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Oasis Granada Hostel near the Alhambra

Posted at:11 August, 2015 in Ambassador Blog

Aug 5 (cont’d)

From Valencia I caught a train, a train and a bus to get to Granada…

…It was about 7 hours of travel to get from place to place.  It is incredibly dry as transportation takes you further south and all I could think about was how much I would have enjoyed being on a motorcycle to make the same drive with the wind in my face.

The bus dropped me off at the Granada train station and I walked the 20 minutes or so in the 37⁰ C heat to get to the Granada Oasis Hostel.  There were directions on how to arrive by city bus on the website, but I wanted a feel for the city so I tried my feet instead.

The narrow uphill/stairs street just before the first left that takes you to the hostel, the people, the spicy smell in the air, the sheesha cafes, and the style of clothing for sale makes make you feel like you are in Morocco rather than Spain.

It is amazing how there are miles and miles and miles of olive trees on the drive from Cordoba to Granada.  Over the hills, and as far as the eye can see in any direction, are perfect rows of olive trees that just go on and on and on.  Elevated dusty looking towns of white buildings encircle hills, leaving the more fertile land below for the crops.  I am sure there are other places in the world that produce olives, but to me it looks like just this area has triple more than enough for the world’s annual olive supply.  It makes me wonder just how many olives are consumed in a year.  I am going to Google that…Facts are coming….Wow!  2,823,500 tonnes of olives are consumed worldwide each year!

A really sweet girl named Monica checked me in to the Oasis Granada Hostel near the Alhambra.  The hostel uses four floors, and the center is a giant courtyard where you can look down from any floor at the lounge on the bottom floor that fits neatly into the square below.  There are plants and vines growing all over the railings on all of the floors.

Oasis Hostel Granada

There is a roof terrace where people can hang out in the sun, and outside on the bottom floor where the reception is located is a bar next to a small swimming pool.  From there you can cool your oursides with the pool water while the beer cools your insides.  It was sweltering outside.  Lovely Monica came with me to the six-bed dorm I was staying in to turn on the air conditioning.  I am learning the pleasures of siesta time!

The growth on the 3rd floor of Oasis Hostel Granada.

The growth on the 3rd floor of Oasis Hostel Granada.

Free Dinners: Granada is Awesome!

In the evening, I headed out to see the city.  Monica had recommended a tapas bar called Babel World Fusion where I ordered a local beer for €3 and they gave me a couple of free pieces of sushi on a plate a few moments after my beer arrived.  I told my waiter that I was still hungry and he said he would bring two of his favorite tapas plates when I did not know what to order.  I made friends with two girls who joined me at my table, and when we went to leave and I went to pay my bill, it was only €3 for my three tapas.  What?  All of the tapas is free!  I had a €3 beer and they fed me.  I had heard a rumour of how this worked before I arrived…  I have found out first hand that it is completely true.  Granada is awesome!

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Aug 6

I woke up and had the Oasis Hostel breakfast…

…There is a man in the kitchen who cooks eggs for you as you munch down your cereal and toast with oregano sprinkled tomatoes.

I had been in the heat for hours, so I parted from the girls and headed to Oasis Hostel to act like a local and indulge in a siesta.  I like those.  In the rest of the world people call you old when you need a nap.  Not here.  Maybe I will live here….  Monica at the hostel told me that the siesta was invented by the Spanish because it gets so hot, that there is nothing to do but sleep off some of the heat during the day.  I asked her if it was invented by her ancestors.  She told me with confidence that it was!

Granada is built in the consistent Spanish heat, so many of the gypsies of old built their homes in caves in the mountains around the city.  I am not talking ‘enter through a hole in the earth’ caves, but regular Spanish house-faces with the back of the house inside of the hill to keep it cool.  I walked as far as a lookout point called Mirador San Miguel Alto to oversee the city to look at the strange housing.  As I was being a tourist, I met two girls, Andrea from the United States and Janika from Estonia who was rocking firey red hair.  We became friends when they were drinking from a public water fountain and I asked if the water was cold, to which Janika responded by trying to splash me from the fountain.  Awesome!   We spent the rest of the day touring around the city together.

My Granada Hostel near the Alhambra!

Our day out took us to Alhambra, a massive palace that started out as a small fortress in the year 889.  It was later renovated and rebuilt in the mid 11th century by the Moors and then it was converted into a royal palace in 1333.  Of course time changes everything and eventually the palace was abandoned, leaving it in ruins which squatters took over.  It was rediscovered in the 1800’s by European scholars and restoration took place again.  Now ‘former squat’ Alhambra is a main tourist attraction in Spain. I’m glad I’ve got a Granada Hostel near the Alhambra.

Look at the finely trimmed work!

Look at the finely trimmed bush!

In the evening, the hostel organized a Tapas Tour that ten of us signed up for to see more of Granada and to drink cheap beer that would supply us with food.  I spent most of the time chatting with a really cool German classical guitar player who came to Granada to take Flamenco lessons, and two funny Frenchmen that told me, “Vee are from France center.  Not like Pareee.  Vee are the rheel French!”  I have been meeting a lot of cool French people on this trip.

FYI – In Estonian, ‘Terviseks’ is the word for ‘cheers.’  ‘Kaksteist Kuud’ means ‘twelve months.’  Funny!

It was €2 for a glass of beer and tapas.  Everyone had two drinks and two tapas and then the tour was moving to another restaurant.  Then we found a really cool square where we sat in a beer garden where more beer and more food was delivered to us.

I am not sure why people in Granada are not huge humans from all of this beer and eating.  Maybe they just sweat out all of the calories rather than store them.

The street leading you to Oasis Hostel Grenada.

The street leading you to Oasis Hostel Grenada.

Aug 7

When I got up this morning for breakfast, desk manager Elena was working…

…She joined me for breakfast.  That woman radiates good energy.  I re-named her ‘Ray of Sunshine.’  I chatted with her about the hostel, checked out of Oasis Granada and spent €1.20 on two buses to get me to the main bus station.  I found a ticket machine, paid €13.72 for the 1:45h bus that would haul me to Malaga.  When I sat down in the cafeteria to kill time for my bus, Janika and Andrea were at the table next to me.  Awesome irony!  I hung out with them until their bus took them to Madrid and I caught mine 15 minutes later to Malaga.

Oasis Granada Hostel near the Alhambra
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