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Published: October 5th 2021
Food is everything we are. It's an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It's inseparable from those from the get-go.
The day started easy enough in Valencia. We hailed a taxi and headed toward the railway station. We claimed our Prius and slowly pulled away from the lovely city of Valencia and began to familiarize ourselves with the Spanish roadways. Honestly... we've been traveling for a fair number of years and are now absolutely amazed how people navigated before the joys of GPS... and we were those people! The Spanish countryside was dotted with mile after mile of lemon, lime and olive trees. We thought we'd share with you that we took the A-7, to the A-35, to the A-344 to A-31 and back to the A-7 to the A-92 and then to the GR-3102. LOL. We thought it would make you believe that the route was complex. The reality is the route numbers change a few times or the highways merge and we really only had to make about one roadway change during all of that.
One of the things we've learned through the years is that if you don't have to be in a hurry....don't. If you want to stop, do exactly that because there may be something memorable. On our drive
Fine looking city
to Granada we stopped in a darling town called Velez-Rubio on a whim and had lunch. If you are driving this way we encourage you to stop at Martos Caffe. This appears to be just another small town in Spain, but we found a cute place for lunch. The food was absolutely wonderful between Dave's tender pork accompanied by a mushroom sauce. MJ was thrilled with her langoustine salad.
For those of you who have never been to Spain we've forgotten to mention that when you order a drink the restaurant or bar gives you a free tapas or small bite with each drink. We are thinking of introducing legislation in the U.S. to make this mandatory! Many of these tapas are a basic treat but some are pretty tasty and always welcome. It is always a surprise for us to wait and see what they bring. If you order a second beverage, there's a good chance you will get a different tapas.
A few years ago our friend Dale said that all of our blogs sound like things go well all the time. We must admit we have been fortunate most of the time and the bumps
Martos Caffee in Velez-Rubio. Fantastic!
are so small we decide not to include them as they might be boring. This is indeed true. However, on this part of the voyage, we've had a couple of bumps on this section of our trip and are including them for Dale! Yes....it doesn't always work out great.....but you get there.
Our plan was to quickly dump our luggage at our AirBnb, return the rental car and take off exploring. Just as we entered the outskirts of Granada, our GPS for whatever reason went on the fritz. Probably due to narrow streets and tall buildings. Not good if you are not in possession of a real map. We managed to get it working again, but by then had overshot our exit, so there was additional driving. As we approached our lodging, we needed to park the car and walk on pedistrian streets to the accomodation which was about two blocks away. We finally found a parking spot about 6 blocks away. We were not sure if it was an unrestricted space, so MJ stayed with the car while Dave found the AirBnb. Long, long story short, he found it down a narrow street. Our accommodations turned out to
Cathedral de Granada
Beautiful in and out
on a 4th story walk up without an elevator. We blame this on COVID as we are out of practice traveling and forgot to ask or check. No worries, we are still in shape enough for the luggage to get upstairs. Thank you Dave! Travel tip # 56.....always travel with someone who can schlep your luggage when necessary!
The owner's sister let us in and unfortunately for us could not speak a word of English. Now, we realize that we're in Spain and It is not her responsibility to know English, but a couple of words may have helped. Anyway.....Dave used google translator as the air conditioning was not working and it was a stinking hot day. After several phone calls to family members she was able to get the air on. Her tech skills with the remote for the air conditioner were less than her language skills. LOL. This took over an hour and meanwhile, Merry Jo is on the porch keeping an eye on our illegally parked rental car. Then we struggled with getting the internet up and running. We got this resolved and finally, all is well. When all was said and done, we had a
Cathedral de Granada has amazing detail
happy stay in a cute apartment with a nice porch over the back street.
As soon as all of that was sorted out, we took off for the Avis to return the car. We feared it would be closed but we made it in time!
Oh... did we forget to mention the streets of Granada are tiny and we are not especially good with the street signage. Pulling away from the apartment, Dave drove the wrong way on a one way street before we realized what we were doing- in our panic Dave turned quickly and drove on a pedistrian street for what seemed like a mile before we found a place to turn around. Yikes! The pedistrians could not hear us coming because we were in a Prius. Double yikes! The store owners popped out to help us turn around because we were nearing the policia station. They used a lot of arm motions in their excitement to assist. We finally found the road and off to the train station we went, happy to dump the car and get back on foot!
After all this, we were looking for some relaxation and an adult beverage. Our
Mirador de Morayma
plan was to reconnect with Lynne Brown, a fellow Travel Blogger, who we met in Santa Rosa, California when she was traveling. Lynne is from the southern part of England. We met up at the Cathedral, which is an incredible edifice with some of the more ornate religious interiors we've seen. It was great to reconnect with Lynne. It's always grand to meet or see again a fellow Travel Blogger. Very exciting for everyone as there is so much to talk about! We enjoyed spending time in Granada with Lynne. We appreciate her taking the time to meet us.
One of the landmarks of Granada is the Alhambra. Anyone who visits here should take the time to see this monumental castle/fortress and learn the history of the kings who lived there and the many kings who were subsequently murdered there (mostly by their sons). It's an amazing place with all the Arab, Moorish and Catholic history you need. The gardens are quite nice and we highly recommend a night tour of the Nasrid Palace to truly appreciate the architecture.
After two days that included a rather hectic arrival and the grand tour of the Alhambra, there was only
one thing to do....visit the Arabian Baths at the Hammam Al Analus, where you will be treated exceptionally well. Bathing in the warm waters followed by an exfoliating body scrub and massage eases you back into a relaxed state of body and mind....just where you want to be.....
Granada provides a plethora of good food and we took advantage of it every chance we had. One of our more memorable meals was at the Palace Andaluz Almona, which was some of the better Moroccan food we've had outside of that wonderful country. Skewers of kabobs and lamb tangine really hit the spot. We also found a Michelin-starred place called Alameda, where we indulged in lamb chops and duck. The pate with carmalized goat cheese and green apples was simply divine. On our last night in Granada, we ate at the Mirador de Morayma, which provided exquisite cuisine and a view of the Alhambra. Ah....the delights of fine dining!
Granada is a city that is quite alive and thriving. Our stay there provided all that you could want in a medium Spanish city with great history. But time moves on and so do we.....to Ronda!
Cathedral de Granada
we stayed: AirBnb
Restaurants recommended: Martos Caffee in Velez-Rubio
Mirador de Morayma
Palace Andaluz Almona
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