Granada, Spain Day 26

Today was mostly spent on the train. I left Malaga and headed for Granada. I had a reserved seat on the train, so you can imagine my surprise when I got to my seat there was a man sitting there. I told him he was sitting in my seat, but neither he or his wife (or anyone else in the car) spoke English, so he didn’t understand what I was talking about. Or he was playing dumb. I explained as clearly as I could, but he just wouldn’t budge. So much for chivalry! AND, the train was full, so I had to sit in the stairwell! A couple of people tried to help in Spanish, but I just decided to wait for the conductor to come. By the time he did come, a couple of people had gotten off, so I just snagged one of their seats and called it a day.
Considering the blistering heat 2 days ago, I can’t believe how cold it is! It was 13 degrees today, and it seriously must have been 29 the other day in Seville. I don’t mind this weather so long as the rain holds off, and it has so far today. I got in at around 3:30 and set out to do some exploring. I have 2 more full days here, so I wasn’t really planning on doing much, just having a bit of a wander, grabbing some food. Well, I can’t seem to stop myself, but once I start walking, I just keep going and going and going… I tried to walk up to Alhambra, just to get a glance of it. Didn’t realise it was WAY up on the hill. I walked for a good 40 minutes and finally decided to turn back. There were a few other crazy people along the way, but most sane people take the bus up. I’ll do that tomorrow when it’s my turn to see it. I have my ticket for 2:00, I’m so excited!
If you don’t walk, then you’ll never meet friends like this, now will you?
This had a sign beside it that said “Gruta Virgen-de Lourdes.” There was a statue of the virgin Mary in the little cave.
Then I spent another good hour getting thoroughly lost, and had to ask a nice policeman for directions back to the center of town. I got back on track, and continued my ramblings. I came across 2 weddings, 1 stag, and 2 stagettes on my wanderings. I feel like I’m in Whistler or something! (To those not from Vancouver, that’s where most people seem to hold their stags.) You can tell this is a major league party town… there’s a university here, so enough said! It has a fun feel about it though, not yahoo-ish, so that’s good! So far, Granada is my favourite town in Spain to just walk and discover things as you go along. It’s really quite different from Madrid and Seville. You can definitely see the Islamic influence more prominently, but the buildings look different, and the city is surrounded by hills and mountains. It’s really beautiful, I can’t wait to see the view from Alhambra tomorrow!
I came across a wedding in this church today. The people were really dressed to the nines. Huge hats and, as my sister calls them, “fascinators”… a la the Royal Wedding. People were going into the church since the ceremony was over, so I went in as well to have a look at the inside of the church, but there was some sort of ceremony going on, and I totally felt like an intruder! They were sitting, then standing, then kneeling and I realised I was out of my element so I made quick haste for the door. I’m reading Jane Eyre right now, hence the “quick haste.” hee…The church is called Iglesia de Santa Ana and it was built in the mid 1500’s in the spot where an ancient mosque once stood.
There were dozens of cats down on the banks below. They really have an animal control problem in Europe, and it saddens me that no one seems to care or take precautions against it. The cats did seem healthy and well fed though, so they’re obviously doing OK.
Another church where another wedding was taking place a little further up the creek from the first one. It is called Iglesia de San Pedro y San Paulo and it was built in the late 1500’s in the Spanish Mudejar style.

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