As I described before, in Granada we stayed at Travel House, run in 2013 by Travel Club from Serbia. Genious initiative – I still don’t know where will they be this year, but I really hope somewhere on my way!
Warmly welcomed after arriving close to midnight we open the bottles – Dani with her homemade rakia, me with not homemade nut vodka, which always gains some fans wherever I carry it. Maybe I should apply to become Soplica’s ambassador, but on the other hand I always carry it in nameless plastic bottle to reduce weight, so no marketing effect. We’re joining the party and learn, that there’s another fiest in Granada (another one? we’ve got some luck!). Delgation from Travel House is gathering to join celebrating granadians on the streets, but it takes ages to get some final decision… Slowly awakens my avertion to big groups and their indecisiveness. When we finally take off we get caught by rain, so we end up having our own fiesta in a nearby square under some trees.
For the first night we cannot find a free space in bedrooms, so we place our sleeping mats on the kitchen floor, where party goes on till late hours. Not the best place to sleep, but we have a certain roof over our heads and we get to know more and more travellers on different stages of their summer wandering.
It is some of them – Bosnian girl Sara, Lorenzo from Italy and others – that we set off for Free Granada Tour next morning. Tour, which was led by American guy, speaking perfect spanglish. Even with our embarassing level of knowledge in Spanish we’ve got some reasons to smile at his sentences.
Granada is a marvelous city placed on the foot of Sierra Nevada mountains, which results in a lot of narrow, steep and winding streets. Combining it with Almohad’s culture present here for ages gave this city an outstanding atmosphere and architecture.
Alhambra palace – next position from UNESCO list on our road – dominates over the whole city. Tickets must be booked at least four days in advance, there’s such a crowd wanting to visit it. We reserved them maybe two days before planned visit, but as we thought we are lucky we didn’t manage to pick them up from an ATM/Caixa machine. Luckily no money were taken out from Dani’s account. Maybe we were even misled about if we actually booked the tickets… Anyway, to hell with that kind of regulated sightseeing.
One more thing, that raised my attention in Granada is “hidden” few minutes outside of the historical center, in Sacromonte neighbourhood. Dozens of caves in Valparaiso hill inhabited with bigger or lesser permission of the authorities, gathering people of various origins, though historically it was a Gitano quarter. Without address, without taxes, with marijuana bushes planted in rich gardens, almost every night with dances and music… and in the same time so close to the center of a city that counts over 200 thousand people.
Street art laso catches my attention, of course:
After wandering through Western Europe, noise and crowded cities, two days spent in Travel House with constant and numerous company, something starts to change in me. I start to feel the lack of loneliness, so intensively present in my previous travells. This space to breath, being alone with emptiness of mountains – except for short and low episode in Alps we didn’t manage to see much of wilderness, only cities. Completely other type of experience, and frankly speaking not my type of experience. Looking upon even such beautiful city as Granada can change from this point of view, and I have enough. Dani is also upset by this missunderstanding of Alhambra and rain, so while eating churros in the morning we decide to get out of here as soon as possible and look for more positive vibe in Sevilla.