Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Spain 2006 Part II: Spain’s Pomegranate

We flew to Sevilla for a quick night and jumped on a three-hour bus for Granada the next morning. When we arrived at our hotel, the reception told us that the air conditioning was broken in our room. They automatically upgraded us to the suites literally smack in front of the Cathedral. Kristin’s celebrity pays off again! Er. Wait. [Aside: We learned that the word “salada” in Spain means “witty, amusing, attractive, and charming.” Unfortunately, in the Americas, “salada” means “unlucky, unfortunate.” Since Salada is not from the Spanish language, we take it to mean “one whose ancestors are from the Salada family who on occasion experience good luck when traveling.”] Here was the view out our front window in Granada:

We decided to stroll up the Carrera del Darro, a street made famous by impressionist painters in the late 1800’s. After eating a sunset-lit dinner literally beneath the Alhambra on Paseo de los Tristes, we stumbled upon the city’s annual outdoor film festival in Plaza Nueva. I think we caught a good fifteen minutes of Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin before finally returning to our suite.

After a restless night of sleep (Spain is loud!), we took a walking city tour in the morning. Our guide spoke first in English, and then in Spanish. ¡Práctica buena! He took us through the old Moorish silk district which is now a major tourist market, then by the Cathedral, up through the Albacín neighborhood and then back down the River Darro. After a siesta, us crazy kids ventured back through the Albacín, all the way up the ridge opposite the Alhambra. Our mission was to explore for potential future second home sites. We saw some beautiful homes with incredible views.

Our quest took us all the way up past the old Moorish wall into new home developments that looked very American. They were like ghost towns – no stores, no noise, no people. ¡Que raro en España!

Feet so tired. Cold Cruzcampo calling. The next day we explored more neighborhoods, including trying to find the charming streets I remembered from a previous visit to no avail. In the end, we both felt kind of disappointed by Granada – it’s much larger, louder, and busier than we had hoped for. Granada’s ideal location in Southern Spain would seem to make it a perfect second home and we were hoping to fall in love. And well, we really liked it. No really. Really?


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