Portugal, Spain and Morocco 2017 travel blog

Sunday 23rd April 2017 Córdoba to Granada via Jaen

Started at some famous gardens in Cordoba, outside which they killed anyone who did not agree with the current ruler. Gruesome, but gardens lovely. Not such a clever idea to go by Jaen and see the marvelous cathedral and castle ruins. About half the population of Spain decided to do the same. So we breezed thru, well dodged all the double parked cars and went on. I enjoyed the scenery - about 150 km of olive groves On rolling hills and some not so rolling. There must be enough olive oil here for 3 universes. The trees are grown on anything that is a little off vertical. And there is a machine that can go up and down between the rows to cultivate between the trees. Amazing. Not until we passed a truck stop with lots stopped did I realize there were no trucks on the road today. This happened last year in France too. Maybe a Sunday thing? We stopped at a roadside for petrol and a restaurant for a cup of coffee and could not resist the whitebait tapas. Delicious. In Spanish, which I did not understand of course, he apparently explained they were on the house for us obvious very foreign tourists. On trying to tell him he gave me too much change, finally I understood about the gift. Such friendly people we meet. Also at the stop was a van selling ferry tickets to Tangiers - the coast is far away? And a hairdresser? Arriving at our hotel in Granada via a very narrow street (of course) I could see no where to park. Bother. Then Chris goes in and there is valet parking! Easy. Off we go, catch a bus up the hill to wonderful views of the Alhambra. Staggering in size, will see it on tour tomorrow. You have to buy tickets months in advance so we are prepared. At the view point was a church with a tower so in we went. All closed for renovations. But a fellow was there willing to explain everything about Granada (and most of Spain/Protugal and don't mention Napoleon and all the Spanish treasures in the Louvre) and answer my questions. I was fascinated for a long time. Even went in to the etymology of place and region names. I was transfixed as he spoke so well and in an animated way. Also there were German, Spanish, Dutch and Spanish people there - he spoke in all these languages to keep us all up to speed. Incredible. History was there too - Gauls, Visigoths, Swedes, Arabs, Christians and the thief Napoleon. Had a wonderful walk down the hill thru narrow streets passed many hawkers. A bit of fun watching a Maserati driver roar his engine to get people out of the way as he drove the narrow streets. Ridiculous. This city is a great melting pot and we are seeing so many different peoples here. The hippies (bare feet, drug pushers, music, dread locks) stand out the most. Bull fight on in town today - I haven't asked who won. A wander along the river (actually a trickle today) among the many orange trees in fruit at the moment. Ah holidays.

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