Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On to Granada

This morning we met for breakfast at 9 AM.  I haven’t really mentioned breakfast, so I think that I should do that.  So far, breakfast has been free at the hotels.  It is buffet style and has a variety of items.  Almost always there are eggs, usually scrambled with cheese and “Spanish omelet” which is like a potato frittata, sometimes served hot, sometimes cold.   In Seville there were also fried and hard boiled eggs.  There are always cold meats like ham and salami type sausages, along with a variety of cheeses.  Usually small mild link sausages and bacon not cooked enough to suit Americans are the hot meats.  A variety of breads and sweet rolls are there, so you can have toast or just what we would consider a dinner roll.  Also fruit such as fresh pineapple, watermelon and sometimes strawberries are available.  They always have yogurt in several flavors.  We had orange juice and peach juice until this morning when we had orange juice and a creamy strawberry “juice”.  Sometimes there are small boxes of cold cereal.  Always coffee, tea and cold water are provided.  You give them your room number as you enter and they cross you off the list, so no one can sneak in and help themselves to the buffet.
After breakfast, we headed out to walk around a bit more before leaving town.  We happened upon the public library and couldn’t resist.  We left Danielle sitting in the lobby and explored.  They had 3M security gates, wi-fi, computers for the public to use and an automated card catalog.  The magazines were nicely displayed so we checked out the titles to compare them to ours.  We actually have some of the same titles, although all but Newsweek were in Spanish.
We didn’t linger but did take a couple of photos.  We promised Danielle that if we happened across an accountant’s office, we’d wait while she checked out his books.
We walked across the Roman bridge then back to peruse the gift shops.  Lori and I each bought a scarf.  If you are Spanish, you MUST have a scarf wrapped around your throat.  We are sweating and they are walking around with scarves.  By now it was time to check out of the hotel, so we went back and gathered our belongings.  The bellhop brought the car around and we told him how to load it and we were off, heading for Granada. 
Believe it or not, we managed to exit Cordoba without once riling the GPS lady and making her recalculate!!  The road to Granada was two lanes, but a very nice road.  I didn’t mention it, but Cordoba is in a hilly section of the country.  So it was up and down hills all the way.  This is obviously the olive growing section of Spain because there were at least a million, no probably more like a billion olive trees between Cordoba and Granada.  Seriously, olive groves for as far as the eye could see.
Danielle was a bit miffed that they don’t have speed warning signs for the curves.  They warn you that there are curves ahead, but not that you need to reduce your speed.  She did very well however, and we made it safely to Granada and drove directly to our hotel.  We checked in and then Danielle had the opportunity to drive underground into the hotel’s parking garage.  Oh my gosh!!  What a squeeze!!  But we made it and parked the car near the elevators. 
We actually have adjoining rooms this time.  We dropped our bags and picked up a map from the front desk.  We started walking to the Alhambra.  We had tickets for 4 PM to view one of the palaces.  It was after 3 PM and we were not finding any of the streets on the map.  We happened to stop for a crossing light and there was a British couple there.  Kristina talked to them and they said it was a loooooong way, all the way across the city, to the Alhambra and they recommended that we take a taxi.  We had to cross over to a busier street and finally found a taxi that was available.  He drove us up and around and up and around and finally dropped us in front of the gate.  If we’d walked, I think it would have taken us about 4 hours.
We printed off our tickets (they were pre-purchased but you had to print them from a ticket kiosk yourself) and entered.  Kristina asked directions to the Palace and you guessed it, we were told it was a ten minute walk and to follow the signs.  We had 20 minutes to make it for our 4 PM time, so we really hoofed it to get there.  Just as we walked up to an employee to ask if this was the place, he announced that those with 4 PM tickets should form a line here.  Phew!!  We just made it.
We wandered through the palace and then out and through other sections.  Have you noticed that I did not mention lunch?  That is because we didn’t eat lunch!!  By this time we were all tired and hungry, and a storm was about to break over us, so we exited, found a taxi and came back to the hotel.  We booked a tour of the olive groves for tomorrow morning and inquired as to the location of the hot tub.  They don’t have a pool or a hot tub.  L  Bummer.
We walked about 2 blocks to a restaurant for an early dinner.  She brought us an appetizer that was zucchini, scrambled eggs, onions and bits of ham on a plate with four little forks, so we assumed that it was a community plate.  Then she brought bread and olive oil.  I ordered garlic shrimp; Lori and Kristina had bread with tomatoes and ham, Danielle had a plate of tomatoes with oil and herbs first and then what seemed to be pork loin, wrapped in ham, breaded and deep fried.  She also had French fries which in Spain are served with mayo and not catsup.
She brought us more bread, because she said that I would need it for dipping in the garlic sauce.  Okay, that works for me.  It was absolutely delicious.  Far better than cuddle fish!!  For dessert Kristina had chocolate cake, I had tiramisu and Lori had a plate full of watermelon slices.  While we were eating the rain started, so we walked back to the hotel in the rain.  We looked for a cute guy who was alone with an umbrella, but they all seemed to have a girl with them already. 
We are having an early night and I am able to catch up with the blog.  Sorry, but some nights I am just exhausted and if I tried to write the blog, it probably wouldn’t make any sense.
Tomorrow we will head for the Costa del Sol in the afternoon.   Hasta manana!

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