One of the many flights of stairs we have to climb.

It was close to freezing in Granada this morning but it warmed up so nicely that we hung laundry out to dry and we sat in the sun for hours.

Our apartment is really a small house that shares two of its walls with other houses. I think the “sharing” occurred long after the buildings were built. All of the exterior walls are stone, as are some of the interior walls. I’m sure that works well to keep the house cool in the summer, but it also works to keep the house cold at this time of year. There is no central heat, but that is true in even more modern buildings in Spain. There are heaters (calefactores) in every room and the bed has a warming system—as if we need one.

But for most of the day, we were able to open the big doors and windows and the house stayed comfortable.

While walking around a couple of days ago we looked at a restaurant that seemed like it might be a good place for breakfast and since we were disappointed in our return to Al Sur de Granada yesterday, we decided to try it. Carmela’s Restaurante really delivered. I had tortillas Americanas (pancakes) with nata (whipped cream) and miel (honey). Service was very good and we think we have now found our Granada breakfast place.

Since we had nothing specific planned, we walked along the Darro river for a while. We had a vague goal of finding a shop we remembered from a prior visit. The internet said it was open, and the online map said we were standing in front of it, but it was locked up tight with no indication of when it would be open again—if ever.

On the walk we also discovered the Granada Archeological Museum, which should be really interesting. We will try to get there in the next couple of days.

When we got back to the apartment we decided to do some laundry. There were instructions, in English, in the house book, but no manual for the washer. According to the simple instructions, there were 3 simple steps, the first one being “press the on/off button.” Only 2 steps left, right? Next 2 steps accomplished. Nothing happens. We wait. Still no activity. We go through the 3 steps several more times with no better results. I banged on the washer door and the system took off. The washing went quickly and we were able to hang clothes in the bright sun. Everything dried quickly and nothing blew away, which seems like a good measure of success.

We did something later in the afternoon that I could not have imagined doing only a few years ago: we had a FaceTime (video call) with Kate and Claire. I was able to take the iPad all over the house and out to the upper terrace to show off our view. The connection was great and the whole session felt very natural. It was about 8 in the morning in Las Vegas so Abby was still asleep. Imagine our delight when, a few minutes later, we had a call from Abby, too. I don’t think it quite sank into her that it was 5pm in Spain, but only 8am for her.

For dinner we walked down the many steps and back to Carmela’s. We had another nice meal and great service. It tells you something about the place that when we finished, we were given flutes of cava (Spanish sparkling wine) as a “gift.”

Practice for procession during Semana Santa

On the way back we saw an interesting sight that shed some light on something similar we saw in Jerez. I have mentioned that while Easter is still a bit off, preparations for Semana Santa (Holy Week) are well advanced. Tonight, at one end of Plaza Nueva, we saw 27 men packed tightly under a steel frame. Many of the men were wearing kidney belts so we knew they were going to lift the frame. On top of the frame were several large cement weights. We had seen the same setup in Jerez and figured that it was for carrying a “saint” or statue in a procession. Here, however, it was clear that the weights on top of the platform were there to simulate what will be carried later. And, we saw how carefully the men had to coordinate standing up. It dawned on me that the platform has to stay level at all times. A large crowd watched as the men stood, in a single motion, raised the platform and then shuffled along, which was the only way they could move given the weight and how tightly they were packed underneath. We saw them practicing turns, too. Those, I suppose, must also be carefully coordinated so that no one stumbles and so the platform remains stable.

Of course, walking down meant we had to walk back up the many steps to get to the apartment. We can always tell when we are getting close to the apartment because there is usually a buzz from the tourists who come to the mirador (lookout) in our placeta (little plaza) to see the Alhambra across the narrow valley. But the house is so well set up that once inside, we can’t hear the tourists unless we go out on the terrace.

Very few pictures in the post today, but I did add a few to the Granada album on the pictures page.

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