I’d taken a last minute quick trip to Plaza España before leaving Seville which meant I was running a bit late getting to the station. Not wanting to risk missing my train or get super sweaty rushing there, I jumped in a taxi and arrived in style. And by style I mean not sweating my butt off! Settling in for what was to be a long journey, I was pleased that in my carriage there was just me and an American couple, so I was in for a quiet journey, at least for a little while. That is, until the ticket inspector came along and kept saying bus, bus, bus. I saw the word bus on my ticket, but hadn’t given it much thought. As it turns out, there was a fault with the line to Granada and we had to get a bus for part of the journey.
Just months ago, this news would have made me panic so much. There’s a reason I travel by train and not the cheaper bus alternative, and here I was having to do so. This time, I surprised myself with my ‘go with the flow’ attitude, and although I didn’t have a clue what was going on, I got on the coach as advised and just tried to enjoy the journey and having a different perspective to if I was on the train. Arriving at the train station we thought we’d be boarding another train to Granada, but were instead shepherded towards another bus. Not a clue what was going on, I just jumped on and hoped for the best. Thankfully it arrived in Granada, quicker than if I’d travelled the whole way by train, and I made the short walk into the city centre to check in at my apartment.
Considering I had booked it just days ago, the apartment was in the perfect location and was so spacious – I couldn’t believe I’d found such a gem and for so cheap! The lady checking me in was lovely, and we had a chat about my plans while in the city. She enquired when my ticket for the Alhambra was for and my blank smile gave away that I didn’t have a ticket booked. She seemed more panicked than I, even though it was the main reason I’d come to Granada, and she quickly set about trying to book me a ticket for the next day. Travelling alone really does show the kindness of people – whether they are genuinely kind or take pity on me because they think ‘oh poor girl who doesn’t have a clue’ I don’t mind, it’s always so helpful! With my ticket booked and printed, I went and dropped my stuff in the apartment and headed out to explore. I didn’t have long in Granada and didn’t want to waste time sat in my apartment.
As it was getting late in the day, I decided to use the late afternoon to explore the hilly area of Albacin, chock full of narrow lanes, charming buildings and near impossible to navigate with Google Maps. Naturally, I got lost Seville style. Hoping to find my way to the viewpoint the receptionist had recommended, I trekked up some pretty steep hills and climbed what felt like a million steps. Up, down, up, down. It was tough work, especially as the ground isn’t even, but I made it to the viewpoint before heading back to the town through the shopping streets and grabbing some dinner before turning in for the night.
Next morning I was up bright and early to get to the Alhambra early enough to make the most of the day. I’d been advised to get the bus up to start fresh, and I’m so glad I took note of that as it’s super hilly. The view from the bus was great, and it was fun for me to ride such a small bus when I’m used to the big red buses of London. Arriving fresh at the Alhambra, I spent the next five hours exploring the grounds. It seems a long time, but there is so much to see at the historic complex and I could have stayed longer if the heat hadn’t worn me out.
Taking a slow walk back to the city centre, I passed a couple of guys playing catch on the hill. It seemed risky, but they were doing well. Until one of them dropped the ball and it rolled down the steep incline. I heard the groan and turned as it came close to me, so stopped it and went to throw it back before realising how rubbish I am at throwing. It’s a steep hill and I was shattered, I didn’t want to walk back up to return the ball, but thankfully as I pondered my options, one of the guys started to run to a point that I could throw it. Who plays catch on a steep slope? The kind of steep where your feet slap the pavement every step you take on the way down.
Back in the city centre, I decided to make use of the last few hours I had and took a visit to the cathedral. As with most Spanish cathedrals, it was stunning, but this must have been the coldest church I have ever been in, especially when outside was t-shirt weather and inside I was freezing with a jacket on. After a quicker than anticipated look around, I went and sat on the church steps to defrost before heading back to the apartment to pack in anticipation of a super early start next morning.