Report from Granada
I walked about an hour last night trying to find an Internet cafe. The computer in the lobby of my hotel was expensive, and I wasn't going to use it, though I seriously considered it. However, this morning I asked at the desk if there was WiFi anywhere near and they said it's free in the lobby. Go figure!
It's 9:34 here and we don't leave the hotel until 11 because we have a late appointment to see the Alhambra, and we'll see the gardens first then tour it at 1 PM. Linda's at the hair salon. We got her earlier enough last night that we had a good amount of time to walk to the central district, the cathedral, and around there. We got into the old Moorish district, the Albaicin, which is a warren of winding streets. We came back out at the Justice building we'd seen before, and it should have been an easy walk back to the hotel--we had an hour before our dinner was to be served at 8. Well, Linda says she's now trusted her sister Betty and me, that we're two of the smartest people she knows, and that in both situations, Betty in London and me in Granada, a taxi ride back to the hotel became necessary. It was well worth the cost, which was surprisingly little. But that experience colored my looking for the Internet cafe last night after supper. The populace here takes off from about 1:30 until about 5:30, then they come back and work the "afternoon." The streets were busy and shops were open when i came back at 10 last night.
I slept 9 hours Tuesday night and woke well refreshed. We left Madrid yesterday morning rather early and got to Toledo, went to an overview of the city then down into the old city center. We went inside one eating area that allowed free restrooms. I'll learn to ask for cafe americano by the time the trip ends. In the meantime I'm getting pretty good at drinking espresso. We also went into the church of Saint Tome to see El Greco's painting of the Burial of Count Orgaz. Other than that, we wandered the streets (well, following the local guide) then, after walking across the San Martin bridge, we drove to a place where they demonstrated the age-old method of making swords and the Toledo art of using steel and gold to make jewelry. I bought myself a bracelet, though not the quality of those they were trying to sell! It was a neat place.
We drove through endless olive trees--endless being too calm a term. Ubiquitous olive trees? Closer. An unbelievable quantity of olive trees! to get to Granada. We stopped in a village in the midst of La Mancha, under a hill with some of the old windmills Cervantes had Don Quixote jousting with. The inn where we ate was set in Don Quixote's time with lots of neat relics, and I had a chance during the hour we stopped for lunch to wander the town, and I enjoyed that. We stopped once more (for the bus driver to meet driving rules) in the mountains separating La Mancha from Andalusia. But even the mountains didn't stop the unending olive trees, though blooming almond trees and a little more variety added itself.
We got to the hotel after the bus driver Jaime demonstrated the European trait of being able to leave less than an inch between vehicles and maneuver into places I wouldn't try to put a car! And that's when Linda and I got to our room, dumped what stuff we didn't want to carry, and set out to explore. Which brings be back to having completed the report. We'll board the bus soon for the Alhambra then on to Fuengirola on the Costo del Sol.