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Sunday, October 08, 2006


After the desert I drove along the Costa Del Sol on my way to Granada. The Costa del Sol is not very nice at all.... covered by tourist settlements and ugly buildings designed to fit as many ex pats in as cheaply as possible! Any land that wasn't covered like this had massive rectangular greenhouses for growing fruit and veg to be exported! A shame really, because the coastline itself it quite nice.... all rugged cliffs and little coves.
I stayed outside of Granada and went for a drive in the surrounding towns and villages on my first day there. There were lots of old Arab castles, most of them fairly ruined, but this one at La Calahorra was pretty impressive!

The largest toen in the area, apart from Granada, is Guadix. I spent the afternoon there looking around the Arab Alcazbar and the cathedral. The town itself is pretty interesting, as there is a district where the people live in houses that are built into the rock, so essentially they are living in a cave!! It reminded me a little bit of the houses in the Atlas mountains in Morocco, except these Spanish ones were mostly white...

Next day I went to Granada to see the Alhambra. It was the palace of many Muslim kings, and is very well preserved. It is situated on a hill overlooking the whole town and surrounding areas, and is on the UNESCO world hertiage list. The Arabic name meand red castle, because of the reddish walls. The main attraction there is the Nasrid palace, which really was very very beautiful. You can almost imagine royalty living there today!
The whole place is filled with water- fountains and rectangular ponds with water trickling through them, so you can hear the sound of trickling water almost everywhere you go!! Another large part of the Alhambra complex is the Generalife (means Architect's garden), which is filled with manicured gardens, beautiful buildings and veranda's for observing the gardens and city from above.

Next on the agenda is, surprise surprise, more beaches!! I set off for Cadiz province, which is the one closest to Morocco and where you can catch ferries to a few Moroccan cities.