Day 33 - Fri May 6 Granada
(Chris) A quick hotel breakfast (interesting, my first eggs in a month) and we bussed off to The Alhambra. The palace was simple yet elegant, with no paintings or furniture, just empty rooms. The walls were adorned with extremely intricate Moorish patterns and calligraphy in raised plaster. There were also numerous courtyards, with little pools or gardens... it was very zen. Also the whole building was much cooler than the surrounding Granada heat. The other part worth mention was a large adjacent garden, with myriad walkways through large, well-manicured hedges, and roses everywhere. Ma you would have loved it. The fort was... a fort.
After a quick McLunch and mandatory siesta, we visited the Royal Chapel (which is right next door to yet another monstrous Catholic church that we declined to see due to the fees we're racking up seeing churches). The Royal Chapel has some nice art, but it's most famous for holding the tombs of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (QI), along with some Columbus-related artifacts (e.g. the silver box QI used to give Columbus a stockpile of jewels to finance his big trip).
We found internet near our hotel for E1.20/hr. In Italy it was usually closer to E5/hr, so this is a big improvement. Some things are a lot cheaper in Spain, and others are about the same as Italy.
Dinner consisted of paella, which we've been leery of but decided we had to try (Gina told Jen she had to). It was pretty good... kind of a rice casserole with a variety of seafood, veggies and chicken thrown in, with a thick tangy tomato-based sauce (not much sauce though) holding it all together.
We ended the night at the Arab Baths. For E20 you get to soak in 2 shallow pools, with rooms decorated like the Alhambra, and you end with a short massage. Jen loved it.
I have been using my Spanish a bit and it's slowly coming back to me. Sometimes I surprise myself. I feel comfortable asking questions, ordering stuff, etc. It's harder to understand the answers, but even if the people I'm asking speak English, they usually seem to appreciate the effort. Thank you Ms. Daigler!
(Jen) Chris is really doing an awesome job with his Spanish, I've been very impressed. He seems to think I'm going to be able to pull off the same performance in France with my two years of high school French, but I keep telling him fat chance. I don't remember a thing!
Also, I've got to say that the food choices in Spain are wearing me down. For those of you who know me, you know if I head to McDonald's willingly, things are in bad shape. Part of it is that I have an aversion to eating "baby" anything - pig, cow, lamb - and in Spain this seems to be a popular thing. I should probably just try to get over it put it just feels so wrong. I also think it's bizarre not to cook ham but cure it instead. I did try it and it was incredibly oily and slimy. I am absolutely dying to get in my own kitchen and make something I love - even toast with peanut butter would hit the spot.