It is 1AM and I can’t sleep… My sleep got so messed up over the last few days. Up early Sunday morning and only a 6:40PM flight from Philly to Madrid. I hoped against hopes that I would sleep on the plane but pretty much failed at all attempts.
After arriving in Madrid we had to collect our bags and make our way to the Metro. After walking what seemed like a mile through the airport we arrived at the Metro where I purchased our tickets. Thankfully our train arrived within seconds of stepping on the platform so we didn’t have to wait. But we did have to stand on the train, though not for long. Then we switched from the line 8 to line 6 circular and again only waited less than 1 minute for the train. This time we were fortunate to find seats (not together, but who can have everything) and we could relax for about 20 minutes while we sped through the underground en route to Méndez Álvaro station which just happened to also be a regional bus station. We hit up the ATM to get some euros, purchased our tickets from Madrid to Granada and then chilled in the café area… Sipped cafe con leche and ate churros and empanadas.
As you can see it was good to the last drop!
Finally the time arrived to board our bus. I admit that I missed a lot of the beautiful scenery because even if I wasn’t sleeping I was trying to sleep and had the blue blanket I took from my US Airways flight draped over my head to keep out the light. My dad took some photos using his phone so maybe he’ll share then with me and I’ll share then with you. All I know is when I removed my blanket I saw some amazing mountains.
here are some pics I transferred from his iPad to my iPad for your viewing pleasure… You can see a little glare but will beautiful…
We finally made it to Granada and after grabbing our luggage, again, we walked upstairs and outside where once again the bus we wanted rolled up within seconds of walking out there. I had euro coins so we easily paid the bus driver and proceeded to find seats across from one another. Now this is when it got a little tricky. When we were in Madrid on the Metro, all the stops were announced and there was a picture in the train wall that showed the various stops… not so much with the bus service. No announcements were made. No picture of the route was in the wall of the bus and I could not read a road sign to save my life. I knew where I wanted to hop off, in theory, but couldn’t tell when we were there. Finally I saw a sign at one of the bus stops that said Gran Via 3 which was a exciting as we were supposed to get off at Gran Via 1 (according to Rick Steves). So shortly after that I did what any other normal person would do… I asked the bus driver and she told me to get off the next stop. Success!
There was a little bit of map consulting to make sure we were headed in the right direction and then within 5 minutes we were walking up the steep street to check in at the Pension/hotel Austria. We averted having our palms read by the gypsy women on the street and checked in.
Maybe I am cynical but it seems very trustworthy that instead if paying up front like in the US we just have to stop by the afternoon before we check out to settle our bill. Well, they do have my credit card on file from the reservation…
We are on the second floor and the step are steep, narrow and marble with mosaic tile inlay. My poor dad was having quite a time lugging his 40 pound suitcase up the steps, wheels or no wheels. So after I opened the room door I grabbed his suitcase and he walked a lot easier up the stairs with just his messenger bag. I ended up passing out for about 5 hours after we got into our room and didn’t wake up until close to midnight hence no exciting stories from tonight.
The room is a little spartan but it is clean, centrally located, and has great water pressure! It was also very affordable.
It also is extremely convenient for the activities of tomorrow. We will be walking up our street abut 25-30 min and then embarking in a morning tour of Alhambra. I can’t speak on this subject too much right now but I’m sure by tomorrow night’s post I will have become a minor expert on its history! There will also be tremendous photos, I can feel it. In the meantime enjoy the view from my balcony…