I don’t know what the weather was like in Seville today, but here in Granada it did not warm up much. Nominally it was in the 60, but it felt cold.
We had finished most of our packing for the next leg of our trip last night, but we still had some work to do to get ready to leave our apartment this morning. Because we needed to take an early train from Seville to Córdoba, we had to get up before 5. But we did get to the station with time to spare.
At Córdoba we had to wait about an hour for our next train. We had been looking forward to this part of the journey because for years we have been watching construction of the high speed line between Antequera and Granada. We used to take the train from Córdoba to Antequera and then transfer to a bus for the last 90 minutes of the trip. It worked, but it was no fun. This year, the construction is complete and we thought we would go really fast on the last part of the trip. The good news is that we didn’t have to transfer to a bus, but the bad news is that the bus might have been just as fast as the train. There were times when the train was only going 40 mph. On the leg from Córdoba to Antequera there were times when the train was going almost 300kph (about 185mph), but not on the new part. I was a little disappointed.
But, in Granada, the old dumpy station has been closed and a new, modern station has opened. They’ve even solved the problem of having enough taxis available to handle the rush when a train arrives. It was awful at the old station.
We were too early to get into our apartment right away, so we had the cab take us to Plaza Nueva—a central plaza in the Albaicín district, where we are staying. That’s one of the oldest parts of the city and the area where we stay when we visit. Our taxi driver told us that it has been an exceptionally dry winter in response to my observation about all the snow on the Sierra Nevadas. We noticed many people in red and white jerseys and scarves and asked if there was a fútbol match this week. We got quite a discourse on the Copa del Rey, Granada vs. Bilbao tonight, the semi-finals, and heard that if Granada wins, they will go to Madrid. Then he wanted to know what teams we liked. Even better, for me, was that the whole conversation was in Spanish, although there was a fair amount of arm-waving and repetition involved.
Plaza Nueva is usually a busy place, and today was no exception. We had time, so we decided to sit outside, out of the wind and in the sun, and have churros con chocolate. They were pretty good churros, too. I knew we were wishing walking distance of the apartment so I got directions on my phone. They said that it was less than 400 yards, but the directions did not mention that every single step would be uphill. When we got to a particular set of steps, we both thought, “not these steps” because they had challenged us before. We were ready to be done when we finally arrived at Placeta Carvajales. Our apartment has an extraordinary view of the Alhambra. It is in an old building and our ground floor apartment has not been overly modernized. It does have enough space, and is well equipped and comes with not one, but two terraces with views. However, it is made of stone and it is cold. There are several space heaters and even a pellet stove, but so far, 9 hours after we arrived, it is still chilly inside.
Our hostess, Alejandra, speaks almost no English, so our introduction to the apartment was all done in Spanish. She explained everything and everything is well thought out. There is a book of instructions, but the English in it is marginal in some cases. I think that once we figure out how to get warm, we will be fine.
After we settled in, we walked to some of the areas we are familiar with. Everything was pretty much where we left it two years ago when we last visited. We had our usual difficulty in selecting a place to eat—there are a LOT of restaurants in the area—but ended up having a good meal. At the restaurant we had a discussion with the man at the next table. He moved to Spain 8 months ago from Venezuela and his take on the situation there and the “benefits” of lots of people moving from the country was interesting.
We had to climb some of those same challenging steps to get back, which is no surprise since the district is very hilly, and we were ready to be in for the day.
The move from Seville to Granada went well and we are glad to be here. Tomorrow we will visit the Alhambra and we have a dinner and flamenco in the evening.