain will remain a wonderful part of my memory and I highly recommend a visit when you can make it. It doesn't have to just be for a milestone birthday, although that makes it fun too.

Until next time,

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