Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Valdepeñas DO and Granada: Andalusia Part 1

Ana thought we should spend our winter break exploring the Spanish region of Andalusia. Maybe she was secretly hoping I would get in touch with my Spanish/Moorish roots-I'm only assuming I have Moorish roots since I come from a family of mutts. A little bit of this and a little bit of that, like most folks around the world. Plus my last name means "city" in Arabic.

We landed in Madrid but had no interests in staying there so we booked down the highway to Valdepeñas. Valdepeñas just happenes to be the midway point between Madrid and Granada, BUt best of all, it is a wine producing region. Either we were lucky or someone did a good job planning our first night's stay.  
Rise and shine, off to the wine museum.
Ana getting a vino education for the king of Spain.
If you're making wine, you need a radio.
A visual history of Valdepeñas DO wine production.
Traditionally wine in Valdepeñas is fermented in earthenware tinajas.
More museum goodies.
There are several stops along the highway to sit down for a menu of the day lunch. The one we ate at had personality and a stuffed boar for a facebook selfie. My starter course was Cuban rice. Having been to Ybor City in Tampa to feast on Cuban food, I have a certain expectation when I order Cuban rice. I did not expect white rice covered in ketchup with cut pieces of hotdog and a friend egg on top.
We crossed into the Andalusia region and arrived in Granada to the greeted by rain and cold. 
Alhambra from St. Nicolas Church: Albayzín, which is the old Arab town.
And from below. 

Along the canal towards Plaza Nueva is a fine walk indeed.
At the door.
We got our tickets and roamed around the palace.

Our neighborhood Albayzín from Alhambra.

Granada Cathedral
Gold from the Americas.
It was quite cold inside, but the floors were nice to look at.
Exploring the hood.

Waiting for the bus.
I escaped the family and went hiking up the hill behind our apartment. In these hills and inside caves is where flamenco thrives. I think the area is known as the Quarter of Sacromonte.
We did get sun on evening.

Impromptu jam session on top of the hill. There were a lot of homemade RV/living spaces in the lot next to the church. I would guess, there are people living off the grid and in the wild. Some hinted as anarchist types, maybe gypsies...Beer was flowing and the crowd was easygoing eating cheep eats and puffing away on weed. I stayed long enough to get in a couple of songs.
Back down the hill towards civilization.
I thought this was was interesting. There is an open gap between the two outer walls and inside it smelled like urine.
The other side of the wall.

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