Getting to Granada and First Impressions

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We leave Blois at 10 am on Saturday to drive to Orly Airport where we’re leaving the car in a somewhat suspicious-looking long-term parking lot near for the airport for 70 euros. If the car’s still there on our return, it’s a hassle-free way of get to the airport. Otherwise, we would have had to catch a train to Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris and taken a train out to the airport.

Pale skies on leaving Blois

Pale skies on leaving Blois

After my week of flu I seem to be having a relapse and the first thing I do on the Transavia flight to Malaga leaving at 4.35 pm is to nearly faint on the way back from the ladies. The hostess lies me down on a double seat and I sleep until our arrival at 7 pm. We collect our baggage and are relieved to see that the shuttle we booked at airportshuttles.com for 21 euro is waiting for us.

Our room at the Hotel Soho in Malaga

Our room at the Hotel Soho in Malaga

It’s quite balmy at 13°C. Malaga looks very clean and modern. The driver takes us to our boutique hotel . The rooms are small but very trendy. The sign behind the door says 200 euro but we are paying 72 euro per night, I guess because it’s winter. We leave our things and go to find a restaurant. Jean Michel says we’re near the sea so have to have fish.

Bodeguita de Carlos

Bodeguita de Carlos

At Bodeguita de Carlos that we find by accident, I order a grilled John Dory to share and Jean Michel eats about ¾ of it. I certainly can’t manage any more. All I really want to do is go to bed.

Next morning I am not feeling brilliant at all. We get dressed and go down for breakfast but the breakfast café is very busy and there are no tables. I start feeling really ill and we go back upstairs. Jean Michel goes down to secure a table and order coffee because I seem to be having orthostatic hypotension again and need to get the adrenaline pumping. We finally get served and Jean Michel has a buffet breakfast. I pull off a few bits of bread.

Olives and the Sierra Nevada from the bus on the way to Grenada

Olives and the Sierra Nevada from the bus on the way to Grenada

We decide to go straight to the coach station to take the 1 pm bus to Granada and I manage to eat a tortilla frances while Jean Michel has some sort of fish. The bus is new and takes 1 ¾ hour to get to Granada. It costs about 23 euro for both of us. From there we take a taxi to our rental accommodation. The sky is bright blue.

View from the flat

View from the flat

A very unwelcoming Spanish woman with minimal English shows us the flat which is arranged on two stories. The two bedrooms (one about the size of a monk’s room) are on the first floor with a patio outside and a bathroom up three and down two steps. Great in the middle of the night! A narrow tiled staircase leads up to a living room and rudimentary kitchen with a large patio outside with a lovely view of the city walls.

None of it feels very warm with a current outside temperature of 10°C predicted to fall below zero during the week.

Front patio

Front patio

We unpack our belongings and see that apart from oil and vinegar, the kitchen has nothing else, not even a teapot. The bed doesn’t look wonderful and there is a large round window without a shutter that turns out to be lit by a street light. Sigh.

Typical Albaicin street

Typical Albaicin street

Our street is called Cuesta Alhacaba which means  double hill. All is said. We walk up to the top of the old Albaicin quarter by which time I am completely exhausted of course but I love the houses and Moorish decoration along the way.

Our first sighting of the Alhambra

Our first sighting of the Alhambra

We get our first sighting of the famous Alhambra and wander through the gardens of the Palacio de los Cordova. At the bottom of the hill on the other side, we walk along the Darro River until we reach the main thoroughfare.

In the Cordova palace gardens

In the Cordova palace gardens

I’m suddenly hungry so we go into a bar called Minotoro where we order freshly squeezed orange drinks, some slices of goats cheese and what turns out to be French fries with mayonnaise and tomato ketchup on them! Not exactly what I feel like …

Mayonnaise and tomato ketchup French fries

Mayonnaise and tomato ketchup French fries

We decide to make our way home so we can have a siesta despite the fact that it’s near 6 pm but I’m feeling pretty exhausted at this point and we still have to climb our double hill to get back.

Church in Albaicin

Colegiata de San Salvador  in Albaicin

The house is gradually warming up but I’m still quite cold. It probably hasn’t been heated for a while even though we’ve turned the electric heaters up to maximum. We sleep for an hour or so.

The courtyard of Le Ladrillo where we have dinner

The courtyard of El Ladrillo (the brick?) where we have dinner

Since there are no shops open on Sunday afternoon we still have no food so at about 8 pm (early by Spanish standards) we go looking for dinner. All those great tapas bars that we open during the afternoon are now closed but we eventually find a place called El Ladrillo selling grilled fish. Jean Michel misreads the menu and the waiter’s English is very basic so we end up with a large platter of fried seafood and a mixed salad. I eat the battered octopus pieces and half the salad but am not tempted by the rest.

Before we’re even finished, they’ve closed the kitchen, we’ve already paid and the waiter is whisking away our plates as soon as he can!  We walk all the way down the hill for a decaff coffee (I must be crazy) and halfway back again to our cold house. I’m too tired by then to do anything else except go to bed!

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17 Responses to Getting to Granada and First Impressions

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