Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Missing Days

Having left East Midlands Airport on Monday morning to fly to Malaga and then drive to Granada, I left Internet access behind until Thursday evening. However, trying to keep my Facebook status up to date means that I regularly find myself thinking in terms of status updates. I therefore collected my thoughts about our three days in Granada:

  • Richard is unsure how people with such little knowledge of Spanish driving laws can be allowed to hire cars. He is nevertheless going to get into the driver’s seat with confidence and aplomb. When he remembers which side of the car it is on.
  • Richard feels that six forward gears on a hire car is at least one too many.
  • Richard has a bruised left hand from hitting it against the car door every time he tried to change gear.
  • Richard thinks that roadworks, an outdated satnav, and black and white copies of Google maps are not an ideal solution to navigating around Granada.
  • Richard has now calmed down enough to appreciate a lovely hotel.
  • Richard realises that he knows no Spanish words.
  • Richard now believes what the guidebooks say about nowhere opening until 8pm to serve food.
  • Richard has fallen foul of the tourist trapping terrace and is paying an additional 10% for the privilege of sitting next to a smoker and having a stray dog run around his feet.
  • Richard found his dinner unsatisfactory, but has learnt the hard way what ‘raciones’ meant when he just wanted a supplementary snack.
  • Richard never ceases to be amazed at the vulgarity of the decoration of Catholic cathedrals around Europe.
  • Richard enjoyed watching unsuspecting people having rosemary foisted upon them outside the Cathedral as it made him feel smug for reading the back of the local map.
  • Richard feels very virtuous for having walked so far up hill in the sweltering heat, but – unlike his wife – is not entirely convinced the views are worth it.
  • Richard is embracing the concept of a siesta.
  • Richard was impressed by the barman’s spatial ability allowing him to write the entire order upside down on the bar in order to work out the total.
  • Richard feels that sitting inside at the bar of last night’s restaurant getting served free tapas with every drink is the way in which Spanish food should be enjoyed.
  • Richard has been asked to record his wife’s delight at discovering Prosecco is served on the tap next to the beer pump.
  • Richard has now added the word ‘cerveza’ to his collection of Spanish.
  • Richard feels that getting a different tapas dish with each drink is akin to completing the levels of a computer game.
  • Richard has been tricked into visiting an Arabic bath by his wife. He will report back later.
  • Richard is pleased to report that warm and hot baths, a steam room, a somewhat terrifying exfoliation and massage made up a very enjoyable couple of hours.
  • Richard thinks that hookahs on the table distance Moorish tea shops from English tea shops.
  • Richard thinks the Moroccan tea his wife chose from would be more suited to a roast leg of lamb. He hopes she is regretting pooh-poohing his choice of Pakistani tea with milk.
  • Richard has been forced to admit that Pakistani tea with milk is not really Earl Grey.
  • Richard has enjoyed another siesta: only this time lying on a bench like a tramp while his wife went shopping.
  • Richard feels that trying to find bars which give free tapas by ordering a beer in each one is a dangerous game when there is no free tapas.
  • Richard is pleased to have found free tapas, but is a little disappointed that having no seats inside makes it a short visit.
  • Richard has changed bars and is unimpressed by the claims of ‘traditional homemade tapas’ on a chalk board outside.
  • Richard has fallen back on the safety of yesterday’s bar for free tapas as he’s getting hungry. He is, however, a little saddened to have started at level one again.
  • Richard can now count the words of Spanish he knows on the fingers of one hand.
  • Richard is pleased to have avoided the lengthy queues at the Alhambra having picked up his tickets from a cash point yesterday.
  • Richard thinks the Alhambra is very pretty, but tessellation can get a little repetitive.
  • Richard is pleased he remembered which side the driver’s door was when leaving the hotel car park to embark on the drive to Sotogrande after a glorious few days in Granada.

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