Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Road to Granada

Last night the four of us took a recommendation from our our adorable front desk concierge, Guillermo, on where we could get some great tapas. He sent us to down the promenade to La Bodega de Venencia. The gentle hill we walked up was lined with restaurants on both sides and at 10pm was packed with people for dinner. Most of Europe eats dinner late, if you didn't know, but then they also don't wake up or start business as early as we Americans do. Also, the Spanish (along with the Italians, Portuguese and Greeks) practice siesta so many workers don't actually finish their work days until 9 or so.
A German family kindly let us have their table and when we asked the wife to take our picture she told us they used to live in San Jose. What a coincidence! We order our cava and tapas at our outside table while we watch all the people walk by. Third worlders seem to be present everywhere in southern Europe (it was annoying as hell in Santorini and Mykonos getting harassed to buy crap while Miz Brazil and I were trying to lay on the beach a couple years ago) and they're out in force hocking junk while patrons are eating. They walk right up into the seated crowds and even though you tell them "no queremos nada" sometimes they'll argue with you anyway. One man kept pushing his fake watches in my face until I nearly yelled at him! Sorry for the detour, let me get back to telling you about our kick ass dinner! Priorities, right?
We order a round of cava and soon our waiter starts bringing our food. Grilled Serrano sausage, albondigas in a red sauce, shrimp sauteed in a garlic onion broth, jamon serrano (which I love because its like the Spanish version of proscuitto), Spanish cheese, meat croquettes and the patatas brava. These oven baked potato pieces were drizzled with this mildly spicy creamy cheese sauce which was outstanding! Everything was delicious and we felt ready to take on Puerto Banus again.
Of course when three pretty American girls and a Brazilian walk through a place like that we're going to get attention. In Puerto Banus they have club workers who offer drink deals trying to get you into their club. Free shots, two for ones and everything else. We just kept going and back to Lineker's we went where I received a funny but unique complement: a man told me my teeth were so pearly white and very nice..lol.. I asked why was this unusual and he said British girls have yellow and brown teeth. I didn't mention my own cousin is British and her teeth are definitely NOT brown or yellow and she has a great smile. But I digress... We had a blast dancing, our bartender friend was being kind to us and my new green dress was a win. Sister and La Lopez bought keychains and a picture of the four of us to commemorate our time there. We had to wake up early this morning for the 0830 bus to Granada (which didn't actually arrive until 0845..sigh.. I guess my punctuality is still so very American) so we are all dragging. The direct bus is 2.5 hours to Granada.  
Granada is an interesting city. You can see the faint Moorish influences in the architecture, especially walking through the narrow lanes of the Alcaceira. Miz Brazil and I bought some items in the former souk while we waited for siesta to be over so we could check out the cathedral. We'll see the rest tomorrow with Sister and La Lopez.
Tonight, as the request of La Lopez, we had dinner in Sacromonte which is the historic gypsy district of Granada. Gypsies have resided there for nearly 500 years in the caves among the hills. They have also developed a particular style of flamenco called Zambra. We watched a zambra gitano show after dinner and even here you can see the remnants of the Moors. Its in the way the notes are cried out in the music, and even in the dancers features. It was amazing! One dancer's feet were so fast she kept double time to the beat with identifiable distinct steps. The sadness and longing of the music brought you back to an older time.

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