Hola, from Granada where it’s so hot they cover the streets so that even the cars stay cool.
For serious. It’s so damn hot I keep hearing Robin Williams’ speech in Good Morning Vietnam.
It’s so damn hot I unnecessarily cross streets in search of the smallest sliver of shade.
Not like this guy, who’s all, “Show me the sunny!”
It’s so damn hot when I come in from outside, it takes me a few minutes to decide whether the A/C is even on.
It’s so damn hot, after I shower and get dressed, I have to smell my hair to remind myself that I washed it because it’s dry already.
It’s so damn hot, I don’t think I can construct any other sentences that don’t begin with, “It’s so damn hot.”
Kidding. I’ll try. But just to give you an idea of how it’s going so far…
It actually only just got real hot. The first two days in Cordoba were rather pleasant and bearable, weather-wise. And I know: It’s about the same temperatures in New York right now so I should stop my complaining. Plus, I chose the destination and I chose July. The thing is, in New York, I wouldn’t be wandering the streets trying to see and explore as I am here. I’d be sitting inside my air conditioned apartment with the curtains drawn watching So You Think You Can Dance in between trying to write.
Luckily, the Spanish take their siestas very seriously so I can retreat inside to an air conditioned room and not feel too bad about it. I remember this from the first time I visited Madrid and Barcelona with my sister many years ago. Town shuts down around 4p.m. Closed, cerrado, done, finito, see you later, hasta la huego.
Lunch is served between 2 and 4; dinner between 10 and 12. It’s an adjustment to someone like myself who loves the daytime, but it’s actually allowing me to really treat this as a “working holiday,” which was the intention. So right now, I’m resting—New York-style, which means I’m doing something while trying to do nothing—and I’ll go out in a few hours to see the sunset at some vista point in town, eat more tapas (because “When in Spain…”) and then watch the Argentina match at 10p.m. Hopefully they won’t be as much of a disappointment as their South American neighbors were last night.
I was supposed to go on a 10-mile bike ride through the Albayzin, which is the Medieval Moorish district of Granada known for its windy, maze-like streets. But it was scheduled to depart at 6p.m. this evening when it was (say it with me now) SO DAMN HOT at a whopping 91-degrees. Since most of it is uphill, I put the kibosh on that for today. To be honest, I feel like I got suckered into it to begin with. I had just arrived at Granada bus station after a three-hour ride, and the young woman at the very nondescript tourist information desk—who was about my age—complimented my nail polish color. I’m not that shallow, really, but we had a moment. She spoke perfect English and gave me directions for how to get into town (via two buses as opposed to an expensive cab ride) so I felt she got me. I trusted her. (Or wanted to.) When she asked if I had any tours planned, I told her I wasn’t so into tours and didn’t really plan much, other than having pre-purchased a ticket to the Alhambra for Friday. Then she asked how I like to get around, and when I mentioned walking and biking, she suggested this tour. Maybe I was tired. Or just nausea from having sat on a bus for three hours. Or was still “riding” high from the night bike tour I did in Cordoba, which involved mischievously wheeling through that city’s maze-like streets in search of sangria and tortilla’s with a Venezuelan, two Dutch and our good-looking leader José (sadly, not pictured).
Or maybe it was the E15 discount. Yup. It was definitely the discount. As if I couldn’t find this price anywhere else and had to commit right. then. and there. See? Suckered.
Whatever. I’ll get some much needed exercise. To say I’ve been eating well would be putting it lightly. Tapas may be small bites, but when you have a bunch of them…well, you do the math. Also, they eat everything with bread. EVERYTHING.
If you’re wondering whether I’ve packed well, I have—despite having already worn 20-percent of what I brought. I suppose I could’ve brought less and taken advantage of Rebajas—Spain’s infamous end-of-season sale—but I need nothing. In fact, I can say for sure if I did not bring my Spanish-looking snakeskin wedges I would’ve already bought a new pair by now and that’s just silly. I did buy a really pretty fan today, though. Did I mention it was so damn hot?
I’m also really glad I brought my pillow. The place I stayed in Cordoba was comfortable, but I’d definitely have kinks in my neck by now without my squishy headrest. So what’d I forget? The full Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer I wear everyday, as opposed to the near empty one it was meant to replace and extra business cards, which is sorta annoying since I have so many and made them for the sole purpose of promoting my blog and travel writing. Ah well.
In my three days of traveling so far, I have taken a plane, one train, three buses and one bike ride. I haven’t done any yoga yet—or, as they pronounce it here, JOGA; which is kind of funny because the pronounce jazz, YAZZ. (And WiFi, WeeFee.) But I digress. I’ll probably hit up a class in Seville, which is likely to have more options because as I understand it, it’s a bit more cosmopolitan.
Other than that, all is bueno. Even my Spanglish. I’m enjoying the thrill of getting lost and sweaty and suckered, but more importantly here in España, I’m enjoying the forced reminder to slow down. I gave myself a month to do just that, after all. Hot damn!Side note: This should go without saying, but if anyone’s been to Granada or Sevilla or any of the other places I’m hitting up on this trip, please COMMENT with any must do/eat/see suggestions. Like, for example, if I’m doing the bike tour of the Albayzin, should I not bother walking through it earlier in the day? Seems repetitive to me, but maybe it’s also worth a wander on foot too? Do tell! I don’t have all the answers. Geez.