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Spain 2017: Views & Cobbled Streets – Walking in the Albaicin, Granada

September 16, 2017

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I had an abortive attempt to climb up to Mirador San Nicolas, Granada’s most famous viewpoint, yesterday evening. Despite having Google Maps to hand on my iPhone, the maze of narrow little streets proved too much even for Google and I found myself going in circles; everytime I seemed close, I suddenly found I’d doubled the journey time. I gave up and headed back down to the restaurants on Paseo del Padre Manjon where I’d eaten the previous night and where there’s also a wonderful view of the Alhambra.

This morning after breakfast I decided to make another attempt. I carefully looked at my map and set off, quite early, just after 9am. It was wonderfully quiet everywhere, even Plaza Nueva empty.

Just past here, I took a left turn and started heading upwards. By that I mean up seriously steep cobbled alleyways.

   

The Albaicin is the Moorish district of Granada, just under the Alhambra, with hills raising up from the streets that follow the path of the Darro river to eventually offer views straight across to the palace. It’s my favourite part of the city; each time I leave the hotel I head that way. It’s full of little shops and bars and restaurants and at times it almost feels like being in the souks of Marrakesh (I got lost there too and my friend and I had to pay a small boy to take us back to the main square!).

Despite my careful planning, after a while it all seemed confusing again. Thankfully a kind Spanish local woman came to my rescue and gave me directions. When I eventually arrived, I was so pleased I’d kept going. The views were truly stunning, especially of the Alhambra.

My early start meant there were hardly any other people there so it was beautifully quiet and peaceful; a perfect time to enjoy the views. After a while I thought I’d look for a cafe to have coffee before heading back down but although there were a few in a little square behind San Nicolas church, none were open. Now the crowds were starting to arrive, so with a look at my maps again, I headed carefully back down the cobbled and quite slippery streets. The signs of the area’s Moorish history were everywhere.

I passed one open cafe but it was full so kept going until I was back at Plaza Nueva and went into Cafe Lisboa, which is always busy and I take as a good sign. Having had just fruit and yogurt back at the hotel early, I ordered a Continental breakfast of freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee and croissant for €5.

   

Later in the day I headed back to the Albaicin for lunch. I wanted something fairly light and decided to try a small taverna on the edge of the Darro river that I’d noticed the previous evening when it had been very busy. Again I found myself with a gorgeous view.

   

It was a simple but lovely little place – La Taverna de Tiacheta. Complimentary olives and bread came with my drink. I’d ordered tortilla – Spanish omelette – which came as always in Spain as a large slice and there was a generous amount of salad on the side.

It was delicious and a perfect lunch costing just €10.70, including my glass of wine.

The Albaicin is a gorgeous area of Granada full of wonderful views and sights. I have to say though that I’m rather pleased to not have to climb up to a hotel high up (I did look at one but read reviews warning of the steep climb) and am happy with my hotel in a more modern area but still only about a 20-minute walk from the Albaicin.

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