Lazy Granada rest day

Have spent the day so far getting up late, fighting the tourist crowds through the parts of Alhambra that we were able to get tickets to (the main palace is booked until May, and we don’t want to get up at 5:30 to get in line for same-day tickets), having ice cream at a place that Michelle Obama visited, doing our laundry, and relaxing at our adorable pension, with a balcony over a busy street where we can listen to the hub bub and people watch.

I’m kind of starting to feel overloaded with touristy stuff. Everywhere we go, there’s a castle, ancient gardens, beautiful city squares, and they are awe-inspiring to see, but because of this, they have become tourist traps. They are full of the same people, speaking English, French, and sometimes Spanish. They all have the same exact souvenir shops with everything made in China. Everyone speaks English at the restaurants and shops, and they all feign interest in your holiday. It’s all so cookie-cutter. Yes, it’s convenient, and when we are low on energy, it’s appreciated, but I’m starting to value more the little side streets and villages with local shops catering to locals. It’s more difficult because the don’t (or maybe won’t) speak English, and you get a lot of stares and exasperation, but these are the times when we start to understand the real Spain, and not the Spain that tourists expect. Pointing at random things on the menu and getting sometimes good and sometimes bad things, but always something new. Stopping at small cafes and listening to the locals gossip about what’s happening in town.

From here on, these are the experiences I’d like to find, rather than going to the tourist attractions that have the most star ratings. I’m trying to find good ways to reach out to locals to foster this kind of cultural exchange. Any suggestions?

Here are some photos from the day. I’ve been trying to avoid taking photos that you could see in any old post card, so I hope you enjoy.

5 Replies to “Lazy Granada rest day”

  1. Pictures are gorgeous…keep them coming. As many times as I’ve been to Florence, I’ve never waited in line for “David.” There is only so much you can do.

  2. The pictures are great. You and Steve have an eye for the beauty in places you visit. We very much enjoy all the “letters” sent home.
    I remember China in 1992 and the shock when I saw the billboard about Mastercard at the great wall. I also loved the small side streets I walked and the people I met with my translation book in my back pocket. Keep up with the real people in your world. Cheers.

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