Episode 6 – Granada – Vacation Land
This part of Spain is reaching the Southern part of the country. There are major vacation land close by. Beaches are frequent and many. The population of the small towns along the coast had been ballooning up for the past 10 years or so. The area along Costa del Sol had been very popular. Vacation home flourished. The entertainment and hospitality industries grow by leaps and bounds. The Spanish people are still taking things rather easily. There are some major tall buildings and shopping centers but they paled in the pace of North American development.
The most famous sightseeing area belongs to Alhambra which is a palace built with strong Moorish influence. Together with the Generalife Garden and the Royal palaces could employ your whole day of Excursion.
Our hotel was slightly off the main section of the city but it was within walking distance. I questioned the front desk if the town center was within walking distance and the common reply would be “20 minutes”. The value of these 20 minutes did not translate well. It was a long way to walk, something like 45 minutes, before we could find our destination. Another term one must remember is “Grand Via” which is a
wide road. If you can find the Grand Via of the town, it will lead you to all kinds of interesting and wonderful places. Like our case, we followed the Grand Via and eventually we reached a large Cathedral. There was a rather long line–up to enter this place. We turned around and looked beside this Cathedral and lo and behold, we found the Great Bazaar.
The Great Bazaar of Granada was originally a series of streets between Plaza Nueva and Plaza Bib-Rambla, This used to be a silk market for the Moors when they got a special permission from the King to trade silk.
The market is a great number of tiny stalls stuck within a labyrinth of small streets. The stalls have unusually slanting doors which protect the silk from the abuse by the sun and rain. Now this becomes a trademark for the bazaar. This market sells a lot of leather goods and ceramic. The ceramics are beautiful but you need an extra suitcase to bring home the heavy products. There was one store in particular, who sells handmade shawls. The colour is brilliant, the handiwork is admirable and the price is out of this world – 1200 Euros. I proclaimed it was another mistake made by Japanese tourist.
One last thing about the pick-pockets in Spain, beware of the local gitanas (gypsy women) offering to tell your future or read your palm, that usually spells disaster. We have members in our tour group who lost a cell phone and a wallet in broad daylight at La Rambla.
(*) A wrong picture was previously posted for Alhambra