Saturday, 24 May 2014


So here we were, three nights at the Camping Motel Sierra Nevada.  Now this was not an ACSI campsite so the cost was 30 Euros per night.  Was it worth it – well no not really.  The campsite was ok and of course being the only one anywhere near the centre of Granada they can really get away with whatever they choose to charge.  The swimming pool (which they charged to use) wasn’t open as it only opens in the summer – but it was 33 C today,  is that not warm enough to need a pool? 

Quite a nice bar/restaurant though with free WIFI point, but not good enough to download any TV so we were just going to have to do without. Anyway the first night we were pretty tired so ended up at Burger King for dinner which was the nearest thing we could find.  

Day 1 –  We wanted to see the Alhambra and we knew that we wouldn’t be able to go in with the dog so we thought we’d just go and look at it.  We don’t like to leave her for too long in the van when it’s hot as dogs in tin cans can be a disaster.  But hey, this campsite charges 4.50 Euros a night for electricity (in Albir it was 1 Euro) so we thought we’d make the most of it.  We have air conditioning in the motorhome so why not use it.  So we made sure that the princess would be ok on her own, two bowls of water, just in case she knocked one over and personal air conditioning set at a cool 22C. Of course by making this decision so late we had not organised any tickets in advance for the Alhambra so we didn’t think there was any point in trying to get in.

So off we go on the bikes, without the buggy or the dog.   

Now Granada being an old city hasn’t got any cycle routes so you just had to take your chances on the roads with the cars and buses.  The SatNag said it was only 1.8km to the Alhambra so we set off following the road signs.  Of course these were the road signs for cars, not walkers or cyclists so our first mistake was to turn right signposted to the Alhambra instead of left signposted to the city.  This route took us out of the city towards the ring road.  There was a low height tunnel  and Iain said that he wasn’t cycling down there and I totally agreed.  We’re not the most confident cyclists and I must admit that we don’t wear helmets but at this point I was really wishing that I did. We found a pedestrian route through the tunnel so all was ok.

Down the hill and hey, here’s the Repsol  garage that we would be looking for tomorrow – the one with LPG, at least we knew where that was and we knew there was a low bridge to avoid. So here we were, on the ring-road.  Turn left and fantastic, at least there was a cycle path and we didn’t need to go on the dual carriageway.  Then a right turn somewhere up ahead and we stopped on a railway bridge to re-assess the lost situation.  We actually could see the Alhambra from here in the distance but didn’t know at that time that that would be the best view we would get. I had a brainwave (well I know that it can be dangerous when I start thinking) but even if the Alhambra wasn’t marked on the SatNag, the map did show us the roads around it.  So I programmed in one of the nearby roads and hey, it’s now 3km away (it was only 1.8 to start with).  At least now we had some idea of where we were going.

We finally found the Avenue of Christopher Columbus and cycled along the middle (out of the traffic) and then found our way down the narrow old streets to the Alhambra.  Here’s the best view we got. 

So for those who were expecting some fantastic pictures of the Alhambra, here’s some from the official website to show us what we missed.

Alhambra of Granada

The area itself was interesting with old narrow streets and after a rest we decided to cycle back.

Now that was fun, we did the Gran Via de Colon (Avenue of Christopher Columbus) again and this time I stopped to take some photographs.  It was a really nice place with statues all along, some just sitting on a bench inviting you to sit with them.  One bronze was of a bench itself with cushions around. A lovely place for a stroll.

Off then towards the campsite we ended up cycling on a main road with buses all around us.  Now I’ve already said that we’re not that brave on the bikes but this was ridiculously scary.  At one point we pulled out to go around some parked buses and then before we could get back in the buses moved off.  So there we were on the outside lane with no way of getting back into the inside lane and buses screaming up on the inside of us.

As I said, no cycle lanes

It only took us about 20 minutes to get back, a lot quicker than it took us to get there.  I was indeed very glad that we didn’t have the dog with us in the buggy, I don’t think I would have been able to do it with her in tow.

We didn’t’ want to be out too long as it was the first time the princess had been left in the motorhome on a very hot day and when we got back we were very pleased to hear the whirring of the air-conditioning so we knew before opening the door that the dog would be ok.  So the princess had been home-alone with the air conditioning on and what did she do when we got back?  As soon as we opened the door she did her normal greeting of “Hello dad, is mum with you?” then ran out of the van an lay down in the sunshine.  Typical spoilt princess.  I thought I’d share with you a picture of her enjoying the sunshine, it was the first time that we had a grass pitch in over 4 months – well it was sort of grass, so she made the most of the opportunity for a good old back scratch.

We hadn’t been that enamoured with Granada, and as the campsite was 30 Euros a night we decided to leave a day earlier than planned and head off to Toledo.  

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