21st May 2015
I was ready to go to the bus station early this morning, but I have got a ride of my host. We left the home around 9:30am. When we came to the bus station I had to wait, because the bus was 15 minutes late. It was a direct bus, but it stopped after roughly an hour for 30 minutes. I bought something small to eat. The landscape at this part of the country was plane, but surrounded of mountains, from time to time we came closer to the mountains and when we were driving through the Sierra Morena, it was really fascinating.
We arrived at Granada around 1:30pm. First I was looking for a toilet, which was hard to find here at the station, but finally I did. I also bought a bus ticket to Estepona for the following day with a helping hand of an assistant. I took a walk to the hostel, because on its homepage is declared, that it is on a walking distance from the bus station. It was a little longer than I expected, but not to far away. Furthermore I took a rest at a restaurant, because I was very hungry at this time. I found a nice one – even not very Spanish, but I remembered the influence of the Arabians at this part of the country.
At the hostel was a group of pupils coming nearly at the same time like me. They already had checked in before and just got their keys, than the receptionist was helping me. I was surprised, that there were lower taxes for 60+ travellers, but happy about it. I had booked a bed in a dorm as usual, but got a bed in a two-bed-room, with me as the only guest. For the reduced price for elderly people I had less to pay for it than for the bed in the dorm. I have had a private room with the bathroom en suite for only 14 EUR plus 2 EUR member fee, because this year I do not have a member card for the HI-Hostels. It was a nice room with bed-clothes and very clean as well as the breakfast was included.
When I installed myself I went to the reception again and asked for a Granada map and for the bus routes. I got the explanations and went out again to see the city. I walked all the way to see as much as possible and strolled around the city.
When I got hungry I looked for a restaurant and finally found one I thought it will fit me. Actually I was looking for tapas. If I had taken a beer, I would have got some anyway, but I did neither feel for a beer nor for that kind of bars. I was only used to the tapas I could buy at the Spanish restaurants in the “Portuguese quarter” of Hamburg and the ones my friend Fernando and me were eating in Barcelona. Though I thought, tapas are everywhere the same, but I was totally wrong. Not knowing the kind of tapas in Granada I ordered a Serranito, a Lomo Roquefort, a Croqueton Casero and a beer (in that moment I just felt for that). The waitress was asking me if I really would have a beer and I told her, a little one. The dish was huge: The Serranito as well as the Lomo Roquefort was a sandwich with ham respectively other meat and cheese. The Croqueton was a huge filled croquet. I got really full and all that for a price around seven (7) EUR.
I walked Granada again and saw that there is a City Train Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour advertising night tours from 9:30 pm. I was a little tired in my feet and decided to see the illuminated town of Granada by such a tour. I thought, the tour was going up to the Alhambra, too and that it would be an amazing view from up there, but even the train was going to the upper part of the city, it never came to the Alhambra.
Anyway it was a nice trip for only three (3) EUR. The price was so low because I have got a senior ticket and it was the night train. The illuminated Alhambra was great to see. Back to the hostel I took the LAC – a bus route. The bus stop was not very close to the hostel, but it did not matter to me to walk the rest. I did not have any luggage with me and I happily walked the short distance. At the hostel I prepared for sleep, but wrote my diary before.
I awoke early that morning, but felt late until I arrived at Alhambra by bus. Actually I was in good time! Our guide Carmen was a little late instead, but only a couple of minutes. She told us, that the tour will be for three hours, in fact it has not even lasted for two! Anyway it was great, because she used a audio-system with headphones for all of us and a sender for the guide. By that it was not necessary to stand close to the guide, you could walk around and see what you like in just that area she explained. She gave us lots of time, too, for taking photographs. The best thing was the Alhambra itself, of course, which is so amazing! You have to see it if you come to Granada once in your life!
I still had hours to spend in Granada, therefore I walked all the way down to the city and I was very happy about that. By walking I discovered a wall and a historical gate and entered the city by a gate, too. Entering the outer city by the gate there were lots of souvenir shops, of course. Even I have the photographs from this trip I felt that it would be nice to have a magnet for the fridge from this place. I found soon one I liked – even it was hard to decide which one, because there are lots of magnets showing the Alhambra. I tried to purchase it, but first I was waiting for my turn and then the owner of that shop was not interested in to serve me, but served another one coming after me. Though I left the magnet at his desk and walked further. At the next shop the owner was very happy to sell one of his items to me, instead. He was very polite, too. Furthermore there were shops selling t-shirts like “I Granada”. Unfortunately they also had a little more unusual by design and the shirt itself, though I decided to buy one of them. The sales woman was very interested in selling and also very polite and helpful. I think I can use the shirt when I am travelling the world.
I continued down to the city center and was thinking about to find a place for lunch. I did not have any bank notes left and had to go to an ATM to fetch some more. When I came to a street corner a girl was advertising for a little restaurant in a back street. I asked her for the nearest ATM. She did not understand before I asked here for “banco” and she told me. With more cash I went back to that restaurant. There were only one line of tables outside and online three or four of them with space for maximum three sitting people. When cars where coming the third had to left his chair for a moment. On another table, to my back, a Swedish family ate their lunch. I recognized it, when they were talking. They ate meatballs and lasagna. I ordered a Spanish menu with “jamón y melon” (ham and cantaloupe) as well as a gazpacho (Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, usually with a tomato base). It was the first time in my life I tried a gazpacho and I did like it very well. I was disappointed of the postre (dessert), even it was ice cream, because it was an industrially one and served in the original packaging. I drank a Rosado (rosé wine), because I know it from the time I lived with my parents and I like it more than the withe and even more than the red, because it is milder. The Swedish woman was thinking it was red wine and ordered the same as I have, but wrong, of course. The waiter explained to her and I have got a smile, because she was telling her husband what the Spanish words means in Swedish and she was not only wrong by the wine. This lunch was for the double price I usually spend for lunch or dinner, but it is necessary for me to try the local meals, too. When I am exploring a country I make it not only by my eyes, I also will taste it – and hear and smell and even touch it. I decided to do that on this trip, too. For not overrunning my budget I save money on my accommodation.
I picked my luggage at the hostel in time and used their toilet as well. I asked for the bus to the bus station and the bus stop was very close to the hostel. It is the SN2 one has to take. It runs quite often. I arrived at the bus station one hour before my bus was leaving, but I was too tired for more sightseeing. I checked from which platform my bus will leave and recognized, that there were lots of buses leaving at that time (5pm), but found the right one. My booked seat was a very bad one and it was stinking – I could not find out, what it smelled and if it was the guy in front of me or the seat itself. The guy had his seat back and I prefered to take the other one, which was not at the window, but gave me more space. I tried to see as much as possible and got more amazing views, even we were not going through the Sierra Nevada. The signs on the Autovia (motorway) told us, that we will come to Malaga and Algeciras – if we drove further. It sounded like an Arabic name for me.