Huelva, the back streets

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Road Trip de las Chicas

Our last night was a bitter sweet one: with the end of one adventure, came the beginning of another and also the arrival of Lindi’s mother. After we picked auntie Susan up at the airport and booked her into her hotel, we give her a grand night tour of Sevilla. Pretty city lights and a couple of vodka later, we join our friends one last time and head of to bed: tomorrow, nice and early, begins The Road Trip to eventually take us to Salamanca.caramelos
The Route of The Road Trip:

Granada - Cordoba - Merida - Salamanca

DIA UNO: First pit stop takes places at the side of the road, at some cafeteria, that looks a bit like the dining hall of a student residence, but where everything claims to be caseros – home made. And boy, do we dig into a meal of salad, fish, pureed potatoes and cookies that almost gives you the feeling that your own mother is spoon feeding you the Sunday lunch that she has been working on for two days straight with her fragile, loving little hands. It was gooooooood.
As we continue – Lindi and I not having to drive, in the magies vol, ogies toe fashion – the Spanish countryside folded out before us (in the moments that we were awake): luscious green fields, hundreds of energy brewing wind mills, small towns and run down churches. Before we know it, we have arrived at the place we shall rest our heads for the first evening.
That night we were treated to a guided city tour of Granada. We drive up windy, quaint little cobblestone roads, so narrow, you almost wouldn’t dare to walk there. We came to a halt, somewhere with a high altitude, and enjoyed the breath taking view that surrounded us. Granada lay before us like an ocean of warm, glowing lights and a vibrant bustle that even warmed our freezing little snouts from it’s distance. We then walk back to somewhere with a less significant altitude and were led to a cave-like looking place where we are served the best sangria in town and also watched an enigmatic and passionate Flamenco show. The lights were dimmed and the beauties and the arrogants took over the stage in a heated fashion – chests out, hands flaying, their feet feverishly tapping out beats that almost clash with those of the drum and guitar, all this with fixed expressions.

DIA DOS: Yet again, we get up early, chow a quick breakfast of sarmies al estillo de Espana and hop into a bus, that will this morning take us to pay a tribute to the Alambra – the Arabian palace situated in Granada, very famous, but not very pretty from the outside. Many hours, longs walks and a lot of historical facts later, our lives have basically been changed by the beauty and utter mystery of what we just experienced: to try and explain the detail - though, the word detail does not even have quite the accurate ring to it - of the gardens and rooms, will take up a couple of books’ pages. As we moved slowly, through all the intricate arches, over hand-painted tiles and up and down levels of ancient art, one could feel a certain sacredness almost resting one’s shoulder.
All too soon, we have to return to the real world and continue on the long road. The next treat, however, was not far away and the next pit stop was to be had in the city of Cordoba – home to the Mezquita. During dark and stormy times is Spain, when religion once again played puppeteer to the unruly storms, the Catholics decided to take over the mosque in Cordoba and transform it into a Cathedral. Thus, on the outside, the building merely looks like the same old, same old, but inside, alongside with typical Catholic nooks of Jesus or other dramatic and over the top artworks and stuff, can be seen the distinct flavour of Muslim architecture. Needless to say: amazing.
Finally we arrive in Merida, in for another round of magic.

DIA TRES: We trek through the little town of Merida, passing roman aqueducts locals carrying boxes of sweet-smelling churros and interesting little music shops, brunch on queso Manchego doused with olive oil, salad and coffee and resume along the roman paths where we quickly get sucked even further into a centuries’ old empire: a gladiator arena, theatre area, typical roman house (complete with mosaic floors) as well as captivating marble statues of gods and goddesses.
We stop for a divine lunch which we are served by a friendly, stocky Spaniard, of revuelto (scrambled eggs tossed with exotic mushrooms), mixed salad, fried fish and marinated tomatoes and a long copa of vino tinto, before we carry on to our end-destination, waving goodbye to the Romanesque palaces of our ancestors, the next stop forming the next chapter packed with Spanish tomatoes.

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