View from one of the windows from the palace.
Forgot to mention the strange thing we saw leaving Valencia. Hot looking senorita's with little cases sitting on white plastic chairs interspersed every so often along the highway. Took us a while to realize they were puta's (whores) ready to service customers...we then played spot the whore (and discussed what was in the cases!).
With Guido the GPS guide failing us on the drive into Granada, we found ourself smack bang in the middle of the city... massively busy, narrow streets (the van inches away from scraping both sides and making a u-turn meant doing an Austin Powers 20 point turn), traffic, people, bikes, dogs, cows ... ok no cows... Leanne having a cardiac arrest, Mick with dry mouth syndrome and adrenaline guts, it was hell.
Guido decides to come back on line and directed us the wrong way up a one way street. We were so frazzled we said 'fuck it ' and just did it! 200 m up and we were stopped by the Civil Guard who then questioned us, wanted to see our passports and made us follow him... luckily to the Parador de Granada and not Prison De Granada !
Our hotel room was
situated in a 16th century converted convent surrounded by spectacular gardens and palaces. Calming down after the drive from hell, we booked a supposedly 'world famous' Flamenco show set in the cave dwellings for that night. Cabbed it in only to stand in line with 65 thousand Asian tourists. '
'Authentic Flamenco' seems to be comprised of entranced, aggressive, unsmiling women stomping around the stage backed by a guitarist with an amazing right hand, lots of clapping and an ear shattering singer wailing out of tune but with mucho passion. Interesting!
Today we decided on exploring the palaces and gardens of Alhambra surrounding us which was originally constructed as a fortress in 889 (!) and then later converted to a Royal Islamic Palace in 1333 for Yusuf The First, Sultan of Granada. Quite mind boggling and we were amazed at the architecture and ingenious use of water throughout. Not wanting to drive out of the city during the busy day we just hang out in the gardens till later that evening. What a lovely day spent in paradiso!
Started the drive from Granada to Malaga late to avoid the frenetic streets but had to pull over due to the sun being low in the sky COMPLETELY blinding us while traveling at 130 km/h on the Autovia with a precipice on one side and a semitrailer on the other.
The trip seemed to consist of us pulling over numerous times for toilet stops, then windshield cleans then petrol, then snacks, then... you get the idea.
Once again Guido lets us down in Malaga, and with stress levels rising, we finally made it to our hotel which promised a private balcony and panoramic sea views, which apparently in English means facing an office building with a lovely view of the cargo yard and cranes and a glimpse of blue far off in the distance.
After another sleepless night on a rock hard bed (what is it with Spanish beds?) we decided to do a little more research and caught a cab 10 k's down the road to Hotel Isobel in Torremelinos which is much more what we envisioned the Costa Del Sol to be.
A lovely little hotel in a great location, however everything costs extra from the ice to the safe to an extra pillow to the fridge! Who pays more for use of the fridge?? Apparently we do :-)
On the way back from buying bus tickets to Algeceiras for our crossing to Morocco tomorrow and stocking up on two bottles of JD we were discussing our anti-mugging technique. We decided on Leanne swinging the 2 Litre Coke Light bottle at the attackers head whilst Mick skulls one of the bourbons before smashing it and using it to glass said assailant (well it would have been a waste of good bourbon otherwise!).
Gonna leave you here while sitting on the balcony sipping a couple of JD and diet cokes before heading out for dinner and our last night in Spain.
Tomorrow brings a new country, a new language and new experiences. We just hope it's a little less Amazing Race!
See ya on the other side!
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