Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Saturday -- Day of the Tourists

This was our officially-unscheduled day. (The only one of the whole vacation.) So we slept in, and then wandered out for a lazy walk around Granada. Today's account is replete with photos, so it is mostly behind the cut tag.

We began our day as we had the previous one (which I mention here because it's where I got the picture), and the same way we would do tomorrow, with Caños de Chocolate:

These may be the most perfect cold breakfast food ever invented -- certainly one of the nummiest strolling snacks I've encountered. If you took a French chocolate croissant and an American chocolate-filled donut, mated them and gave them some hybrid vigor, this is what you would get. They are crisp flaky pastry wrapped around a solid tunnel of rich gooey chocolate stuff (Kate observed that it was a lot like Nutella), capped with medium-dark chocolate at both ends. When she and I both get the same thing for breakfast for a third day in a row, you know you have a winner.

As previously mentioned, Granada is a maze of twisty little passages:

So we spent much of the day wandering, semi-idly, up and down these narrow streets, which are by and large much more interesting than the main thoroughfares.

Early on, we were essentially mugged by a gang of older ladies in front of the cathedral, shoving rosemary sticks at us. They separated us, demanded to see our palms, told us that we would have many fat babies, and then insisted that we now give them money. I decided that the correct response to this was to get very wide-eyed and repeat, "I don't speak Spanish" over and over again. That proved a pretty good defense -- while it was entirely clear what they were about, I simply played dumb until they let go of me in frustration. (I did keep one hand on my wallet the entire time, though. Just to be careful.)

Granada proves to be full of clothing stores, especially high-quality children's clothing stores:

Lots of children's clothing stores:

We spent a fair while discussing why there would be so many. Best theory was that this area is simply *so* Catholic that all the kids need a lot of good church clothes -- and that the fashion-conscious parents must have fashion-conscious children, after all. (More generally, Kate speculated that the touristy-ness of the town has gradually fed things so that clothing has wound up as the dominant local industry.)

Despite the narrowness of the streets, we still had cars trying to drive down them occasionally, which frustrated both the drivers and the pedestrians. I began to understand why scooters seem to be the dominant mode of travel:

Many, many people were driving around on scooters, which seem to be the best compromise for these twisty little roads.

As we wandered past the Cathedral, it became clear that a wedding was letting out: lots of folks in fancy dress were loitering outside the back door. Kate declared that we would stop and watch the clothing for a while. It ranged from the tasteful to the silly, but it did seem like there was a prevelance of hats and fascinators that one rarely sees in the States:

Eventually, they began passing out cardboard tubes, which I gradually figured out were confetti cannons. Hadn't occurred to me before exactly how weddings get so much confetti up into the air, but these are clearly the tools for the job.

We eventually figured out where Old Town was, and wandered up there:

Even narrower streets and older buildings. Of course, we *still* had people trying to drive up them -- one chauffered limo, in particular, made clear that he was going to simply run over anybody who didn't get out of the way -- but mostly a fairly sleepy district.

We window-shopped, and eventually wandered into one of the stores, where she bought a couple of sundresses and I bought a couple of pieced and laquered boxes for game pieces. (They had actually had a couple of guys making those up in the Alhambra, using what appeared to be high-end marquetry techniques, but sadly I didn't get pictures.)

Old Town turns out to be right beneath the Alhambra. We spent a while arguing about this view:

She eventually won out, convincing me that that had been the Alcazaba, once we got to what was clearly the outside of the main Palaces:

One of the delightful things about traveling around Europe is that their definition of "modern" is utterly different from that in the US. This plaque was in front of one of the buildings:

I had noticed in the Alhambra the day before, but noticed much more in Old Town, that Granada is, by and large, owned by cats:

I don't think I saw a single dog the entire time I was there, but there were cats prowling all over the place. A city of small streets and not too much traffic may be fairly perfect for them.

We stopped for a late lunch of pizza, getting small separate ones once it became clear that I wanted the one covered with little eels. Thence back to the hotel for siesta.

For dinner, back to Khu Bar again, since I was feeling curious about the Meat on a Rock entrees. We were slightly disconcerted to find that pretty much nobody seems to even start serving dinner until 8pm -- consistently enough to make us wonder whether there was some sort of local ordinance that you can't start dinner until then, so that everybody has a chance to get home from church and changed.

Anyway, she ordered the Beef, and I had the Pork. The latter occasioned much discussion of how long it needed to be left on the rock to cook, but the end result was excellent: the sort of tender, juicy pork one doesn't get often. The sauces were a bit unremarkable, and the service was fairly terrible (I kept feeling like both we and the waiter were trying to do acrobatics over the communication barrier), but overall a pleasant enough meal.

Thence Yet More Dark Chocolate Gelato, and off to bed.

Tomorrow: Back to England.
Tags: europe 2012

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