Today we had our walking tour of the Albayzin. We all grabbed our bocadillos for lunch and headed out around 11am. Early for a (Saturday), but worth it. Our tour guide, Antonio did the tour with a mix of Spanish and English. I enjoyed this, because it seemed to make it feel more authentic. We started out, just like the Alhambra tour, in Plaza Nueva. We walked for a bit while Antonio gave us the background, and passed around a holographic postcard that showed the ruins from today and what the bridge/gate over the Darro River looked like years and years ago. There were a bunch of little kittens that were sitting down in the stream…super cute. Will said they must be the great-great-great-grandkitties of the ancestor cats that lived back in the day.
Along the tour we stopped at the oldest building in Granada. It’s an old bath house, and it’s over 1000 years old. It is the only thing older than the Alhambra. I tried to get some good photos, but the only light coming in was from the small lights, so with flash (too bright) was just as bad as without flash (too blurry). We saw the church of San Salvador, the San Nicolás church and the Plaza San Miguel Bajo. We also stopped at this old painter’s house, Max Moreau. It has now been turned into a museum and sight-seeing stop. I thought one of the plaques inside the house was funny, so I took a picture…see if you can find it in my Flickr photos (a shout out to Maximus Oswald). Here there were lots of pomegranate trees and grape vines. It was a beautiful house! We ended at the San Nicolás viewpoint, and Rick Steves was right. There are a lot of tourists here mixed in with hippies, and other locals there just to enjoy the view. The photos are amazing, and we could barely pull ourselves away long enough to eat our bocadillos. Some of the girls bought pendant necklaces of hand painted stones from this one local vendor on one of the benches. They were of tiny Granada cityscapes…super cute, but, sadly, a little pricey for me (10, 15 or 20 Euros for the larger ones…though I’m SURE locals barter). Maybe if I feel like I’m really missing out, I’ll go back and grab one for myself.
Will and I decided to tour the western part of the city more. We walked down by Garcia Lorca Park (apparently where all the couples go at night…says Paula who met her now husband there 21 years ago). Seeing as it was daytime, it was full of sunbathers. We found the mall called Neptuno and looked around for a bit. I guess it’s sort of the Mall of America of Granada...with a movie theater, tons of stores, and a discoteca. Definitely not as large, but an interesting assortment of stores and such. We then kept walking along the park and found this Chinese restaurant Will wanted to try. I was still full of my bocadillo, but I thought it could be fun having some Chinese food in Spain. He ordered the Menu del Dia, which is a cheap way at any restaurant here to get a drink, appetizer, some sort of meat, and an entrée. I had fun listening to the conversations of the Chinese waiters. By the time we left, I was actually very linguistically confused. I was thinking in Spanish, Chinese AND English. I think I may have said “muy bien, xie xie”. Whoops.
We played cards down in the common room for a bit. It’s always fun to have all of the crew together. Now we’re gonna head out to a movie…not quite sure which one! Hopefully nothing scary! :/
Gelato count: 11…I tried mango today. It was SUPER good.