I’ve so loved spending time in the Albaicin area of Granada – the old Moorish quarter – that I’ve neglected exploring other parts of the city; the Albaicin had become a kind of comfort zone where I now knew my way round quite well. So on this, my last day, I decided after breakfast to set off in a different direction from the previous mornings. My map showed a viewing point in Plaza Campo del Principe in the Realejo district north of my hotel so that’s where I headed.
I took my usual route up Reyes Catolicos because I wanted to have coffee and a croissant at a bakery I’d seen and looked great but is often closed: Lopez Mezquita Pasteleria. I’d checked it opened at 9am this morning and went in and sat at the bar at the back. I had by far the best croissant and coffee I’ve had so far so fully intend to go back tomorrow morning before I leave for the airport.
Afterwards, instead of carrying on as far as Plaza Nueva as I usually do, I turned right into Pavaneras. I passed Museo Casa de los Tiros, a museum about Granada’s history.
I soon felt that I was in a very different area to what I’d grown used to. It seemed less touristy and more obviously full of locals going about the ordinary business of life. I passed a great looking deli.
Then I noticed a music shop with a window full of guitars, violins and cellos.
From a google search later, I discovered the owner and stringed instrument maker – a luthier – was well known. They offered flamenco guitar lessons. The shop only opens briefly late afternoon but a guitarist was sitting inside playing – perhaps trying out a guitar to buy or checking a repair. Finally I made it to the Principe campo.
It was a pretty enough square, bordered on the sides with lots of cafes but the promised view seemed only to be of the large Alhambra Palace hotel rather than the Alhambra itself. I headed back to some steep steps I’d passed and consulted my map.
It looked quite a climb but I’ve grown used to that since arriving in Granada and my experience is a climb usually leads to a great view, and this was indeed the case.
Following my map, I took a route that followed round near to the Alhambra entrance and then walked down through woods into the familiar area of Plaza Nueva.
Crossing to the other side of Plaza Nueva and a bit south, I went to look at the catherdral area. I went into the buzzing and lively square of Plaza de Bib-Rambla, also bordered by cafes and restaurants but of a grander kind than the earlier ones at Principe and there was a view of the cathedral in one corner.
I crossed over to take a look at the catherdral and the small square in front of it. I had a quick look inside but there was a queue to pay to go in so I glanced round and took in as much as I could and went back out into the sun. Tomorrow I’ll be back in autumnal London and want to spend as much time outside as I can.
By now it was lunchtime. Being Monday a number of places are closed, including Bar Casa Julio that I lunched at on Saturday and hoped to return to. I’d had in mind to just eat a few tapas but most places sell the larger raciones and I ended up returning to the excellent and reliable Bar Los Diamentes on Plaza Nueva where I had a wonderful plate of grilled octopus, tomato salad and a small beer. As usual a little complimentary taster plate came too.
It was a perfect lunch and I was really pleased I’d explored a bit more of this great city of Granada this morning.