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Being Granada a city of Moorish origin, the tradition of Arab baths is still well alive. There are two places I checked out, and was very happy with both. You can also have a 15 minutes aromaterapy massage, which in both places was not very good - it was cheap, though. The prices in both establishments are similar and you need to make reservations in advance, at least theorethically. When you phone and try to reserve a 4pm or 6pm session, they will likely tell you that it's full and that wou can go there at 8 pm. However if you simply turn up, there are chances that you will be admitted. Here are the two addresses:
Hammam Arabic Baths
Calle Santa Ana, 16
Tel: 958 22 99 78
Aljibe de San Miguel Arab Baths
next to Obispo Hurtado Street
958 522 867.
The Hammam Arabic Baths are smaller and more intimate, but there are only two pools, one with hote water and one with cold water. The Aljibe de San Miguel Arab Baths are larger and more crowded, but they also have more hot water pools at different temperatures. A swimsuit must be worn, but you can buy one at the baths, if necessary
Updated Mar 17, 2008
I suppose this tip could just as easily be classified as a warning or tourist trap, but I found it quite a charming local custom. All round the centre of the city, especially in the cathedral area, gypsy women accost you with offerings of a sprig of something delightfully aromatic and offer ( ?) to read your palm. I was actually standing on a wall ouside the Chapel Royal ( posing for a photo under an orange tree - what else ? ) when a young girl reached up and shoved this sprig into my hand. My husband was jumping up and down with rage behind because she'd already asked him and he'd refused, but I quite enjoyed the experience. She told me I had excellent health and I told her she was wrong so she changed that to excellent head health and that I was very intelligent. Clever girl herself obviously !! Next she told me I had 3 children, all big now ( very observant ) . I told her I had 4 and without missing a beat she picked up my other hand and spotted one she'd missed. She was funny and in no way aggressive and I had no problem with giving her a few euro for her quick wit. We all like to romanticise the gypy connection with Granada so I think it's not too surprising that they are going to milk that for what it's worth in economic terms.
Written Jul 5, 2007
Seems everywhere I've gone in the past several years I've found graffiti aimed at the current President of the United States but I don't view it as Anti-American sentiment as much as Anti-Bush sentiment. I think people in other countries can separate the people from the US from the politics and leaders of the US.
I didn't personally encounter any anti-American sentiments while in Spain so felllow Americans, no need to sew those maple leaves on your back pack just yet ;-)
Written May 29, 2006
The pomegranate appears on the city of Granada's coat of arms and Granada is the Spanish word for pomegranate so I expected to see pomegranates everywhere but the pomegranate I found on the side of this building and these little metal posts that divided the street from the sidewalk were the only ones I saw. Well, except for the really, really, really tacky smiling pomegranate souvenir I picked up for my husband, it looks like someone has taken a couple of big bites out of his head, the poor little fellow!
Would it have hurt to have a few dancing pomegranates in the Plaza Bib-Rambla? All we saw was an overheated Barney (you know, the I love you, you love me magenta dinosaur that seemingly rational adults loathe to the point of violence) and some really annoying mimes. Yes, I know annoying mimes is redundant.....
Updated May 21, 2006
I don't think this is unique to Granada or even Spain but as I was wandering around Sunday afternoon I found that most shops were closed including grocery stores. I pretty much wandered the entire central district before finally finding a mini market where I could buy some drinks and snacks. And I found very few shops open although we did do some shopping in the touristy Alcaiceria district (Old Moorish silk market), just north of the Plaza Bib-Rambla and some of the tourist souvenir shops along the Plaza were open as well as the ones near the Cathedral.
Updated May 16, 2006
So you thought you'd seen it all, huh? So you thought you'd be brave and try Granada? I approach a sign at the bus station clearly marked with English text stating "Tourist Information Centre," and ask the big fat lady working the counter in my fumbled-Spanish for a schedule to Malaga, please. She slams her open palm with all her might onto the counter, "No comprende!", throws two photocopies at me, and storms into the back room never to be seen again. Welcome to Granada, young man! This is a sign of things to come--from hotel staff, bus drivers, waiters, waitresses, store vendors, Alhambra ticket agents, shifty homeless guys. What the hell did I do wrong? Why is everybody so angry here? Excuse me for freakin' living!
Bonus Tip: Carry a baseball bat around in one hand. There's a small chance people might be polite and treat you with some dignity it they think you might give them a conk on the head. I wouldn't guarantee it though.
Updated May 16, 2006
Granada's walled Alhambra was full of pussy cats. All over the place. Generally friendly and often hardly more than kittens. Especially around the snack bars - cats are certainly resourceful and not stupid :-)
There was a particularly strange looking grey one near the Alcazabar. I think she had some wolf in her genetic code.
Some of the older cats had their right ear clipped - maybe because they had been given 'the chop'
Written Nov 26, 2005
In Europe, dining is an experience that is meant to be enjoyed and not hurried through. This is reflected in the wait staff service. You may end up sitting for quite a long time after your dessert has long been eaten and your espresso quaffed. That's because your waiter will not bring you your check until you've asked for it. They don't bring it automatically because they don't want to seem like they are eager to rush you out of the place. So when you're ready to leave, simply get your waiter's attention and confidently ask, "La cuenta, por favor."
Written Jul 8, 2005
At least eat this once. It is the local speciality.
I must say that I liked it , to my surprice , since
I'm not used to eat beans. But I did find it a bit greacy.
It is Ham (Jamon) made in the Sierra from
Trevélez and very soft , juicy beans. The time I
ate it , they served an egg on top.
It works well , the combimation of salty porc
meat and beans and it is not expensive.
Written Jun 29, 2005
'Gargoyles'. I simply love them.
They are not typical for Granada of course.
You can find them on almost every gothic
church , cathedral. They are used to lead
the rainwater from the roof away from the
walls in order not to damage them too much.
I love them because it was one of those rare
moments that early artist could express their
creativity. In most cases the subject was from the
bible. But making a 'gargoyle' and imagining evil
was a chance to get loose.
Go and see them on the cathedral.
Updated Jun 28, 2005
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