Pre Alhambra Life

Staying another night in Ubeda would have been easy. We enjoyed our short visit there and were lucky enough to stumble upon one of our best meals in Spain. We headed out after breakfast at our hotel, there was a Carrefour (European Walmart?) close by so we grabbed a few things for the kids and got on our way. The drive was even more beautiful than the Seville to Ubeda leg since this time we were deeper into the mountains. The olive trees were still covering the hills and valleys as far as we could see. We didnt get any pics unfortunately but driving pics never really turn out that great for us anyway. After about a little over an hour we get to Granada, we drop our things off at the hotel and set our sights on returning the rental car. We had heard that driving in Granada was tough, that is a huge understatement. The one way streets or no entry signs were everywhere. Siri had no idea of which way was left or right and what was supposed to be a 10 minute drive took us over 30 minutes. Streets that look like they are for cars are not and ones that look like pedestrian walkways are car only. We walked back to the hotel in 12 minutes for some context. It was already about 4 so we gave the kids their daily siesta and got settled into our place near Plaza Isabel La Catolica. You have never seen a kid more excited for a nap than our son, we hope this love for mid day naps doesn’t persist into his teenage years too much. After our siesta we walked through the Alcaiceria which is kind of a cool skinny Arqabic shopping district (reminiscent of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul but WAY smaller). Every shop is basically selling the same thing, seems like something that would have been really awesome hundreds of years ago or even before handicrafts were so mass produced. Many of the main sites in Granada are in Realejo (the area where we stayed) so we walked around a few of them getting to know the negihbourhood a little more. We ate some decent dinner at our hotel, our son met a few girls to play with and even had his first kiss, the sneaky little ladies man. Met a few people that spoke English, chatted for a bit and called it a night.

Next day we ate breakfast at our hotel, went to grab our Granada Cards (awesome purchase) and then went to Cuarto Real (a small Moorish Palace from the 13th century) which was one of the attractions included with the card. They had a pretty in depth audio visual guide there that explained a little bit what it was like to live at a Palace in the 1300’s. Needless to say the place was well groomed and very well maintained.

While walking past Plaza del Carmen we saw a Jamon contest going on. Jamon experts from all over Spain were slicing their best cuts and showcasing it to the crowd. We quickly got in line to try some and were lucky enough to get a plate from one of the winners. It was the best Jamon we had to date and its a shame we didnt get the name of the brand or type.

The Best of the Best

We swung by the Cathedral but it was closed off for some reason. Our area was packed with things to see, great tapas and shopping. We realized in Granada how bad we are at documenting our Tapas adventures. First, there is an art to ordering Tapas (separate post coming) and second maybe we are just too hungry when it comes but we always remember to take a pic half way through. Hard to blog about Spain without great food pics unfortunately. We could see ourselves spending an extended amount of time in this city though, it really is that great. The heat is pretty crazy though, it was over 40 degrees both days during the day time. We dropped into some building we thought was included with the Granada Card (the roof below was the best thing about it) and went on a Spanish speaking tour. It was boring, it wasn’t included and the kids were having none of it so we ducked out early, again, and went for some Tapas before calling it a night.  Tomorrow is Alhambra so we need to be up at 7:00 to make sure we get to our 9:00 AM entry window.