The main purpose of our trip to Granada was for Hayden and Andrea’s wedding.
We had been to the city twice before in 2012 and had experienced its marvellous history in both summer and winter.
I was also in Granada way back in 1972, but that’s another story.
Our tourist adventures were very modest and mainly confined to walking trips around our hotel.
The Hotel Reina Christina is right in the heart of Old Granada so there was still plenty to see, even if it was done very casually.
While Thea was off having a manicure and pedicure with Kate; Evan, Stephanie and I spent an hour or so visiting the Granada Cathedral or the Cathedral of the Incarnation.
The construction of this cathedral was a long time in coming as it had to wait for for the acquisition of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada from its Muslim rulers in 1492. As a result it was designed in the Spanish Renaissance style. It was started in 1518 and built on top of the city’s main mosque, a common practice when one culture replaced another.
It took 181 years for the cathedral to be completed.
As part of the admission fee you get an audio guide to help you negotiate this very large and ornate place of Cristian worship.
I wished that I’d had a dictionary of architectural and ecclesiastical terms to help me interpret the very verbose descriptions.
We did venture, one hot afternoon, to the El Albaicin area, which is on the opposite of hill to the Alhambra, near Sacromonte.
This area features narrow winding streets that reflect Granada’s Medieval Moorish past. It was made a UNESCO World heritage site in 1984.
The group staying at the hotel for the wedding started with Thea and me and grew to fourteen over a ten day period.
We soon discovered the best coffee in Granada and possibly Spain. Visits to La Finca Coffee, or Plantation, soon became a daily ritual.
There were a number of other Australians in Granada, who were also there for the wedding, and they also discovered La Finca.
Thea and I hosted a cocktail party at the Hotel Vincci Albayzin. The idea was to introduce Andrea to those overseas guest who hadn’t already met her and to also give everyone a chance to meet Andrea’s immediate family.
It was a great success, going way beyond the predicted time.
The Spanish know how to party and so do Australians.
The wedding itself was a fabulous event, set in a spectacular location, on Sacromonte, overlooking the Alhambra.
The formalities started just before sunset, so everything was bathed in a magic evening light. Apart from a professional photographer and videographer, there were more cameras snapping than a frenzied pack of paparazzi at the film festival in Cannes.
I kept my camera in its bag.
The next day was to recover, not surprising considering we had been at the wedding for over ten hours and didn’t get back to the hotel until 6.30 am.
We weren’t the last to leave.
Olives are not tapas.
On our last night in Granada we went out for a drink and then a meal. Now in Granada the tradition is that for every drink you have you get a free tapa.
This didn’t happen.
At the first bar we got a very small bowl of sweets. And because we were waiting for our chosen restaurant to open, we were compelled to visit another bar.
Here we only got olives.
Sadly the partying is over and now it’s time for the serious touring to begin.