30th December 2005, Spain Day 6
This day started early. Actually it started later than I wanted due to me setting the time on my phone incorrectly. I wanted to get us up at 5:30am and by chance woke up at 5:45 am, cursing at myself for not setting the alarm as I charged into the shower. The showering part is quick as we haven't had a razor blade between us for a few days now. Edyta's legs are at least covered, my face is stubbly and rough (and worse the lips are dry and chaffed from sunburn in Barcelona). We finished off the sandwiches, checked out and rushed as fast as we could to the airport. The first leg had us being followed by a angry drunk Spaniard who had already said something to both of us (who knows what). The only cheery thing that morning was the standard bird chirp noise made by pedestrian crossing lights in the city. I got two trips on the one ticket for the Metro but it didn't let us share, so I had to give money to Edyta across the barrier so she could buy a ticket and join me. By 7:15 we were at the airport and using the no-luggage check in for our 7:45 flight, only to have another 15 minute walk to get to the gate. Luckily the plane was late boarding (they all are), so we didn't miss the flight. Iberia air planes have lots of leg room but not much else. I made sure a sick bag was near and I had a bottle of water handy for Edyta but she was well past the throwing up stage.
Gold Cost Spain style
We landed at Malaga and decided to look around the town a little before travelling on (especially as we had no luggage to worry about, just the same clothes from the beginning). We managed to find our way to the train station despite the signs pointing all over the place and then stopping a good 5 minutes walk from the place. While crossing out of the airport a lady who stopped for us to cross the road was rear-ended by another lady. Seems our luck was rubbing off on people near us too. The train was easy to ride (signs were in English) though we were a bit concerned by seeing everyone with suitcases sitting on the line not heading into Malaga central. Our train did go in the right direction and we alighted in a very pretty city, much like a Gold Coast meets Spanish charm. As we weren't to spending a long time in town we jumped on the Malaga city sight-seeing tour bus (and by now we should keep a receipt from any one of them, because you get 10% all future ones, which would have saved us a bit by now). Malaga has a mountain in the middle dominated by a fort, so we got off and wandered around there. There was a nice display of miniatures in the museum in the castle, but I could've done a similar paint job on them. The castle wasn't much, just left over walls. The views from the top were blocked by gum trees, of all things.
We didn't pay for this telescope either
If you squint you can see Malaga
The bus took us back down a nail biting road to Malaga city. We got off at a square where there was a market. There were a few local foods but no English speakers or prices. Edyta wasn't sure about trying any more foreign food and didn't like the idea of buying something without knowing the price. So we settled on a muffin (at 80 euro cents I can understand why she wants to know the price before buying). Most of the people were dressed in medieval clothing and some girls were playing with ropes and streamers in a very old school fashion. As it was near lunch we decided to see which businesses had skipped siesta. There was one cafeteria that was essentially an ash tray. As far as we can figure out come New Years there is a total ban on smoking in all eating areas and the Spanish seem to be preparing by sucking down as much nicotine as they can before they have to stick on a patch after a good meal to get their cancer stick rush. Another pizza store was opening but Edyta and I stood in the door for a minute wondering what was happening and bagging the service before we left. As we were leaving a waitress told us the place opens at 1pm. Let that be a lesson, be very careful what you say in Spain, they speak a lot more English than you know (and more that the French would admit too).
We took a coach out of Malaga to Granada. This was a long drive over a mountain and down. The drive felt like going into the Riverland, dry land with scrub and dried grasses around. There were also non-stop olive trees, any piece of land that wasn't a rocky vertical slope was covered in them. When we got to the edge of Granada I wasn't expecting anything better to come from this town. The place was an industrial wasteland, full of ugly buildings, new apartments being built and a guy standing by the side of the road waving his genitals at passing motorists. The bus station was very basic (or just run-down) but the information booth was staffed by a lady who helped us find the hotel (by taking local buses this time, no Metro in this city).
The centre of Granada is a very pretty town. It is standard old medieval Spanish design, but the place was alive with people. We checked in at 5pm and then spent two hours trying to find a place that was open for tea (curse you siesta). We had some Apple Pies in McDonald's (don't try to pronounce the Spanish name, the staff just look at you sadly and question "Apple Pies?"). The hotel we had picked to eat at was due to open at 7pm. We went past a few minutes before then to find the place still totally locked up. In desperation for food we crossed the main road into another square. This square had a market and performers in it but even Edyta wanted to eat before browsing. Our meal was very ordinary, one of these Only Pasta places (it seems to be a chain of pre-packaged food sold all over the country). We looked at the market and then watched the performers. At one stage they grabbed audience members for participation. Edyta dove behind me to avoid being picked. I knew that places like that go after those people, so I stood still. We left when the performers started to ask for money.
Big long chocolate goodness
Before we went back to the hotel we stopped for a local dessert. It involved what appeared to be rolls of batter that are dipped into a jug of hot chocolate and then eaten. It was an awesome calorie filler snack.
We then went to settle down. The street outside was noisy and just up the street (some 20 metres) a stage had been set up for tomorrow nights New Year celebrations. I feel asleep before getting to the end of Die Hard with a Vengence in Spanish. The movie did leave me with dreams of driving a taxi in Central Park with Samuel L. Jackson yelling at me "McClaine, you just killed somebody".