The Iberian Peninsula, how swell are you, keeping me warm during the UK’s bleak late winter.
The majority of my time has been been spent in El Chorro, a small town north of Malaga which is basically the ending point of the Cominito Del Rey, otherwise its sheep and climbers. The time spent in El Chorro was as follows; wake, eat, climb, eat, climb,eat, drink wine, eat, play Shazam (the best card game I’ve played, take note Louis and Troy, another one to add to the arsenal.) Pretty tough. The people met and befriended at The Olive Branch Climbing Hostel were wonderful and soon a little community formed as we enjoyed the varied weather and climbing. Eventually, everyone started heading their seperate ways for their next adventure; just think The Breaking of the Fellowship. With the idea of visiting the historical town of Granada first embedded in my mind, I was lucky enough to hitch a ride with Becca, George and their van Bernard as they also had the same idea, and they very kindly dropped me near my hostel.
Some poser on the Arab Steps above El Chorro.
Walking through train tunnels to get to crags. Main event was leaving coins on the tracks.
The amazing gorge and walkway of the Camino Del Rey, with the train line bottom right.
Granada is a beautiful town, flowing with history and interesting architecture. I spent my days getting lost in the ancient Arab village of Albacin and exploring the most magnificent castle ever in Alhambra. Unfortunately, my stay in Granada will be remembered for one thing alone, a snoring Irish man, who I shared a dorm with. He was one of those people that went to bed and in 5 seconds was snoring so loud that my ear plugs did nothing! After 3 nights of sleeplessness, it took a toll on my my body and I get a lovely cold. My best attempt to get some sudafedrine from the ‘Farmarcia’ was shut down, suggesting all I needed was lemon drink and vitamin C. From Granada I caught a 5 hour bus to Madrid, and I must apologise to the lady sitting next to me, as the lemon drink and vitamin C seemed to not be doing the trick, and I went through 2 whole tissue boxes on the bus!
The amazing palace in Alhambra. Buy your tickets in advance, So busy!
The view of Granada from one of the Palace balconies.
Madrid is a lovely city, and apparently the 3rd biggest in Europe behind London and Paris. (I guess, technically, it is soon the be the 2nd biggest?). My favourite aspect of the city is that the central district is not covered in high rise towers, but flanked by ancient architecture and quaint little alleys and laneways, with authentic Spanish food available at every turn. Unfortunately, my cold was preventing me from exploring the night life; so I ventured into the ‘Golden Triangle of Art’ visiting the famous Reine, Prado and Thasso Museums. I was lucky enough to be visiting during ‘Karneval’ which meant the Grand Via and Plaza de Mayor was full of street musicians and dance acts.
In all, Spain has been a blast. I’ve rembered more Spanish then I realised, with basic conversations being relatively easy. I can also live by the Spanish motto “Mañana, Mañana.” For now, it is back off to England to begin the teaching journey in Sheffield, with hopefully a trip to Font in early April, and further travels in June.
*I will upload bulk photos to facebook in the coming days.