April 10, 2012- The Hotel Corona de Granada boasted a breakfast buffet and we were all eager to check it out this morning. The buffet was similar to other buffets we have enjoyed in Europe and we were happy to have access to it to start our day off with the most important meal of the day. Our tour guide picked us up at the hotel this morning for our tour of Alhambra. We were excited to be the first ones on an open top bus. We pretended that we were rock stars going thru town. Amy did her best Vince Vaughn impression (from the movie The Breakup). She shouted to the streets of Granada..."Say it like you mean, don' t make me say it twice... Are you ready to see Chicago? You might be able to get away with that bland response at work, but you are on vacation!!) We were disappointed to pick up other passengers and before we knew it we were on our way up a series of switchbacks towards Alhambra. This Moorish palace is the best preserved palace in all of Spain and we were excited to check out the grounds and the sultan's palace.
When we got off the bus, we felt like we were in Disney World as there were tons of people getting ready to start their tour. We were handed headsets and quickly assigned to Angel, our tour guide.It took a few minutes to negotiate our entrance, but we were quickly guided into the garden. We were immediately skeptical of Angel, not only because of his shuffle, but his mumbling words. We quickly learned that he was not a master of English and he assumed we all knew Spanish History. He shuffled us thru the grounds, the citadel, and the palace. He was not a very interesting or clear tour guide, and we were secretly reading Rick Steve's descriptions. We were impressed with the beautiful gardens, the lavish palace, and expansive grounds. We ended our tour in the crap shop and picked up a few must haves. We enjoyed the bus ride (rather than a sweaty trek) back down the massive hill to our hotel. We stopped in our room for a quick freshen up before hitting the streets of Granada. Amy had promised a walking tour called From Islam to Christianity, and we were excited to try out our new
tour guide (a la Rick Steves). On our way to the start of the tour, we decided to pop into the Post Office to pick up stamps. This was quite an adventure. Amy bellied herself up to the counter and made friends with the two ladies behind the counter. In an effort to give her the correct postage, they spent no less than 30 minutes checking postage to the US. Amy surfaced with tears in her eyes from laughing with the ladies. Our next stop was the walking tour. Our tour guide, Amy, was fantastic. She showed us thru the old silk markets, an in depth look at the Cathedral, and wandering thru Plaza Nueva. Just then, like a ton of bricks, hunger set it. We used our two guides books to try to find a place to eat, and we struck out like 4 times. The Spaniards normally don't start their dinner until 10, so when we were searching for a place to eat at 6, nothing was open yet. We finally ended up walking back to the hotel, as I had seen a notice that they served dinner. We arrived at 7 and realized they didn't open until
7:30... so we patiently waited. At 7:30, we found out that the restaurant was closed for the evening. We asked for a recommendation from the front desk, and they sent us just down the street to La Cueva. At this point, we were starving. We arrived at 7:40 and they didn't start serving dinner until 8. The nice waiter sat us down and gave us some drinks, bread, and a free tapas. We gobbled down the bread and tapas, and ordered our dinner at 8 o'clock on the dot. I dared to order for myself tonight, and ended up with the wrong jamon dish. When we inquired, he was less than pleased with the mistake, but fixed it. Our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs and we ordered way more food than needed. After a delicious dinner, we headed back to our hotel. We decided to check out what was on TV and quickly got hooked on a Spainish game show similar to Minute to Win It, called El Cube. Before long we were shouting at the TV. Soon our eyelids were fluttering so we headed to bed.
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