Monday, May 12, 2014

Last Day of Riding – Into Granada

I have pretty much run out of superlatives as I have described the cycling and the food on this trip. So I will summarize today’s ride as “perfect.”
We awoke from a peaceful night in our caves, with several people remarking about how quiet it was. (For me, every night is quiet since I simply take out my hearing aids.) Cave dwelling is quite common in this region, in large part because the caves maintain a constant temperature of about 62 degrees, eliminating the need for air-conditioning, although some heating is required in the winter.  Some of the caves have elaborate facades on the outside, so that they look like standard homes, and as you cycle through the region, you see television antennas on top of all the mounds in which the caves are located.

After a good breakfast, we set out on a short ride with some climbing before lunch, and a nice descent to Granada after a wonderful picnic. The climbing was easy, made more enjoyable by the constantly changing scenery and the cool temperatures – and real trees that provided shade. Just after cresting the hill we some professional Spanish cyclists (team Lotto Belisol) training for the upcoming season.
Right after seeing these riders, we regrouped for our picnic. Philipp and Rick had put out a really great spread with enough food for twice as many people as we actually had. We all ate our fill at a leisurely pace and then continued the descent for the remaining 10 miles or so into Granada. City traffic was a bit hectic, but we all made it into the hotel with ease.
Before I had a chance to complete this blog post, we all got together for the festivities of our final evening. We started off with a visit to a small shop and had a tasting of two hams – a serrano, and a top quality Iberico. We all agreed that the Iberico was far superior
We then walked, mostly uphill, through the old quarters of the city with Philipp providing expert commentary. From our high vantage point, we had an excellent view of the Alhambra, which we will visit tomorrow. We had the usual, lengthy, dinner at Mirador de Morayma, a large restaurant with many indoor and outdoor seating areas. We ate outdoors, with great views of the Alhambra as the sun set over it.

As the day draws to a close, I will post this, and then tomorrow afternoon after my sightseeing, I will do a wrap up post on this year’s cycling/dining/sightseeing experience in Andalucia, Spain. By the way, today's pictures are from the iPhone, since the camera that fell in the water is still drying out.

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