Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Granada to Sevilla Sevilla, Spain, Saturday, 09 March 2013 11:11pm

This was the best bed so far this trip. I woke up feeling more rested than I have in a long time.

I'm not doing my usual one-bag packing routine for this trip, where I wash clothes in the sink every night, so I had to do laundry today. Luckily, there is a fast, cheap, drop off laundry over by the University. We walked over there in the morning and dropped off our clothes, and then walked over to the Albayzín quarter to get some great views from the hillside lose ourselves for a while among the winding alleyways.

Because we skipped breakfast, our schedule was a little off, and most of the Spanish restaurants were not open yet for lunch by the time we were hungry. Happily, we found a Turkish restaurant on one of the squares that provided a tasty change of pace.

After lunch, we claimed the car from the hotel's parking lot and drove to the laundry to pick up our clothes (straightforward), and then tried to drive to the Alhambra again for the second part of our combined ticket (incidentally, don't get a combined ticket. The separate visit tickets are the same price and would allow you to do things whenever you want, rather than on the combined schedule). We encountered confusing traffic restrictions, unclear street signs, and a major road that seemed to have been restricted to bus and taxi traffic only, but only in one direction. There was also a street that was too narrow for two-way traffic, controlled by a traffic light. However, this fact was not actually marked by a sign anywhere, so we had to take a leap of faith and drive up the street that we'd just seen a car drive down. We had a taxi behind us, honking at us to urge us on.

The Generalife gardens at the Alhambra are quite pretty, with lots of pools and fountains, and a veritable castle made of hedges.

Our original plan was to visit Gibraltar after Granada, but the weather report calls for thunderstorms this evening and rain tomorrow: not the ideal weather for hiking around on the rock of Gibraltar. We've decided to head to Sevilla a little early and spend a more relaxed day there. We passed through some heavy rain on the way to Sevilla that affirmed our choice.

On the way out of Granada, navigation was simple. I commented to Adrienne that we would have a much easier time in Sevilla, since our hotel, with its attached parking, was on a large street with easy access. Hah. When we arrived, the police had blocked off several major streets along our route (I have no idea why). We had to take a circuitous route through a warren of tiny streets lined with tapas bars with outdoor seating and patrons overflowing off of the sidewalks. When we arrived at the hotel, it was unclear where the parking was, so I ran in, while Adrienne double parked in front (making her very unpopular with the taxis). I was told that someone would come to show us to the parking. When he did, he sat in the back seat and gave directions (in Spanish) while I translated for Adrienne and asked him which of the many lefts he meant when he told us to turn left). The parking garage involved a car elevator, and a five-point turn to back into the parking space.

We had to hustle to make it to our next appointment: an 8:30pm flamenco performance at a tiny theater. It was quite impressive. There were a variety of songs performed, by a guitarist, a singer, and two dancers. The rhythms are fascinating, with various performers providing parts of the beat by clapping, snapping, and stomping in ways that add up to a thunderous noise.

Sangria and many small tapas for a late dinner rounded out the day.