Friday, 20 January 2017

Winter in Spain - Week Eight

Sunday 15th January
Cartagena to Granada

We left Cartagena for Grenada at about 10:30. This time we took the recommended motorway route. We made good progress in the bright sunshine but a strong crosswind did affect Morag. We stopped a couple of times to change drivers. The last part of the journey was very scenic with good views of the snow covered Sierra Nevada.
Sierra Nevada
We reached the campsite at about 4:30. It is small but has reasonable facilities. We had intended to eat in the restaurant but it was not open on Sunday evenings, so we has Pasta and pesto in Morag.

Monday 16th January
NOT a good day

Not the most successful day of our trip! We decided to take the bus into Granada. We walked to the bus stop and waited about 15 minutes for the bus only to be told that we could not take Button. We walked back to the site and drove Morag into the city - but couldn't find anywhere to park. All the public car parks appeared to be underground with height limits.
So we drove back to La Zubia, the suburb where the camp site is located, to find somewhere to take Button for a walk.We eventually found a parking space but in manoeuvring I backed into an unseen litter bin and damaged the bodywork at the back of Morag! After Button had her rather grumpy walk we returned to the campsite.
We had a drink in the bar followed by an improvised meal of mussels and tuna omelet in Morag.

Tuesday 17th January
The Alhambra

We drove to the Alhambra, the must see sight in Granada. We wandered through the extensive site looking at the buildings and the gardens. The highlight was the visit to the Palacio Nazaries. The intricate plaster-work and the enclosed gardens were both beautiful and fascinating.
Astounding plasterwork ceiling in Palacios Nazaries

Lyn and the famous lion fountain

One of the internal gardens
Lyn walked back to Morag to give Button a break as she had been left for nearly 4 hours while I went on to visit the Generalife site nearby. This was just as interesting with many attractive water gardens.
After the visit we drove to a supermarket to stock up on supplies. Then on to the campsite for our evening meal and to rest weary legs.
Water gardens in the Genralife

Wedenesday 18th January
Skipping Seville

We packed Morag for our journey onward. We had intended to go on to Seville but, with our experience of parking problems visiting Granada, we decided instead to go on to El Puerto de Santa Maria near Jerez. Once again, the scenery on the journey was very interesting but with very few places to stop and enjoy the views.
The Sierra Cadiz on the way to Jerez
We reached the campsite at about 4:30. The site is very large and surprisingly full! We were shown to our pitch and, after "dropping anchor", we took Button for her evening walk on the beach, just across the road from the campsite.The beach was super; extensive with fine soft sand and clumps of palm trees here and there. Button loved it and rushed around like a puppy.
The beach at El Puerto de Santa Maria

Our 8 year old puppy!

We went for a meal in the site bar/restaurant. The meal was OK but the room was quite cold. I don't think they are geared up for low temperatures here; it was only about 4 degrees C.

Thursday 19th January
Searching for a restaurant

We took Button for her morning walk to the beach then walked into the town in the hope of finding somewhere for lunch. We had a coffee in a bar but were unable to find a restaurant that we fancied. Looking at the map later I realised that the restaurants were concentrated around one area near the river.
We walked back to Morag and had a snack lunch of bread, cold meat and cheese. We had passe a restaurant on the way back and decided that we would try that for our evening meal.We took Button back to the beach and through the nearby pine woods for her late afternoon walk, then walked to the restaurant only to find that it was closed! We returned to the campsite and had our evening meal in the bar/restaurant. We had a very good dish of mixed fried fish including shrimps, calamari, anchovies and battered fish pieces.

Friday 20th January

After Button's now regular morning walk on the beach, we drove into Jerez to visit one of the Sherry Bodegas. Once again we had difficulty finding a parking spot for Morag as the car park near to Gonzales Byass was underground with a height limit. We eventually found an on street parking place.
Our visit to Gonzales Byass was excellent with a comprehensive tour of the site followed by generous samples of four of the sherries accompanied by tapas. The sherries included Tio Pepe and Croft Original with which we were already familiar but my favourite of the four samples was a dry Oloroso sherry called Alfonso. We bought some bottles at the bodegas shop to take home. It was a very good value tour at €21 each.
Sherry casks

Lyn sampling the Tio Pepe

Four sherries and tapas
We drove back to the campsite via the supermarket, stocking up our supplies for the journey north to Bilbao tomorrow.

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