I went down stairs to make a good breakfast since lately I have been eating so little that I feel dizzy; for no other reason than I simply am on the go and forget to eat. I made a powdered soup and added in rice plus a normal hostel breakfast of toast and jam with juice and a few pieces of fruit. In the kitchen area there were some Asians eating but they didn’t seem too talkative so I let them be then a small framed girl came in wearing some of those super flowy, hippy pants. Her short black hair framed a smile.
Bojana and I started talking about our travels and plans for our time in Granada. She heard that in a neighboring town, Santa Fe, there is a village of hippies. She invited me along to check it out.
We each had a map but she said she knew how to get to where the bus would pick up so she led the way. We both needed a “coletera” a new word I learned for the little band you use to hold your hair in a pony-tail,but nowhere had them until we got close to the bus stop. None of the buses were clearly marked for Santa Fe so we asked around after asking about 10 drivers we went back to the front of the line and tried again.
The town of Santa Fe is really pretty; the buildings are whitewashed and there are big arches cut through a few buildings where cars enter and exit the city.It was sprinkling and neither of us had umbrellas but we walked on looking for the tourist office, as if the hippie village would be on their list of attractions. A few steps later the rain let loose so we ran to a bazar and bought some umbrellas, Bojanas was broke after literally a minute but it worked well enough.
In a patio across from the tourist office there were two women setting up a cross of flowers and a scene with more flowers and dolls and offerings. The lady in the office told us that by car it takes about 20 minutes or by car about an hour walking. Besides the rain I was on a time constraint because my ticket for the Alhambra was for 430 so we decided walking wasn’t going to work. She had never hitch hiked but wanted to try so we started walking towards the hippy village to the nearest highway leaving town. Before making any real progress we both decided maybe it’s not worth seeing in this weather. So we walked back to get the bus to Granada.
When we got back we went looking for something on one of Bojana’s maps; we weren’t sure what it was but assumed it may be a small museum. On the map there was a little circle with a picture of Salvador Dali’s face. While looking for the little street we passed a place from which a delicious aroma was escaping. I haven’t had Mexican food in a long while so I was excited by what smelled like Mexican. We went in and looked around but there wasn’t a very good selection. While deciding if I was going to get something Bojana was taking a few pictures of the interestingly decorated place. Before asking what I wanted to order the lady behind the counter copped and attitude, asking why we were taking pictures. There is a way to approach customers that wasn’t how to do it’; I still have that 5 euros I was going to spend.
Across the street we found the Dali thing… a simple Stenciled graffiti of Dali’s face about 10 ft. tall; what a letdown. Surprisingly it was as cold today as it has been in Segovia so Bojana had to look for some tights on our way to the Cathedral. We also stopped at a book store to get her an English Spanish pocket dictionary I picked up a Granada guide for a few Euros. I’ve been picking up little books here and there so when I teach Spanish again my students can look at them.
We figured we didn’t have time for the cathedral because we also needed to go to the store to get food for dinner and some snacks. I hate when I forget to weigh a piece of produce and don’t realize until I’m already checking out. While Bojana waited at the register I ran down stairs and weighed it and grabbed the price sticker the machine printed out. Luckily registers here can hold two separate purchases at a time so the lady just continued with other customers while I was gone.
By the time we got back there wasn’t time to cook the food so we just made sandwiches and I ran out to go to the Alhambra. Assuming the south would have its typical weather I brought tennis shoes not my boots. I had my waterproof ski jacket and my umbrella. It wasn’t raining too badly until I got near the bottom of the ascent to the Alhambra.
By the time I got to what I thought was the entrance my jacket and shoes were soaked completely. The guy at the entrance said my printed ticket wouldn’t work so I back tracked down hill, cursing the rain all the way to the ticketing office; about a 15 minute walk then came back. In line I met an older Sevillan couple who were looking at me crazy for how soaked I was. Then I started talking to a British lady with two little kids about 8 years old. The little girl was pointing out a dry spot on her knee and her mom said to enjoy it. I wish I had a dry spot to enjoy. The most worrisome part of it all wasn’t that they were going to deny my entry for being late to my designated time of entry but that my camera was getting wet inside of the bag.
The inside of the Palace of Nazares the Moorish, Arabic motifs cranked up; from outside you couldn’t tell too much since it was just some blocky tan buildings from the 11th century. The walls were covered in intricately patterned tile mosaics and Arabic calligraphy. In Muslim art images are forbidden so the script tells of the imagery in a poetic style instead. The ceilings had some meticulously built wooden inlaid designs. The incomprehensibility of how tedious it must have been to construct this building carried all the way through 3 palaces.
Bojana and I decided we are both coming back to Granada in a year, the last palace solidified that plan; the patio of the lions is totally under restoration. The Alhambra is Spain’s most visited monument, and the icon of the Alhambra was roped off and hidden behind scaffolding. This fountain has 12 lions; each hour one lion squirts water out of its mouth in a clock like fashion. Supposedly when the moors were overthrown the fountain was dismantled to try to figure out how it works, it hasn’t worked since.
Bojana and I agreed to meet at about 7 to make dinner then go out hunting for gypsy musicians but when I got back to the hostel she wasn’t there. While waiting for her I met a Canadian girl, Vanessa who left work for 3 months to travel and find clarity, but this time she said she has been lonely and isn’t sure what she wants with life. She could have been my twin in that whenever I asked a question she answered with, “I don’t know”, I think I may have pushed too far but I think she may have come to some ends. She was online and repacking her huge backpack, preparing to take the night bus to Valencia at about 11.
While we were talking I signed in to check my email which I hadn’t done in two days; my eyes ignored every email besides the one about 10 lines down… accept or deny placement for 2012-2013 in Andalucia!!! My dilemma I have been having just came to its next step. I was so happy I literally had a tear in my eye and it hurt from smiling so much. This was the region I wanted my first year and this year I said if I get Andalucia I will stay.
A few minutes later two more Canadians, Cole and his buddy, came in and in conversation told us a funny story about when he was working as a young teen: he and a friend saw a guy enter but they continued talking for about 5 or 10 minutes. The guy stomped around the corner and Cole asked if he needed help. The guy grumbled I could have used it about 10 minutes ago. In a split second Cole looked at his friend and said, “Quick, to the time machine.” He was nearly fired but the boss couldn’t help laughing.
Around 830 Bojana came back from hunting for tights and we got cooking. We were making beef and potato stew with mushrooms, green pepper and zucchini. The manager of the hostel came in from Sevilla to help host the hostel warming party. They made sangria and ordered pizza but we didn’t know before we started cooking.
Neither the manager nor Vanessa could place my accent, he said he thought I may be French with great English because I have a very neutral accent which we decided was provoked by working with non-native English speakers and having to speak clearly for them.
While the stew was stewing we went to the patio where people were hanging out to get some sangria and Bojana wandered into someone’s private room on the bottom floor thinking it was like a communal living space. I told the girl sorry her relpy was full of derision so we left that group alone although they seemed like they may have been a pretty cool bunch.
As we were putting the final touch on the soup, a finely chopped cayan pepper and some black pepper, we met a British girl whose name I don’t remember. We served up the stew and offered some to the Britt. She was so pleased to have some home cooked food. Although the meat was super chewy since we cooked it too fast it was still nice. A few seconds after sitting down Bojana touched her lip with the fingers she used to put the cayan into the pot. She had her head in the sink running water over her lip but it did nothing. The idea was to add the pepper to help clear her sinuses since she was having trouble breathing from a cold.
After talking away the night we made plans to take the bus to Madrid the following morning at 9 and called it a night.