Oooooh Granada what a beautiful city you are! 1.5 hours on a plane south-west of Barcelona and we arrived in this amazing city. After settling in to our new dorm which was clearly just an apartment transformed into a dorm and meeting our new flat mates (one of which looked to be about a 60 year old woman and another who was slightly younger and had been travelling around for FOUR YEARS) we decided to track down some dinner and explore the city.
We had been strongly recommended by a friend to track down a place called 'Babel' for dinner. So we hit up google and made the short walk to our destination. Our first walk in the city and we were really impressed! There were some amazing buildings, well not really some, pretty much ALL were very extravagant! And the streets were even paved in marbel. A VERY different vibe to Barcelona!
Luckily we were heading out late and had missed the peak heat of 43 degrees that day to be getting a casual 39 degree night to enjoy our meal. Though I wouldn't say enjoy was really the correct word to be used. We headed down the narrow cobblestone road, passing amazing eateries that looked extremely authentic! Finally we would be able to pay for a truly Spanish meal. When we finally tracked down the restaurant after a few wrong turns we were surprisingly greeted by a woman waving at us to head in with various offers. Which we didn't really need because we had decided to go in anyway… Not a great sign… we wanted somewhere that wasn't touristy like our entire Barcelona experience!
We walk in and had terrible wait service as the guy would walk away from us mid sentence and were seated next to a whole bunch of guys from New Zealand, Australia, English and America- from the accents I could recognise. They were loud and boisterous. NO talent there. The place really advertised it as being a big of all cultures so we opted for the indo-china tasting plate with Samousas, Pad Thai and Morrocan Curry. Each of which was extremely average! We had NO idea why this place was so highly recommended! We both left disappointed and feeling a little sick in the stomach from the poor quality food- this experience was to be made up with by our next nights meal. More on that later.
Because we were only staying two nights, we had one full day to try and fit in everything possible! In the morning we caught the bus out to the mausoleum. We went through rooms and rooms full of amazing painting all of which were depicting the slaughtering of monks in gruesome ways! The paintings did a pretty good job of depicting when King Henry VIII ordered to have them all killed, but there were a few odd ones of two monks who look to be in conversation but one with a spear through its chest and one with an axe through its skull! VERY gruesome. We even managed to tag along on an English tour that was walking through because the pamphlet we were provided with was soley in Spanish… Though Elly and I did manage to guess what some part of it said! And I'm sure we were correct…
After choosing to leave to avoid having to hear obnoxious Australians muck around in the Room of Gold we decided to try our luck and walk to the Moorish quarter. Our hostel had given us with a map (and lets face it, not much else from our unhelpful desk man) which had a really odd scale! Elly and I would almost ALWAYS end up walking a lot further than we thought and then would have to backtrack up the hill again. All the while walking on roads that basically looked as though kids had tried shoving as many pointy rocks in one place as they could! Luckily I had worn my trusty sneakers and was prepared for the many hills and small streets and steps that would be coming our way.
Luckily our labyrinth walk paid off and we came to San Nicholas square with an AMAZING view of the town of Granada. Worth a million bucks. And gave our feet a rest before we set off and got lost AGAIN. On our way home we decided to stop in and stimulate the Spanish economy by shopping in ZARA which is actually a Spanish brand! Perfect excuse to spend up big in Spain :) Not that we needed one…
So after our day of walking we needed a couple hours break for the plenty more walking we would do around the Alhambras. This palace/fortress was built in the 14th century and has amazing buildings and interior and gardens and refer to photos attached. We invested in the audioguide to get the most out of our tickets which turned out to be a poor choice because they just provided toooo much non-relevant information! And it would have taken us HOURS if we actually stood at one spot for THAT long! But it was incredible to see and to step into somewhere and imagine kings and queens and royalty living lavishly in the huge palace!
To compensate for our terrible meal, and feeling like after our mountain hiking all day we deserved a good meal we decided to splurge on a good meal. And I DO mean splurge! This restaurant overlooked Granada, located just next to the square we arrived at in the morning. We were seated in a prime position by the window and started our meal of with a mojito and a tequila sunrise. We salivated over the entire menu having to make the tough choice of what to get and eyeing off what the other customers were receiving while trying to ignore the prices written next to it… I settled on the duck with roasted apple and Elly had the lamb rack. I had never actually had duck before but after having my good friend Cat rave about it and trying to embrace the Europe trip lifestyle I took the risk and it definitely paid off! The meal was AMAZING. You can really tell that you were paying for incredible quality as it was decorated with amazing plate art and decorative flowers. Yummm. My mouth is actually watering now just thinking about it! To top it off we ordered a chocolate pudding and crepes to share. THE BEST! An amazing way to top off and amazing city :)