Tapa Break – Granada, Spain

I listened to the guided tour punching in number after number as I saw them on the little signposts. It didn`t take me long to take off my layers but it took me even less time to put them back on. I was sweaty and cold so I kept myself bundled up with hood and all. I wandered in and out of the grand palaces and stone structures. The design was fine and incredibly delicate in details. I paid thoughtful attention to the use of water in the common rooms which laid out in calm sheets. I paused for a moment imagining what it would have been like to live in such an environment.

One of the rooms had lattice windows that the women could peer through to see what was going on without being seen. The gardens were lush and quite extravagant perfectly manicured and tended to. From the watchtowers, I sat for a few minutes ( you pretty much need to after all those stairs) contemplating the view. To one side was Saremento, the crowded quaint little narrow streets lined with tiny elflike houses. To the other side the magnificent Sierra Nevada off in the distance. What I didn`t expect to see was the not so thin layer of putrid green smog that was forming above the small city. Yuck.

It took me about 3 hours to cover the entire area and that includes getting lost in the Generalife, a wondrous garden off to the side. By the end of it, I was spent and fully saturated. I hopped on a bus and made the quick trip down to Plaza Nueva in the centro. I located a nearby hostel and checked in then snaked my way around in the shop filled back streets. There is an Arabic flavor here and you can buy everything from handmade tapestries to hookas to teas. I would have loved to buy some things but they were horribly overpriced. The only thing I allowed myself to indulge in were the desserts which were authentic and sinfully rich. Chocolates, almonds and baklava type sweets along with every kind of kabab and falafel. This was a place I could definitely get fat in.

I had somehow lost my plug adaptor back in Malaga so I had to hunt down a new one. I was behind on work and it was the major thing on my to do list today. I asked a man who was walking around the hostel with a screwdriver if he could tell me where to find an electrical shop. He said he was going that was if I wanted a ride to which I promptly agreed. I hopped onto the back of his scooter and we were off.

My new guides name was Lazerus and he told me that he too had traveled back in his day. The first shop didn`t have it so he kindly offered to take me to another, tho we would have to hurry as it was coming close to siesta time. I really enjoyed the zooming tour and watched the city get more ragged and dirty as we left tourist town.

After I purchased the adaptor (0.90E), we stopped for some tapas and I had a nice visit with my new friend. He told me all about his days back in the fruit exporting business and I asked him about my beloved cherimoyas. He told me that he has a dozen trees in his own yard! I was very impressed and even more so when he told me the other two fruits he grew were avocados and mangos, my other favorites. He invited me to go fruit picking the next day but I had to refuse as I am set to be in Madrid. Maybe next time, I thanked him before he sped off.

All the talk of cherimoyas led me into the supermarket where I found them for the good price of 1.50E. I bought three knowing I would have no problem finishing them before my flight to Italy on Saturday. Back at the hostel, I set myself up in a quiet little corner and ripped into my work. I was quite anxious and infact looking forward to it.

After a few good solid hours, I lightened up a bit and socialized a bit with the curious eyes overlooking my shoulder. I made some new friends that happened to be from both extremes of Canada, PEI and Vancouver Island. I agreed to take a break and go on the tapa tour.

As we followed the group of about 25 travelers to some unknown tapa bar, I got to know a few of the stragglers. I was able to recruit a small group and we left the large group in favor of a better place. One of the guys had quality tapas the night before and promised to take us there. Only problem is that on our way, it started raining and not just a little. One of our group was on crutches but was scooped up and piggybacked when he seemed to be slipping a little on the wet rocks.

We finally made it to the right place and snagged a table right away. After some fun conversation and some decent tapas (they were shocked at the amount of salt I applied to my calamari), I took my leave. I thanked them all for a wonderful and entertaining “tapa break” but that I had to get back to work. I got back to the hostel at exactly midnight and cranked out a bit more work before hitting the sack. I had a long day of work and play definitely earning the sleep that was ahead of me.

Today I am grateful for generosity.

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