Published: June 23rd 2012June 23rd 2012
So the journey yesterday proved to be our most challenging, yet rewarding yet on this trip across Southern Spain. We left Granada after touring the Alhambra - a beautiful immense Moorish compound on the highest hill in Granada. We toured the lush gardens and palace in the 100 degree heat, but that only made the vast gardens make more sense with the high hedges blocking the sun and creating pathways of shade. Remarkably designed by a Sultan - it still held an appeal - several hundred years later. What a treat and worth the extra stay in Granada. We found our car in tact in the sketchy parking garage - with one exception. When I was parking the Ferrrari, I somehow scraped the side up in the miniscule parking spot. The car isn't that large on its own (think smaller than a mini Cooper) so you can see how the spot is really small. We were grateful it was still there after 24 hours.
Onward! We left Granada in high spirits - I had found a National Geographic guide to the world's 100 most amazing drives and the one listed in Spain (#19 in the book) was right on our
way to the Spanish Riviera - Mar Menor, so we decided to try it. The guidebook indicated that we would see 70 kilometers of "stupendous views" along the southeastern coast of Spain. Really, we followed it to the letter, well...as best as we could as it was highly inaccurate and non-specific in the most elementary way. The first part was a trip through a National Park - sounds good, except it also is the National Park that hosts the "dryest climate in all of Europe" so it really resembled a desert more than anything (like Tucson, Arizona). We made it through the most drought-ridden, pathetic countryside and towns and finally got to the coast and were driving through a town called San Jose when Meredith looked down at the guidebook and read, " ...Forego San Jose, a tourist trap, for the more authentic fishing villages..." OOPS. We made it out of San Jose without getting a souvenir and headed onward. Later in the drive, after much guess-work (our navigational tool by now), we drove through a town that had an abandoned gold mine, so we thought we would take a look. We found ourselves on a precipitous gravel road which
proved to be difficult to turn around on - I think Meredith at one point thought we were going over the edge! By dumb luck and keeping "the ocean on the right and the sunset on the left" we managed to make the 70 km drive - only about 3 km was breathtakingly beautful. I plan to write a strongly worded letter to the National Geographic when I return to the USA. We did leave a piece of ourselves (see the photo of our vandalism)!
We rolled into Mar Menor at around 23:00 hours and, thanks to Meredith's new I-Phone, found our resort in the dark. Today we took a day off - sigh. We slept in and spent the afternoon by the pool. Lovely. Tomorrow, we are going to the beach! Should be a lot of fun. More adventures I am sure!
There are more photos below