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Halfway point

sunny 105 °F
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Granada marked a special point in our trip: we reached the halfway point between when we left San Francisco on June 10 and when we will return to Boston, August 19. Originally, Granada was also to be our wedding reception/celebration, but as Wendy and Homer threw us a great party in March, we were delighted to simply be joined by them and Diana, along with Karen and Doug who were still traveling with us. Unfortunately, Mark and Mary had to cancel, though they might be glad they did (more of that in a moment.)
Wendy, Homer, and Diana arrived together from Madrid and got in about noon. We and the Perry’s drove from Costa del Sol through Ronda, then to Granada. Debbie was stuck doing the driving as I had no driver’s license (see Paris). We pulled in around 5 p.m. and worked our way through the last winding streets to the villa. Homer had warned us that a car could not fit through the final alley leading to the villa, and he was right. With some help, we unloaded – three large bags, each 50 lbs., backpacks, a camera case, and one overnight bag. You don’t get to travel light when you’re going away for three months and in temperatures that ranged from snow to 105 degrees. Did I say 105 degrees? Yes, Granada was in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave.
Debbie and I returned the car, took a taxi back, and got our first look at the villa. Not sure how old the house is but it was beautifully done with dark wood shutters, wood beams in most of the ceiling, and an amazing amount of books, knickknacks, figurines, and what-have-you’s covering almost every flat surface in the place. Surrounding it was a beautiful, though overgrown, garden, a large swimming pool to one side, and a guesthouse in the back. The villa looked just like the pictures and should have thrilled us all. But it didn’t.
Remember 105 degrees, and then add no air conditioning except in the master suite and the “tower” room on the third floor where no one went except Diana to sleep. Homer, Wendy, and Diana had already spent hours in the pool before we arrived as it provided the only relief. I joined them almost immediately. The first floor including living and dining rooms and the kitchen were all but unusable.
Still, good friends altogether cannot be kept down, and we headed through the winding streets on the side of the steep hill the villa was perched on to find dinner. Turns out, a lot of restaurants in Granada are simply closed in July – maybe the heat wasn’t so unusual after all. We poked our head into one of the few open restaurant doors, a not very promising looking place, and were delighted to find the actual restaurant was in a large courtyard inside. Good food, good drinks, the weather cooling around 11 p.m. and good conversation that night.
That night, only those of us in the air-conditioned spaces got much sleep, and because we accidently put Chesirae directly under the air conditioner, she was so cold, she couldn’t sleep either! Then, the next morning as reported by Karen and Doug, the beds had been rock hard. We had earlier gone out to the guesthouse to get two single mattresses out of those bedrooms to give Diana and Chesirae better bedding, but we had no help for Karen and Doug and Homer and Wendy. Had Mark and Mary made the trip, we would have had to try and put one couple in the guesthouse, so not only would we have had two more people on hard beds, the guesthouse was even hotter than the villa! Holy sleep deprivation, Batman! We did manage to cool things down a little with fans and windows open at 6 a.m.
But enough about the villa as we all adjusted and truly enjoyed our time together. We took a walking tour of Granada through the old part of the city, the shops, some of the walls and gates, and the cathedral. If you visit, I recommend going inside the church. Spain has a church on every corner, but most of them are Gothic. This was a very large, white, Baroque church. Diana tells me they too are common in Europe, but this was the first cathedral in that style I had seen. Very impressed.
Together with friends, we enjoyed the days immensely.
Next, the Alhambra.

Posted by randjb 12:58 Archived in Spain Tagged granada villa karen wendy diana heat doug homer Comments (0)

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