Valencia to Grenada
27.06.2015 - 13.07.2015 35 °C
Breakfast was a bit of a challenge. The hotel was not big enough for our group so it was a little difficult to find what we wanted. We had to share a table with a chap from Italy – a gelato salesman. Before long, we were on our way.
The road to Granada was impressive. Both sides of the road were covered in olive groves. The mountains followed us all the way, as rugged as ever. The land was so barren yet it supports such a flourishing industry. Smoko was at a small roadhouse out in the middle of nowhere. We had a croissant and coffee and then we were on our way again.
The scenery was breathtaking even though it was a continuous flow of rocks and arid land. The mountains rise up out of the ground but are solid rock structures. As we went along we were told that the area not only grows olives but almonds. There were massive almond plantations as these trees can tolerate the heat. The fields also developed a tinge of yellow as barley appeared. Truly amazing. They harvest the barley and the stalks – nothing is wasted. As time went on, snow on the Sierra Nevada could be seen in the distance to our left. We pulled into another roadhouse and has lunch. Ross and I shared a bread roll of cheese and ham. Bill had veal and vegies and Denise had a lovely seafood salad. Tom was anxious to get us on the road as two others coaches had pulled in.
There was a change in the soil type after lunch time and it became very clay-like. It was then that we started to see caves. Our special treat today was to turn off the main highway for a “habitat – troglodita” experience at the village of Purullena. It was very hot and we were fanned by a very hot breeze. Paco Senior and Paco Junior met us and took us inside their cave house!! We walked in and it was so cold. Paco told us about his home and how it has been in the family for some time. He explained how he excavated an additional room and also made a set of stairs that connected the lower level to the upstairs museum. One cubic metre of this clay weighs 1800 kilograms. It is so dense that is impervious. It has to be painted with whitewash so that the earth breaths. The temperature inside ranges from 18 to 23 degrees with no air-conditioner. We were able to go to the top of the building and look towards the Sierra Nevada. This area was created as it was once the bottom of the ocean so it was a very unique experience.
Once we were on the road the scenery continued to Granada. We all had nanna naps. Once we arrived in our hotel, Palau de La Mar, Grenada, we had free time. We braved the heat outside and walked along the street. At the end of the avenue was a statue depicting Christopher Columbus kneeling before Queen Isabel. The main attraction was the beautiful renaissance and baroque architecture of the Cathedral of Grenada. We paid 4 euro each and had a quick look inside before we rushed back to meet the bus for dinner.
Dinner was spectacular at the bull fighting ring. When we stepped it off the bus it was 35 degrees at 7pm. We had salad, followed by a triangle treat, followed by “spring roll” with lettuce leaves and creamy sauce, followed by veal chop or fish and lastly chocolate mud slice with chocolate ice-cream. The latter was soooooo rich. This was all washed down with white and red wine as well as beer. Carlos also served us coffee and tea. The bulls’ heads attached to the walls watched over us as we enjoyed our dinner.
Victor the bus driver had to drop us off behind the streets of the hotel as there was a protest on the street of our hotel. We followed Tom and wove our way back home to our very comfortable room.