Archive for Granada

10 Nov 2012

Significantly Granada

6 Comments Granada, Spain

Significantly happy

 

The fellas have abandoned me, all except Paul who remains stalwart. Pedro and Alejandro have fled back to Perth; to their families, their friends, their houses — familiarity. I miss Perth.

Pedro and I started out standoffish, with him threatening to wring my little woollen neck, but now we are the best of friends. I think he has a soft spot for finger puppets! I have been teaching him some local Spanish and he has comfortably mastered tres cañas (three beers) and is ready to move on to bigger things, while in return he has been helping me to improve my grammar. Alejandro has a natural talent for Spanish and was seen reading El Pais, translating the Spanish evening news and dropping the “'s” off words like every good Granadino.

 

Significantly steep

 

Significantly wet

 

Significantly cold and stylish

 

Significantly beautiful

 

Southern Spain being perpetually sunny has proved to be a bit of a myth. We trudge through the steep streets of Granada's ancient Moorish district, the Albaicin, gingerly, puffing and panting. We dodge dog shit while admiring the graffiti. The cobblestones are wet, shiny and slippery from the regular rain showers. Storm clouds loom overhead. Three hundred and twenty plus days per year of sun — what rubbish. It is a beautiful city nonetheless, filled with amazing bars where the tapas is still free. Generous, interesting, tasty tapas (hamburgers, kebabs, ravioli, pancakes, meatballs) and very cheap drinks — our Panadeine supplies run at all time lows.

 

Significantly old and wonderful

 

Significantly talented

 

Significantly vicious

 

Granada is filled with amazing buildings and places that are old, beautiful and significant: the Alhambra palace; the Generalife gardens; the Granada Cathedral; the Gypsy caves in Sacromonte; the Cartuja Monastery; and my favourite the Convent of Saint Jeronimo — to name a few. We visit NONE of these being the conservationists that we are, instead preferring to observe from a distance, preferably in a bar or on a terrace. It is fun and the money we save on entrance fees buys us more food than we can comfortably eat.

We end our our time in Granada sweating off some of our recently gained kilos, wallowing like beached whales in the steamy shallow pools at the Hammam Al Andalus (Arabic baths); and finally back up in the Albaicin, we find ourselves in a small bar at around midnight, listening to a gypsy guitar player singing and playing a heartfelt Flamenco tune in the most raspy of voices, a throng of gypsy dancers spilling out into the street, the smell of hashish thick in the air.

 

No we weren't

05 Jun 2010

The Great Aussie Barbecue

Comments Off on The Great Aussie Barbecue Granada, Spain, Uncategorized

It is a well known fact that Aussies are the world experts on barbecue although many a Texan may disagree …. and then there is the great Spanish barbecue. Let’s not kid ourselves!

Katrin and Paul emerged from the ‘Supermercado’ armed with plastic bags of lamb chops and chicken, and assorted vegetables, and a couple of tiny, tinny Spanish portable “one use only” throw away aluminium foil barbecues. Really!

So we put them to the test – ripped off the wrappers, struck a match and voila instant barbecue. Magic! The surrounds: a quiet nature reserve in the Heutor Sierra region, where in true Spanish style our neighbouring picnickers have a stereo blasting so loud it hurts. Feel the serenity!

Give me a six-burner, auxillary wok, range hood, built in temperature gauge stainless steel number any day!

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First you chop everything up and have a beer – Gillian and Katrin

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Then you get Alex to unpack the barbecue. Trust him, he has done this before

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Paul cooks up a storm despite the circumstances and everyone agrees, Aussies do cook up the best barbecues

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Alex and Paul waiting for the coals to heat
05 Jun 2010

A Toast To Old Friends

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Alhambra towers at night

Granada is like an old friend. A bond once made is not easily broken. Within hours, wandering the familiar maze of the Albaicin we were bumping into old friends and making sitas (appointments) for tapas, flamenco, more substantial meals, and trips to the Sierra.

We enrolled in school again, just to remind ourselves of how much we had forgotten.

Karen and Angel hopped over for a few days from the Netherlands to stay with us and ensure lots of laughs and a fridge filled to the brim with Jamon, Queso and plenty of Vino.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable and exhausting week – and let’s not forget our old friend the Alhambra who opened her gates once more for a special night visit.

A night of flamenco at La Chumbera

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Drinks afterwards with Graham and Jo

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Lazy lunch with Alan and Anita

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Gillian and Anita – Post lunch boozy shenanigans

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Several drinks later – Paul, Anita and Alan thinking about sobering up for the hair raising mountain drive home with Alan at the helm

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Paul and Angel – if you push me in… you die!

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I haven’t got a clue what you are talking about, so I’ll just laugh – Gill and Antonio

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Karen and Angel framed

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No way are we going across on that while Angel is on it

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Rafa – it’s a tough life for SOME of the teachers at Castila
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Antonio and Antonio – taking orders for lunch is no laughing matter
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Sarah, Angel, Karen and Gillian – the roof terrace above our apartment. A nice place to spend an evening
13 Dec 2008

“Yes” Smoking

4 Comments Granada

The Spanish smoking policy is interesting and difficult to read through the smoke.

Many places have signs saying smoking is permitted, and everyone smokes. Others – such as the restaurant we dined at today – bear signs say smoking is Not Permitted. After lunch our spritely waiter appeared and enquired if we minded if people smoked. We consented, not wishing to be singled out and within milliseconds could feel the oxygen being drained from around us as the entire restaurant, including three tables of 12 surrounding us, proceeded to light up.

13 Dec 2008

Spanish word of the day “cuajada”

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I can’t believe how many new words we learn every day. Some we learn by repetition and others we discover by trial-and-error. Last night after a long day we sat down, at around 10.30pm, to watch a DVD and have a cup of tea. There is really nothing like a hot cuppa on a cold night. Boil the water “agua”, pour into cup over tea ‘te’ bag … and add milk “leche” and as the lumpy curdled “cuajada” milk coagulated in disgusting lumps in the cup – we discovered we had purchased curdled milk not regular.