Learning the lingo
18.09.2008 28 °C
Before leaving Ronda had a nice breakfast at a place called Chocolate (no prizes for guessing who picked this one). Highly recommended and just round the corner.
Not too bad getting out of Ronda with the maze of one way streets (we only went round one roundabout twice to check directions and one u-turn). Getting to Granada was trouble free - lovely roads. Scenery is way different to home - it looks very very dry, and all you see is Olive trees forever. Getting in to the hotel at Granada was a different story. Its more or less on a roundabout and we just by chance spotted it because we´d had to come off to check the map and look for street signs. The map and directions are great its just that there often isn´t the street signs to help us out.
Very modern hotel with a nice swimming pool. Spent the afternoon catching some rays and dangling our feet in the pool. checked out a bar-restaurant for dinner and over a beer and a coke (yes Sarah still not 100 percento) looked at the menu. After reading we spotted some interesting english translations and decided to eat elsewhere. What put us off a little were: attacked of gizzards of lamb and Leg of lamb roasted with potatoes hopeful and attacked of peppers.
Ate at the hotel restaurant - dinner only 22 euros for 3 courses! Tried teaching Simon to ask for the bill - La cuenta por favor. But then he also had to ask for an extra pillow so tried teaching him that word. by the time the waitor came he got frazzled because he knew he´d end up asking him for the pillow (so yours truly got the bill sorted). He´s not really recovered from that.
First time we´ve set the alarm this trip to get up early enough to get to Alhambra by 8am. Better to leave the car at the hotel (parking 8 euros for 24hrs) and the taxi was only 6 euros and you don´t have to pay parking there.
Alhambra is an amazing place - it consists of some palaces from the Arabs-muslims that inhabited the area many moons ago. The workmanship and detail that has gone into these palaces is quite stunning and no photography can ever come close to capturing the craftmanship. We booked online and upon arriving there were queues of people waiting to get in, and armed guards (¿perhaps queue jumping is a capital offense? - ¡Thats the spanish way of asking a question! They have an upside down question mark, and exclamation mark at the begining of the question-statement.
Apparently our tickets were for 0830 entry and because we had booked online we could skip the huge queue and head to a way smaller queue where we got our tickets in minutes. Also when we arrived to check out the Nasrid Palace we managed to jump a huge queue there too because we had the earlier entry time. Boy did it feel good to be in an express lane.
We caught a local bus into the town plaza from the palace for only 1.10 euro each and wandered around the Arab quarter a little. Catching a bus back was more interesting - not much english in the local bus driving profession. But certainly manageable.
The drive from Granada to Priego de Cordoba was much the same scenery wise. Bit more interesting as we came into Priego. Firstly, the map kinda wasn´t so helpful. The first person we asked spoke no english and apparently it was tricky to explain even in spanish. Then we were stopped by the local police on a roundabout. Thankfully we got through to him that we were from Nueva Zelanda and he became most helpful. Once again though we got to the end of the instructions and couldn´t figure out where to next when we realised the hotel was right there!
Not going to recommend Las Rosas. It looked way better on the internet. price wise good but slightly lacking in some facilities (no hairdryer).
Had tapas for dinner. The place that was recommended to us didn´t open until 10pm and by 9pm we needed something. Went to a little bar where simon practised his best Spanish - una cerveza y una coca cola por favor. That worked a treat. Only when they told him how much Sarah needed to intervene as she could understand the number thing. Pretty cool sitting in a bar - watching real madrid soccer play someone, locals getting a bit excited and nobody spoke english.
Carmona is just north of Seville. Quite an old town and a guy called Julius Ceasar commented that it was the most fortified town in the whole of Andalucia. We are staying in quite a tidly place - it used to be the palace of a Marques de las Torres. We can´t park outside the hotel as it is quite narrow, and we found a park close by that an old geezer (with no front teeth) pointed us in. Then he kept pointing to his eyes and saying vigilante over and over. We got the idea that the spanish mafia keep him on to guard the cars and gave him a few euro which he seemed quite happy with.
Thought we better update this cos we have to wait until the dinner place opens which isn´t till about 10pm tonight. Can´t update the photos for a few more days. Possibly in Paris but more likely the UK.
We´re ever hopeful in getting back to the Uk but the Eurostar have emailed to say they are running reduced services and may not honour our tickets for the service we have booked but will try our best! whatever! watch this space...