Sunday, July 4, 2010

Granada Day 2 and Valencia

Yesterday morning was a late start, and after a fresh breakfast at our hotel, we set off for the Cathedral of Granada. The streets in Granada are tiny, and just getting to and from the hotel was insane. The width of the roads are about two inches bigger than the car, and the roads themselves are cobblestone. Oh, and our hotel was right next to a monastery. Crazy, right? This turned into a day long shopping excursion, where we picked up a few cute things and I fell in love with a floor length yellow and black gown. 75% off and totally NOT my size. Of course I would want to buy a ballgown on vacation. haha. From the 2009 Collection, ID 100042 or number 11/34
After a delicious lunch at a restaurant called Centro de Granade and our first bottle of Tempranillo wine (which was nice) we finally made it to the cathedral, and it is very beautiful. Backed right up to apartment buildings and shops just like any Spanish monument - they use their space well over here. Apparently Ferninand and Isabela are buried in Granada, because they had a little door where you could peek in at their tomb. There was also a sword of the king and a scepter and crown from the queen.
We spent a good part of the day en route from Granada to Valencia, but there were nice views of the ocean along the way, and longs of orange groves, which is a welcome break from the olive fields of the Madrid-Granada drive. On our way, we saw fireworks, along the highway, which I assume is for the goal that Spain made at the 81st minute. There were people celebrating in the streets when we arrived in Valencia, and I think I just might have to buy a Spain jersey.
The hotel Vinicci Lys in Valencia is gorgeous. While the Hotel Santa Isabel la Real in Granada was quaint and homey, this hotel is gorgeous in a more modern way. The location is perfect, less than a block for the Ayuntamiento, and the view out my balcony is of the gorgeously worked facades of buildings across from me. While we didn't arrive until about 11, we took a stroll around the city about midnight. I was skeptical we would find anywhere for dinner other than the Wok to Walk just down the street. Somehow we stumbled upon this gem. The Ginger Loft had amazing food, and the owners were both very nice. One of them had a passion for gin, and shared with us his favorite brands and the ONLY tonic water he uses. Fever Tree, according to our gin guide last night, went to Peru where the original chinchona trees were, and saved the last grove of these quinine-rich trees. According to the laudation on their website, they've been very well received. I will say it made an excellent gin and tonic. Which may have something to do with the wall of gin the restaurant displayed. We finished our delicious dinner around 3 am, when kids were heading home drunkenly from bars. It was delicious and undoubtedly the latest dinner I have ever had.

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