A somewhat random post that covers our recent trip and some thoughts that have been with me since I got home.
We booked flights for late July for another 10 days in the place I sincerely want to call home someday. I had arranged to meet up a few people who I had met on social media (not girls, already done that and got the t-shirt 🙂 ).
I love Granada Airport particularly because there is nowhere to get lost and everything is close to hand. On arrival I collected my bag and went to sort out our hire car, I was ready to collect the girls as they arrived out of the Arrivals gate probably no more than 10-15 minutes later. The rest of the journey consists of crossing the road to where the car was parked, jumping in and driving for about an hour to Mercadona at Baza. I must add here that I love the drive, you skirt the edge of Granada City and head up and between the Sierra de Huétor mountains then as leave the mountains you are greeted by The Hoya de Guadix (which is a natural plain). The scenery changes from snow, greenery and craggy light coloured rock to orange and yellow sandstone plateaus and troughs with pale green poplars in the lowlands and this is where the cave houses start appear in almost every spot imaginable spot and plenty of unimaginable ones too. The A-92 skirts Guadix and as you are leaving you may spot the Railway Station on the right which was used as a location for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or The Old Sugar Factory which was used as a location for Sergio Leone’s “Duck You Sucker/Fistful of Dynamite” (actually there are few locations in and near Guadix used in this particular film)….. digressing again…
The last bit of the trip is up and out of Guadix and on towards the lower edge of the Sierra de Baza, the scenery now changes into dry valleys and flat plateaus with pretty little dilapidated farms and small holdings scattered among olive and almond groves followed by the imposing greenery and craggy peaks of the Sierra de Baza on the right. Another 10 minutes and a little bit of normal road driving and we are at the Mercadona (or maybe Lidl because we like to mix it up a bit).
We went to a music night in the Cortes at Jairo’s Bar which was very well attended by immigrants/expats or whatever you want to call them and plenty of locals. There isn’t a massive British community here, which is one of the reasons I like the place so much but it was however interesting to see so many of them all in one place at the same time…… still disappointed that I am missing the Fiesta though !
We had also arranged to hook up with Danny and Josie who run the One Foot in the Cave blog for a bit of exploring. This was a great afternoon shuffling around Baza and being shown things that I had either heard of but not seen, not heard of and not seen. I will say here that the Arab Baths are well worth a visit partially because what looks like a public toilet block from the outside is actually very nice on the inside and it’s free to visit which is always a bonus. The Alcazaba is worth a look to even though there is next to nothing left of it… the views of the Sierra de Baza are fantastic. Danny takes a lot of interest in his surroundings and local history so was a great guide and host. I did my usual thing of expecting to go exploring when the temperature is in the 40’s and immediately found myself in the position of wanting to sit down and sup cold lagers, fortunately this is Spain and it’s accepted here.
We did a little more cave viewing at various friends houses and both got the standard issue “Cave Envy” that seems to rear it’s head when you see other peoples places. They are all so different. It’s nothing like viewing “actual houses” the different curves, arches, niches, quirks and odd little things that make caves so special really don’t happen the same in “actual houses”. To a passer by cave houses are anything from a Hole in the Hill to the front of a Villa slapped
on the side of a cliff but all you’ve seen is the outside. I guess the years of hard working families tinkering about to make them suit their needs, digging out a new room, an animal feeder, an almond store or a shelf is what makes them all so unique.
Just go and stay in one, in fact go and stay in lots…… some are going to be like glamping and some are going to be like palaces with everything in between.