Wednesday, 27 February 2013

And back

Just realised this stops rather abruptly at Granada and I'm not still there. In fact I spent another day exploring the city on a bus tour and on foot including a walk up to an area on the hill where people live in caves.

From there it was a long journey home including five trains (one a sleeper), two taxis, one bus and one ferry. On the plus side I broke the journey in Madrid and saw some of the Reina Sofia including Guernica, which is massive.

Monday, 18 February 2013


I never did find a bus so I took the train to Granada instead rising steadily into the mountains. The city itself is very hilly, colder than Cordoba but with views of snow capped peaks and still orange trees.

I got a bed at a place called Oasis backpackers, explored the city and in the morning made my way up to the Alhambra, which is called a palace but is more like a city with gardens, forts and a lot of courtyards. Most of it dates from the Islamic period and the few later additions come across like graffiti on a Michaelangelo picture by comparison.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Always sunny somewhere

I took a train to Cordoba and arrived to blue skies, orange and palm trees and people sat at outside cafes. A sign said the temperature was 20. Looks like I found where summer is hiding.

After dropping my bags at a guesthouse I wandered down to the river to see the Roman bridge and a nearby monument.

Then I went to the Mesquita, which was everything it is supposed to be. I did think that the information leaflet from the Church was a tad defensive thought starting with a reminder to "respect the Church" and emphasising the phrase "It is a historical fact that a Visigoth Church was destroyed to build the mosque".

I then explored the town and stopped for an ice cream.

The final site I visited today was the old Synagogue, apparently only one of three left standing the whole of Spain (though not in use).

Tomorrow I should be going to Granada. No I will be going to Granada, I may just have to stop for a brief argument with the bus company first as I explain that when you take payment for a ticket you are then meant to issue the ticket. Oh well, I guess this is what insurance is for and anyway it's hard to feel too bad around here.

Friday, 15 February 2013

A long day

I spent the morning looking at the Museum of Navarra, which had a art from Roman mosaics through to some 20th Century stuff. The best though was the Gothic wall paintings that had been moved whole from their original location and filled whole rooms.

I met up with Russ and Trish from travelbugs for lunch at an excellent tapas bar with ham hanging from the ceiling before heading to the station. Unfortunately I then discovered the 3.35 train to Madrid was booked solid and so was the 5.35, since I already had a bed booked I felt there was no option but to go at 7.35, which got me into Atocha station at ten to eleven. The station was huge and set up like an airport, it also seemed to contain almost everything except a gents toilet. Which I eventually found through the large greenhouse behind the shopping mall.

By the time I got to Cat's hostel it was past midnight but I let myself be talked into an organised pub crawl and made it till 3. I then slept till midday and went to the Prado Museum, which was so big I didn't see everything but certainly comprehensive - did anyone else know there is a second Mona Lisa made at the same time by one of Leonardo's students?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Wandering about

I had planned to get out into the hills of Navarra today but they were hidden in mist and rain so I decided to stay low level and walk along the river and back. It was pretty easy going so I was a little surprised to find I'd done about 13 miles.Of course by the time I got back the hills were clear but I decided to stop for some tapas in town and head back.