Here I am again, with my second post of the day. Jonathan has been with us since late June, and mostly he has been just relaxing, and unwinding, before he returns to England to look for work, a flat, and more opportunities for his bands. That was the purpose of the visit, and he has enjoyed his 'time out'. He has done a lot of swimming, up in the big village pool and in ours, and has also done some gardening work for us, and enjoyed a couple of days and evenings out with Mike and family. But we did promise to take him to Granada City before he goes back and we nearly ran out of time as he is now going home earlier than he intended, on 17th, next Monday. This is partly because the air fares are going up every day, and also because there is suddenly a lot going on for one of his bands and he needs to get back to be a part of it. So yesterday we got up and gave the dogs their long walk, and then we had a quick breakfast and hit the road. It is a 2½ - 3 hour drive so it was late morning when we arrived in Granada. We have never been to the city but Tom loves it and he was able to give us some useful advice and maps. It is a lovely city with some fine architecture, and lots of flowers, plazas and fountains to break up the rows of tall buildings. We found the cathedral, but as we didn't have a lot of time we didn't go inside. That is something we can do on another visit. All around the cathedral area there are narrow lanes of small 'tourist' shops and long alleys of Moroccan bazaars selling silk kaftans, leather goods, jewellery, pottery and spices and teas. The colour and smells were lovely. The wider roads had canopies spread between the tall buildings which provided wlecome shade without making it feel too enclosed. Jonathan managed to find the gift he wanted for Chloe and something for himself with his birthday money. Then we sat at a nice shady café on a plaza and had lunch. Although it was by now the hottest part of the day, we decided to follow a footpath that Tom had told us about. It wound up through narrow cobbled streets through the Moroccan quarter. There was a Moorish influence to many of the buildings. One house, with an Arabic inscription around the arched gateway, had this lovely tiled courtyard. The roads were too narrow for cars to use, so I'm glad I don't live up there. We fortified ourselves with ice-creams half way up, and at the top we were rewarded with magnificent views over the valley to the Alhambra palace. There was a man up there playing a guitar and singing Spanish songs, and another who was using a magnifier to paint intricate pictures onto smooth stones which he then made into pendants. We sat on the plaza for a while and had a cold drink and then made our way back down the lanes to the car for the long drive home. We were back around seven and the dogs were ecstatic to see us. We have never left them for that long before, but at least they had one another for company, and they now know that we will come back.
We all liked Granada. I guess it will take a few more visits before we really know our way around, but we have had a 'taster' of what it is like. I shall of course be putting some photos on my gallery very soon. (I'd better go and do the weekend shopping first), and also the dog-walking ones I promised in a previous blog.