Monday, May 5, 2008
After a great two days in Barcelona, the Jupps and LeBlancs hopped on a flight to Granada, in southern Spain. We were scheduled to land around 9:30 PM, so decided to wait until we reached Granada to have supper. Spaniards eat supper notoriously late, often starting after 10 PM, so we would be right on schedule. Unfortunately, we were delayed on the plane in Barcelona for over an hour before departing. We landed in Granada late and famished. We hit the pavement at midnight in search of a drink and tapas. It soon became obvious that the restaurants and bars were closing up. We ran frantically from bar to bar, asking “do have tapas?”. Finally, we found a lively late-night bar still serving food. We randomly ordered a couple of dishes, and laughed when we saw what was presented. The first dish was a plate of fries, covered with cheese, cooked jamon (cured ham), and topped with nearly raw eggs. The second dish was tiny deep-fried squid. They were about 1-2 inches long, and included everything, even the little black eyes. We were so hungry it didn’t matter what we were served; we tucked in with fervor and finished off everything.
The next day, fueled by late night fried food, we packed in a full day of sightseeing. Granada was the last Spanish Islamic town to fall to the Catholics in 1492. As a result, there are great Moorish sights in Granada, including the old silk markets and the beautiful Alhambra (Moorish palace). The Alhambra is one of the greatest sights we have seen. There are lush, fragrant gardens that surround the buildings. The palace sits atop a hill overlooking the town of Granada, and is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountans.
That night we stepped down into a cave to watch flamenco dancing. Flamenco is a form of dance that originates from southern Spain. It was a very intimate show: about 20 onlookers, 7 dancers, 2 singers, and 3 musicians. It is a dance accompanied by clapping, guitars, and occasional singing. Each dancer performs individually, and his or her routine is mostly spontaneous. We watched the lively and loud show for close to two hours. It was a wonderful local experience, accompanied appropriately with sangria.
The next day we parted ways. The Jupps continued on their tour of southern Spain, and we returned home. We had a great time with our friends, and were very sad to say good-bye to them. Thanks for a great trip!