6 March 2011 – GRANADA
The next morning after our day trip to Toledo, we took the 09h30 bus to Granada from the bus station in Madrid. It was a 5 hour journey through some olive groves and down some mountain passes. Finally we arrived in Granada on a sunny but somewhat cool day. After freshening up at our hotel, we set off for Calle Nueva in the old Arabic quarter. The streets were narrow and flanked by small shops selling camel skin bags, hookah pipes, sweets and pastries. There was the smell of incense throughout and every two or three shops was a “teteria” or tea shop with low benches and tables decorated with silk cushions and drapes, offering a wide variety of teas from sweet Moroccan mint to milky cardamom tea. It hardly felt as if we were still in Spain and it reminded me of the markets I had walked through during my visit to Kashmir and Rajasthan. We decided to have lunch at a Moroccan restaurant just off the street before exploring the rest of the city. We walked up the winding cobbled streets in search of Mirador de San Nicolas where apparently you could see the Alhambra set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. And what a view it was when we got there. It was a taste of what we would be doing tomorrow. To go inside the Nasrid Palaces and the Generalife of the Alhambra.