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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Few Thoughts from Granada

The sun in Andalucía is so intense that leaving the house in the afternoon you have to dodge the sun like former residents of Sarajevo dodging sniper bullets. I’ve been getting picked off by the sun too much on this trip even though I respect the siesta as if it were Sharia law. 

Granada is a truly incredible town. A fraction of the size of Valencia yet packed with all kinds of cool neighborhoods, interesting architecture, and it's just seems so vibrant and prosperous. I'm giving my legs a break today so I'm limiting the hill climbing to the bare  minimum. It's the going down that kills me as this is completely the opposite muscle use as cycling. A group of tourists saw me walking down a VERY steep grade yesterday backwards as this is much more natural and easier on the legs. Soon the whole group was giving it a try. I may have started a new fad.

I don't know how anyone could ever get drunk in this town when they shovel so much food in front of you every time you order a damn beer. They should try this approach with cocaine abusers to see if it slows down their consumption. Give out a free pizza with every 8 Ball.

Someone please let me know if there is a better place on earth than the Alhambra to wander around at 1 am while smoking a great cigar and drinking a cold beer.It's completely quiet up there except for the strains of flamenco music drifting up from the cafes below. It's crazy that they basically leave the place wide open all night long. They aren't big on rules here in Spain, god bless them.  Last night I saw only about a dozen people all total including a security guard who looked at my beer and smoke with murderous envy. 

I watched the Madrid-Barça game on Sunday night and it was strange to be in a place that was so fervently pro-Real Madrid, the total opposite of Valencia. I hate them both but love great football and Sunday's game was a fucking douzy.

Even without the Alhambra Granada would be one of the more impressive towns in Spain. I was a bit worried when I arrived that I had perhaps set aside too much time for my visit here. I could easily fill a few more weeks here. 

One of my philosophies of travel and tourism is that there is no substitute for just getting around, either on foot or on a bike. I haven't really missed not having a bike here which is very rare for me. There is so much to see in such a relatively small area that a bike would be a bit of over-kill. Shoe leather needs to burned if you really want to get to know Granada.