andalucía: a churreria cafe, the alcaiceria & the granada cathedral

Thursday, July 11: This morning, we drive to Granada and stroll into the Bib Rambla, also called Plaza de las Flores (Square of Flowers), part of the old Silk Market and now the Flower Market of Granada.  In the center of the square is the Gigantones Fountain from the seventeenth century, which is held up by some very ugly characters. The Plaza Bib Rambla is named after Bab ar Ramia, meaning a ‘wall gate’. It was used in Moorish times for bull running.

some ugly characters hold up the Gigantones Fountain
some ugly characters hold up the Gigantones Fountain

We stop to sample some delicious Chocolate and Churros in Andalucía.  A churro, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, is a fried-dough pastry-based snack. It is normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate or cafe con leche.  It’s delicious!

Churreria Cafe in Granada
Churreria Cafe in Granada
Churrerias!
Churros!
me eating churrerias
me eating churros!
making churrerias
making churros

Walking through the square we pass the Bishops Palace and walk into the Alcaiceria, the well-preserved old silk market.

a courtyard in the Alcaiceria
a courtyard in the Alcaiceria
spices for sale
colorful delicacies for sale
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
Alcaiceria
spices for sale near the cathedral
nuts for sale near the cathedral

Barry leaves us to explore the Granada Cathedral on our own. But before he does, he takes me to an ATM so I can get some cash for tonight’s flamenco show.  When I put the card into the machine, a traveler’s worst nightmare happens.  A message comes up that my card isn’t valid and the machine eats my debit card!

Luckily the bank is open and one of the bankers inside returns my card to me.  But he tells Barry the card has a stop on it and he shouldn’t be giving it back at all.  However, he can see the look of panic on my face and kindly returns it.

Despite having the card in my hand, it puts a damper on my day.  I know I don’t dare put it back into an ATM again.  I need to wait till it’s morning in the USA, so I can contact Mike and ask him to check with the bank about the card.  Luckily I know the PIN number for my Barclay Bank credit card and I’m able to get some cash out using that.  However, I don’t want to use a credit card for cash advances because of the exorbitant interest attached to cash advances on such cards.

I try to forget about this whole debacle because there is nothing I can do about it now.  I go into the Granada Cathedral and try to shake off my worries.  I love this cathedral because it’s light and bright inside, unlike many of the gloomy cathedrals I’ve seen throughout Spain.  I also love the circular capilla mayor with its star-painted dome.

Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral

Unlike most cathedrals in Spain, this cathedral’s construction had to wait until the Nasrid kingdom of Granada was acquired from its Muslim rulers in 1492; while its very early plans had Gothic designs, the church’s construction in the main occurred at a time when Spanish Renaissance designs were coming into play. Foundations for the church were laid by the architect Egas starting from 1518 to 1523 atop the site of the city’s main mosque; another architect took over in 1529, and it took four more decades to complete the design.

Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral

The most unusual feature of is a circular capilla mayor rather than a semicircular apse, perhaps inspired by Italian ideas for circular ‘perfect buildings.’ It took 181 years for the cathedral to be built.  Baroque elements were introduced into the facade during this long period, beginning in 1667.  Two large 81 meter towers foreseen in the plans were never built for various reasons, among them, financial (Wikipedia: Granada Cathedral).

Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral’s circular capilla mayor
Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral’s round capilla mayor with its star-studded ceiling
Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral

We meet again and walk through the town and along a small river, where we get our first glimpse of the Alhambra on the spur above.

first views of the Alhambra
first views of the Alhambra

We also pass by some strange street art.

Street art in Granada
Street art in Granada
a little river below the Alhambra
a little river below the Alhambra
view of the Alhambra from our restaurant
view of the Alhambra from our restaurant

Before heading to the Alhambra, we stop for some tapas.  We won’t be having dinner tonight until after 8:00, when we go to see a flamenco show, so we need something light to hold us over.

cafe where we have lunch
cafe where we have lunch
Manchego Cheese
Manchego Cheese

We share a plate of Manchego cheese, a Spanish potato omelette, and artichoke hearts topped with anchovies.

omelette
Spanish potato omelette
artichokes with sardines
artichoke hearts topped with anchovies
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another tapas lunch

We also share some “little shrimps” crispy fritters with pearsil (parsley).

fritters
fritters

We can see the Alhambra beckoning us from above.  We’re due to begin our visit there at 3:00; we have timed tickets to enter the Nasrid Palaces at 6:00.

views of the Alhambra
views of the Alhambra
views of the Alhambra
views of the Alhambra

So, after our late lunch, we drive up to the entrance to the Alhambra, for the highlight of our visit to Andalucía.

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8 thoughts on “andalucía: a churreria cafe, the alcaiceria & the granada cathedral

  1. I just saw you in the comments on Jo’s blog, so followed you here. Wonderful photos, Cathy. That cathedral is really awe inspiring, but my favourites are your food pics. I’m now craving some Churros.🙂

    1. Thanks for joining in my journey, Sylvia. I’m actually at the end now, two more days in Lisbon, then I’m back to the USA! However, I’ve only managed to post through the 11th, and I’m not even finished with that. Of course I’ve just gotten further and further behind every day of travel. But I’m loving it! I love food pictures; they help me relive each of those delicious meals!! I miss those churros now too!

  2. The market shots are wonderful, Cath. We never got there, but did sit listening to a flamenco guitarist at one of those cafes by the river Dauro- an enduring memory. 🙂

    1. I hear that churros are pretty common in many places; wherever one can find them, I’m sure they’re equally delicious!🙂 I loved the brightness of Granada’s cathedral. It seemed really different from most of the other cathedrals I saw on my trip (and believe me, there were many!)

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