Up early to the bus station, a quick coffee, load some blog and 3 hours later we arrive in Granada. A taxi to tourist info, map and accommodation directions in hand. Very easy and Granada immediately strikes us as a city where we feel comfortable. Slightly cooler than Sevilla. Our pension is spartan, the room large and centrally located, for 35 euro it might be the best value we have had in Spain. We are only 150 m from the entry to the Alhambre and so we decide to take a walk to orient ourselves with the huge complex of gardens, palaces and Generalife buildings.
Finding the Museo des Bellas Artes we are again confronted with 16 and 17C religious iconography. This time, however, it is well explained and as we progress from sala to sala we find more and more contemporary art. As we thought, the religious paintings are the result of commissions from the church (mostly Catholic Reformationists competing with the Protestant groups) and royal patrons. Later, more contemporary works are commissioned by the middle class and reflect daily life. There is a tendency towards still life. Finally we are looking at electronic installations, books floating in huge blue tanks, interactive video displays, a lion made of shredded car tyres and sequined dummies. The contrast in styles is refreshing. The Alhambre overwhelming. It will take 2 days to appreciate.
Dinner of goat’s cheese, tomato and baked sea bass with obligatory vinos finds us ready for bed. It is 9 pm and the Spanish are just starting up. An Austrian student tells us he meets his friends at 2-3 am to start partying. His classes start around 12.30 in the afternoon. We cannot bring ourselves to waste the beautiful days in bed.
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