Friday 20th May: City and Albayzin tour Day.
We were greeted with another spectacular day with cool sunny mornings but warm days. Our small shuttle bus tour yesterday had passed along the river and through the bottom of the Albayzin Muslim quarter so we took that pretty route for our morning walk. The narrow Carrera Del Darro was much less busy at this hour making for easier walking.
Our tour today of the Old Town and Albayzin started from Plaza Nuevo at 11 am so it was a leisurely start to the day. Our guide was a local young man, Mathias, and he led our group of about 15 for almost 3 hours on a most interesting and informative walk through the Old Town and Albayzin area. The Albayzin is the original Muslim settlement in Granada dating back to the 8th Century. Mathias gave us such great information that our only regret was that we didn’t take this tour yesterday, on our day 1 in Granada, but the tour wasn’t offered on a Wednesday. We were crossing over areas we’d already trodden but hearing lots of great history and interesting anecdotes this time around. Mathias suggested a place for lunch where locals go, Los Manueles No 1, and so after the tour we headed there for a bit of tapas lunch. Sadly, he also suggested the best place for Churros too and so that got a visit as well.
After Chuross we headed home to shower and prepare for dinner. We had booked a Flamenco dinner show up in the Albayzin at ‘Jardines de Zoraya’ but this wasn’t until 6.30 pm. So we killed some time wandering the lanes near our apartment and also visited the Chapel of the Cathedral before catching the tourist shuttle bus up to the Albayzin district. The main attraction of the Chapel was the tombs of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand as they had shaped so much of the history of all of the cities we had visited over the last two weeks. It was rather surreal to see their tombs and some of the personal items that had belonged to both of them.
We caught the shuttle bus up to Albayzin area and went on foot in search of our Flamenco venue but thankfully, Mr Google helped us to navigate our way there. We were somewhat surprised to find that the meal at the Flamenco venue was one of the best we’d had thus far and so the Flamenco show after dinner was expected to be just a pleasant end to the evening. However, this proved to be a great event and a fascinating exercise to just watch their feet. The Flamenco concluded at about 9.30 pm and we wound our way down the hill and back to our apartment but not before passing through a most delightfully festive town celebrating good weather on a Friday evening. We were home by 10 pm but quite exhausted after our big day. Tomorrow we’re off to Malaga. We have loved Granada and put this down to the good weather and also the topography of the place. Seville was nice but rather flat and uninspiring. Granada though has such interesting terrain in such a relatively small area and this adds to the appeal of the place. If this all makes little sense it is because I’m dog tired!