June 13, 2016. Posted June 14 at 10:30 PM
Left Algeciras yesterday, 06/12/13, on the train bound for Granada. Considered going to Seville but it took me further away from my primary destination in Spain, Barcelona. Both cities are World Heritage Sites, but I opted for moving closer to a planned destination.
It was a Sunday, taxi fares were higher and I was told that there was a railway strike, but all went well. I had a window seat. At Antequera everyone departed the train and we boarded a nice bus for the remaining 100 km to Granada. They are working on the tracks to link Granada to the high speed train system and the station is closed. Either method of travel, it was enjoyable, beautiful and very scenic.
There were many groves or orchards of olive trees and farms dotted the wide open valleys. I was unable to purchase a Spanish SIM card and my tMobile chip did not work, so I was stuck without access to the inet and the ability to book a room for my arrival in Granada. Another hot pack arrival, just like my arrival in Algeciras.
The bus arrived and I looked around then returned to the train station and asked a few questions in basic Spanish. Hiked 6 blocks with my bags and checked into a 4 star hotel, paying more than I wanted and receiving more than I needed. After a quick repack into my smaller walking day sack, I set out for the old town and the central square.
Granada is not only a tourist town; it is a college town and college age chicks are walking around everywhere in very short shorts with tight or low cut tops – with a touch of 1970’s hippie clothes. Even the older MILFs are dressed to kill. I could tell that I was in Europe. I watched as prepubscent girls walked with their parents, in skin tight clothing, unabashhedly displaying their camel toe. After 7 weeks in Muslim countries it was a welcome sight for sore eyes. It was like the women were walking around naked.
I thought about a song………..
I Like Big Tits
Every time I try to call it quits
Here come some tits, that’s a big 10-4
(That’s a big 10-4, big Dick)
What it is
I like big tits, uh huh
Well they come in twos
Hard to choose
Your favorite tit
I like tits for dinner, or a noon-time snack
I like tits for lunch, a big tit attack
I like tits for breakfast
Egg Benedict tits
What it is
They’re where it’s at
They give me shivers when they bounce around
Buckled up or hanging on the ground
I like big tits
Says it all for me
I’m a tit man
(I like big tits)
Written by Joe Walsh
Granada has been continuously inhabited by humans for at least 2500 years, originating as an Ibero-Celtic settlement prior to the establishment of a Greek colony in the area. Under Ancient Roman rule Granada developed as an economic centre of Roman Hispania, with the construction of aqueducts, roads, and other infrastructure. With the fall of the Roman Empire the city was ruled by the Visigoths before being reconquered by the Byzantine Empire, all the time being maintained as a strategic military and economic hub for the region.
The Moorish conquest of 711 brought Islamic rule to the Iberian Peninsula and Granada was quickly established as one of the main cities of Al-Andalus, the Muslim name for the region. New agricultural practices were introduced as the old Roman infrastructure was put to use for irrigation, leading to a major expansion of the city as it grew from the river valley up to the hills currently occupied by the Alhambra and the Albayzín, with a major Jewish settlement, the Realejo, existing within the town. Following the fall of Córdoba in 1236 to the Christian Reconquista, the city became the capital of the Emirate of Granada, and for the next 250 years Granada stood as the heart of a powerful and self-sufficient kingdom with the construction of the royal palace and fortress, the Alhambra.
Skirmishes continued between the Emirate of Granada and the Crown of Castile, and in the late 15th century the Christian Reconquista set its sights on Granada. Following a military campaign led by King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, which included a siege of the walled town, King Boabdil of Granada was ultimately forced to surrender the town in 1492, bringing an end to Moorish rule in the Iberian peninsula and marking the end of the Reconquista.
The fall of Granada came at a crucial moment for Christian Spain, as it was that same year that Christopher Columbus made his first voyage to the Americas, bringing back reports of the wealth and resources that could be gained there. Flushed with the success of the Reconquista, Spaniards conquered much of the Americas and brought great wealth to the new Spanish Empire. In the case of Granada, the Christians soon forced the existing Jewish and Muslim residents to convert and began making significant changes to the appearance of the city in an attempt to hide its Muslim character, including replacing the city’s primary mosque with the massive Cathedral and constructing a large Christian palace in the heart of the Alhambra. Persecution against the Muslims and Jews took its toll, and over time the city began to suffer economically as these populations abandoned their homes in the area.
Granada remained a largely medieval-style city well into the 19th century, going through many economic slumps and seeing much of its architectural heritage destroyed. However, the last half of the 19th century saw Granada incorporated into the national rail network and the first stirrings of tourism thanks to reports of sites like the Alhambra to a global audience. However, the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s sunk Granada’s economy, and it persisted largely as a bureaucratic and university town until the late 20th century, when the city underwent a massive period of modernization and development which brought new business and visitors to the city. Today you can still see this modernization in the reconstruction of old buildings in the city centre and expansion of the town along the edges of the city.
I say: I had several beers and a pizza in the city square. Many touristas – I could tell by how they were dressed.
In the AM walked the six blocks back to the train station and bought a senior rail pass for $6.00. It gives me between 25% and 40% off on train travel in Spain. Booked my ticket for 6/15 from Granada to Barcelona and saved $30.00 with the discount. Walked back to the hotel, booked a hostel here in Granada for two nights then one near the train station in Barcelona for three nights and took a shower.
Left the room at noon and had a few beers, passing time, then took a taxi at 2 PM to the hostel. About $40.00 a night cheaper than the hotel and it is just perfect. Private room, clean, TV, inet, private bath, and it even includes a towel, TP, soap and shampoo!!! Amenities!!!
Then walked around to look for a SIM card for my phone, as my US tMobile card does not seem to work. Lacking a phone with access to the inet is a major handicap when traveling. All the stores were closed for the afternoon siesta until 5 PM, so walked back to my room and organized my stuff.
After 5:00 PM I set out on foot again and bought a Spanish SIM card with 1.5 GB of data. The salesman said my tMobile SIM was damaged and would need to be replaced upon my return to the US.
Bought oranges, dried nectarines and nuts in a grocery store for the train ride to Barcelona.
Dropped all my food off and set out for the city square. Gawked at women, had some more beer and after each round received a small plate of free food called tapas. First was a small salad with olives, onions, tomatoes and a slice of cooked potato in olive oil, then a delicious type of hard boiled egg and with the third round, a half dozen fried smelt sized fish on a bed of lettuce. I had 3 beers and dinner, left a 20% tip, all for $10.00.
Wandered back to the room, using my iPhone map as a guide. Iwould have been lost without a functioning phone.
Watching TV in a foreign country is sometimes somewhat disconcerting – imagine watching Arnold, Snoop Dog or Tom Selek dubbed in Spanish. It is even harder to conceptualize Homer, Lisa and Bart Simpson speaking Arabic. But I saw it.
It saddens me to read the news in the US online or watch BBC news. The Orlando shooting was all over BBC news. The violence in America, primarily due to easy access to assault weapons by crazy people and bad guys disgusts me. Congress can’t even agree (due to Republicans) to stop gun sales to people on the no fly list! Even Homer Simpson would say “Duh”. I am also angered by the vitriolic rhetoric spewed by Trump against Muslims. It makes me feel safer in a Muslim country like Morocco than in America.
Less than a week ago a Muslim Imam, Aziz, invited me into his 1200 year old home to share with with him and his family the first meal after the start of Ramadan, a solemn occasion.
He also wanted to introduce me to his unmarried sister, because she needed a husband and he believed I had a good heart and was a kind man…….