(December 15, 2012) Arrival to Granada: Albayzin
We must pick up our car this day, as early as possible, so
leave the hotel to go to the airport as if we should take a flight.
Once driving, we will cover the 270 Km of distance
between Seville and Granada in approximately three hours.
The rest of the day is thought for visiting the city.
and San Nicolas viewing point, in Albayzin district, would be our first
Today it seems is going to be a rainy day when we
check the views of Betis’ stadium from the window of our room.
Another big breakfast for a good starting and my wife, who
couldn’t eat that much as myself, takes a sandwich to be eaten later on
the road. It’s 10 AM when we check out and say good bye to such
Rain is soft when we’re waiting 34 in the bus stop for last
time. Once in Prado we find easily EA’s bus stop, the one to the
airport, because there is already one waiting for passengers. EA is
white and its color differences it from the rest of Tussam buses, which
are red. Touristic ticket is not valid here and we must pay 2.40€ each,
as we already did when coming the day before yesterday.
Once at airport I’m following the indications from Pepecar’s
email to P24h parking but I finally need to call to locating the van
which will take us to Goldcar office.
Although I’ve hired the car from Pepecar
it’s clear this is a deal between
different companies as Pepecar’s logo and colors are not appearing
anywhere, instead, there is Goldcar and its corporate neon green
The car rental is around 40€, from which II already paid 5, then I add
the all-inclusive insurance, which is 30€ more, and it saves me from
any responsibility, so no credit card deposit is needed. To the total
price we must add the cost of a full fuel tank for which they charge me
with 80€ more. This point must be well thought before rental if you’re
planning not doing a lot of kilometers. I think we are going to use it,
though. So finally we pay 153€ in total for 5 days, including fuel. By
the way, they offer to get a diesel car by 2€ per day, which could be
interesting if fuel prices were more different than they are now.
We get a Ford Fiesta looking new which will be our
travel partner until our last day and, just after 11 AM, we start with
it by looking after taking A92 to Granada. It is well signed and we’re
moving away from Seville with no issues.
Landscape around us is full of olive trees well
organized in rows, as if the land had been combed carefully, and white
towns here and there. We stop in one of them at 12:30 PM in order of
Eva can eat her sandwich and attracted by how beautiful it looks from
the road. This is Estepa, a popular place for Christmas sweets.
We’re stopped in a gas station, but we see a store, which is
also a factory, of these sweets called “mantecados” just across the
street. A big sign is advertising the sale and we get into this big
house just for checking. There is a row of people waiting for their
purchases so we spend the time looking around as there are a lot more
than “mantecados” here. We finally go out from there with two trays of
these “mantecados”, a San Antonio’s pie, a Cadiz’s bread and three
boxes of chocolates by 44.67€ and they gives a complimentary box of
We’ve spent like an hour here and we go back to
the road with the idea of reaching Granada with no more stops.
Landscape changes a little bit when mountains appear, but
showers are with us since we woke up this morning.
E902 goes all around Granada city except for its side in the
mountain, so we follow it until our hotel at South. The trick is
following the signs to “Sierra Nevada” and the hotel is finally seen
from the road before leaving the city boundaries. We arrive at hotel at
3 PM and the room meets our expectations, nice.
After a quick rest we take the car to go to
Alhambra ticket boxes to get the tickets for tomorrow’s visit and we
will go to Albayzin from there.
We get Alhambra fast, as it is close to the hotel with
indications in every step, and we get into the big parking composed by
several stepped terraces. In the ticket box I’m told they don’t sell in
advance but there is no problem for buying them tomorrow at any time we
came as their maximum number of tickets per day is never reached on
When I’m waiting in a row in front of the parking
machine for paying my brief stop I can see the average of the people
coming from visiting Alhambra is around 10€ and I promise myself
looking for a parking alternative for tomorrow. I pay 1.60€ by the 5
minutes we’ve been here.
I can see indeed places where the car can be left
before reaching the top of this hill. Tomorrow morning I’ll check them.
Now I’m getting into Granada city itself and find a nightmare for
drivers: the narrowest streets with no organization and a lot of one
way streets making arriving to a specific place close to be a dream.
Also, there is no way for parking the car in practically all the
streets. So, when I finally reach the feet of the hill where Albayzin
district is located we keep turning around looking for a place where
leaving the car.
Finally I decide to get a steeped stone street up signed as
no way out. At least it is long and is getting closer where we want to
go, but in every space a car can fit, there is already one. When we
reach the end I find a narrow crossing where cars from three different
streets meet. We only manage to get out of here thanks to a man who
opens a fenced are where we have the space enough for turning the car
around and getting the same street down now. Surprisingly, the narrow
and long steeped street I used for coming is a two directions one.
We notice this is a street with a lot of move, so
cars are leaving and parking constantly. Fortunately we can find a
space where leaving the car and we will be finally able of having our
walk all around Albayzin as planned, although we’re going to need the
umbrella as the soft rain never stopped.
This district is characterized by its white houses, narrow
streets, the ground made with small stones and, as it is located over a
hill, its views. We’re here because of this and we walk to “Cruz de
Quiros” viewing point first, also known as “el ojo de Granada”
This is just a preview of the lookout we really have come to
visit, us and all the tourists here: San Nicolas. It is the popular
balcony to Alhambra. We’re going to there now and we’ve left it to the
end because we want having views at daylight, but at dusk too, when the
monument is in lights.
Views are really amazing and you can see Alhambra in all its
length. It is crowded but people here, generically, don’t stay. There
is a constant movement of people coming and leaving: couples, groups
with guide, lonely… everybody is looking for their idyllic picture here.
We spend some time after we’ve got our photos, but it’s clear
there is still a while before the lack of daylight makes Alhambra to
get in lights, it’s just 4:30 PM. We get into the nearest bar, called
Kiki, where we take a couple of cokes by 2€ each. In this city all the
drinks are coming with a tapa and we can enjoy a mix of eggs with
When we leave the bar we walk through these white streets exploring the
district. We pass by the little square of San Miguel Bajo, which is
quite close to the Cruz de Quiros viewing point.
We come back to San Nicolas when we can feel the dusk is coming
and lights are slowly appearing all around the city. But it won’t be
until 6 PM when Alhambra will be covered by a yellowish aura to revive
fantastic from the darkness of the hill it is located over.
We can leave now. We cannot visit more of the city today but the experience here definitively deserves it.
We drive within Granada looking for a parking place for taking some
dinner before coming back to the hotel and we will use an Auchamp
supermarket parking area for this. Then we walk through the bull ring
area and along a hospital to getting into a small restaurant, out of
the touristic: Saloon “El Alamo”. We take the menu: soup and fish with
a tapa of stuffed mushrooms. Everything was fresh and delicious by
Now we can finally go back to hotel for getting the needed rest for tomorrow.