Monday, 30 August 2010

Busy doing nothing

So busy, in fact, that I had to come back to the hotel for a siesta to recover!

Granada is a strange city - everything is very close together and it seems to try to hide all its important buildings. There's nowhere really in the city itself that you can get a feeling of what there is here. Perhaps I've just become too used to the wide open streets of Madrid and Seville, but in Granada you struggle to be a snap happy tourist (apart from the Alhambra of course, which anyone looking through my Flickr page will know I didn't hold myself back at photograph-wise!). Or at least a snap-happy tourist with photos that someone else might conceivably want to look at.

Apart from Albaicin that is - the higgledy piggledy old town of Granada. Clinging to the hillside opposite the Alhambra, the Albaicin is a maze of whitewashed houses thrown together as if they'd been dropped from a great height and wherever they fell was where they were left. The streets really are a maze. My Lonely Planet guidebook very sensibly says, the best route to take through the Albaicin is whichever one you take. As I tried to explain to an American family today - but I don't think they were convinced, at least Mom wasn't. Dad strode off reassured that his own personal brand of built in satellite navigation would work wonders - and promptly lead them off the wrong way. I would have stopped them, but I knew that following their noses would give them some wonderful discoveries, even if it wasn't actually what they'd been looking for.

You'd think, being opposite the mighty Alhambra, the area would be dominated by it. And while there are some fantastic glimpses you catch between buildings (and of course the spectacular vista from the St Nicholas mirador), for most of the time the buildings are too close together and you're too distracted by the alleyways and houses to even notice. It certainly holds its own and is a fantastic place to wander round - although very hot - and blinding because of the whitewash, even with sunglasses on.

So now, siesta over, I'm off out to try one of Granada's other specialities - the tea room. Not as in crisp white tableclothes, scones and butter - no these are Turkish tearooms, or teterias.

It's all in the name of the accurate travelogue you understand, I don't enjoy these treats, trials!

PS If you want to read a fabulous story based in Granada, try Victoria Hislop's The Return. It's one of the things that prompted me to book this holiday!

1 comment:

Just Frances said...

My calendar's daily inspiration quote for today is a Spanish proverb: "How beautiful is it to do nothing, and the to rest afterward."

So I guess you're in the right place for doing nothing!