Almeria, Granada and the Alhambra

The Plan – And excursion with TWA

Our full day tour will begin  with a short panoramic tour of Almeria.  We will then make our way to Granada, home of the Alhambra.  We were originally scheduled to visit the Nazaries Palace there, however due to construction and the restrictions on the number of v visitors we will instead visit the enhanced grounds which will include  the Gardens, Generlifa (the summer palace) and the Alcazabe and the Charles V Palace. Before we leave the area we will be treated to a three course meal, including wine.

Our Day (Written on 5/10-2011)

DSC06204 (640x480)We arrived in port about 30 minutes late which  meant adjusting meetings for all three of Alan’s groups, which went off quite well.  We learned at dinner last evening that three folks had been left behind on Sunday during the groups excursion to Seville. Surprised smile The trio ended up taking a taxi back to the ship at a cost of 230 euros ($345), but they beat all the tour busses back!  Apparently they had become confused during a stop in Seville and followed the wrong group. Tour busses do not have the luxury of time, to sit around and keep 30 people waiting for those who can not follow instructions.  Back to “Our Day”.

The picture above is the view from  our verandah of the Alcazaba in Almeria. And below is a view of the Sierra Nevadas from the Alhambra

Once we were onboard our very nice tour bus, our guide for the trip to Granada,DSC06214 (640x480) Paco, regaled us with descriptions of the countryside we were traveling through, his command of the English language was superb with just beautiful Spanish accent.  HE was fun to listen to and pretty much talked the whole 2 hours it took us to get there.  Once again we  were impressed with the modern super highways that were very rare 37 years ago.  Our route took us from seaside through desert (where the film Good, Bad and the Ugly was filmed) to a high mountain pass with spectacular views of the snow covered Sierra Nevada mountains.  IT is so good  to see hills covered with different species of trees, that were not there when we lived in Spain.  Once we reached the summit, we quickly descended down onto a beautiful and fertile valley that has been inhabited for centuries.  I won’t bore you with history, as I don’t know it that well, but this was the valley with it’s beautiful Alhambra on the overlooking hills that the Moors (called today Arabs) capitulated to the Christians, without loss of life.

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After a very hot and very tiring tour of some of the grounds  (it would take a couple ofDSC06223 (480x640) days to do justice to this beautiful place) we all joined up at the hotel restaurant for our three course lunch of bread, salad, paella, a dish of veal and veggies, desert, and non stop wine service. Before the  desert was served we were serenaded by a troop of musicians serving up a selection of familiar Spanish favorites. 

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Re-boarding the busses for the trip home was interesting to watch as several of the dozen or so buses from the ships tours, had run out of their allotted time to stand and wait, and had to go out through the gates, and then back through gates getting back in line for more “waiting time”. Baring teeth smile

The Noordam was scheduled to sail around 6 PM, but most of the busses were still onDSC06225 (640x473) the road and many would not arrive until closer to 7 PM, but as it turned out there  was an incident on board during the day that would keep us in port until 9 PM.  The story that was reported over the ships PA system by the Captain was that during a lifeboat drill one of the davits that are used to lower the lifeboats to the railing for passenger loading and subsequently to the water, failed and dropped the boat to the deck after which it fell into the water.  Thankfully no was injured and the boat had to be lifted from the water and was placed upside down on the pier near the bow.  Now, because we were short one lifeboat, the ship had to request a recertification from Lloyds of London to permit us to sail.  The Captain assured us that we still had sufficient capacity for the number of passengers on board. Hot smile

In closing, I’ll leave you with the above picture of a trailer that was parked on the pier.  The large letters in blue is the Spanish word for my “nickname” when I was a young schoolboy at La Jara High.Bunny

Next:  Valencia and the Lladro factory tour

3 thoughts on “Almeria, Granada and the Alhambra

  1. Hi you two lucky vacationers!… Just checking in on you both since I saw that there was a 5.3 earthquake in Spain on the South East coastline (Murcia). I feel better seeing that you posted your day’s events. Your trip seems so beautiful from the pictures. I am jealous…

    Andy and I send our love..


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