My latest gig!

When our Spanish adventure ended last August, I made it back to the states, and to my home town. I walked directly into a new teaching job at the local community college. I loved the job, my work colleagues were great. My students were alright, for the most part, meaning that my situations were within my ability to manage.

My only complaint was that my job was only three days a week, outstanding pay at 19.50 an hour, but no benefits. I also had an inner feeling it would somehow be temporary, since I was only hired in from contract to contract. My nagging fears came true this past October when this Covid 19 business struck, and on March 17th with absolutely no warning, the entire department I worked for was abruptly sent home.

To be honest, I knew it was coming. My wife worked for the local school system, and she was already home bound. The entire school where I worked had mass meeting that morning, nothing was said then. At 1400 we were called back into the gymnasium for another mass meeting. This was very unusual, since I had been employed there for nearly a year already. I figured we would all be given the ax then. I was right in the end, my gut never lies. We were told to go home for a month and a half, until further notice.

Before the month and a half was up, my supervisor with the college called me. She informed me to go on and find another job. She would allow me to use her as a reference, and the others. The entire department I was employed by at the college, was folding due to a lacking in state funding. Our job accounts were consequently annulled.

Well the school continued to pay me for the next two months. The shafted me for five hundred dollars the last month, but I could still cover my bills. The whole world had shut down! I am in my fifties, and have never seen such a situation in my entire life. The good news is I had all of this free time inside the house, and I knew just how to make use of it!

I sat down and began editing my manuscripts and writing more of many types. I had five literature journals publish my poetry. My epic poem was finally in print, “March Of The Divine Magnificent.” I had self published it years before, but a traditional publisher agreed, knowing it was already SP. https://wipfandstock.com/march-of-the-divine-magnificent.html I had numerous other publishing success stories during this time, which could have otherwise been a trying time. http://scars.tv/cgi-bin/framesmain.pl?writers .

I also wrote a 43K word novel and edited it. The title is “They Called Him Ringo Arenas.” Yes, this book is a western. I haven’t found a publisher yet, but the manuscript has been sent out to maybe ten companies. I keep searching for an agent, but alas, no luck as of yet. Be sure to secure a copy of the anthology I was published in at a discount price of $10.00 American. http://scars.tv/ccdissues/295mar20/Another_Lifetime.htm

Anyway, my plan is to keep on writing until the day I drop. What I have learned is that if one keeps on making an effort at anything, he WILL achieve success on one level or another. I sure have with my writing, but no best seller, or living life on the same plateau as Hemingway…yet. When I finally achieve bragging rights success, I fully intend on publishing a how-to manual explaining every step of the way.

I have landed another working gig. I am doing some freelance writing for Upwork, and I am soon to be a bus driver for a municipality in the US Southeast. I will start driving at 35K, with full benefits. My intentions are to settle down until I can draw a check from it for life. I need maybe 12 more years or so. The steady income will be handy for my writing and other adventures, so stay tuned. https://literaryyard.com/2020/06/18/king-of-cat/

https://literaryyard.com/2020/06/18/babe-without-you-life-is-so-blue/ https://www.scarletleafreview.com/short-stories7/category/h-l-dowless

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Latest Gig And The Life It Brings!

Hello my fine audience! I just thought that I would update everyone since my last entry. We made it back from the airport to my present hometown, not far from Atlanta, Ga. While I didn’t land a teaching gig in Spain, before we made it back home, I had an e-mail from an application I filed with Indeed.com some six months ago prior. The Civilian Conservation Corp wanted to interview me for a teaching position they had!

I returned e-mail stating that I was interested. My interview took place three days later. I had to go through tons of paperwork, give them my transcripts, etc, but all was completed in a timely manner. Four days later I was on my first day at work.

The job hasn’t been bad. I am instructing students for the academic part of a trade school system. These students are to test, then graduate into a higher level of the system. So far all has been well.

The wife and I have settled back down into our apartment and lifestyle. As usual, I am writing as frequently as possible. I have had more success with getting my poems, short-stories, and articles published this year than I have in a long time. Its all about knowing when, where, and how to submit. So anyway, its on now like Donkey Kong! Stay tuned for more writing details. Until next time…

Traveling Spain And Greece On A Pauper’s Dime With A Purpose

Much has been going on this past week. We arose at 1100 hrs and left our hostel room in Malaga, Spain. We walked across the road to the bus station. At 1500 we hopped our bus back to Madrid. It was a seven hour ride and cost us 79 euros per ticket. This bus trip also served as our hotel room for the evening, since both the wife and I slept most of the way there.

When we made it back to Madrid, we hopped the metro line to Calle de 301 New Town, where our former host had our large bags. We left those bags with him prior to our trip to Greece, since the airline (Iberia) charged 100 euros per bag. Keep in mind that the last Metro train runs at 2400 hrs. By 2100 hrs we were at his apartment. We picked up our bags, paused for a few moments to say our good byes, then exited by 2130. We hopped the Metro line for the airport.

When we made it back to the airport, we checked our bags in. Getting checked in consumed an hour and one half. Our flight out to Amsterdam was at 0600. This gave us a bit of free time. We both wanted to sleep more, but couldn’t, since Spain’s airports have few seats, and all of them were filled. We sat down on the floor and made do the best that we could, as a result. I couldn’t sleep, so I played on my computer charged up the two nights earlier.

Finally 0500 arrived and we were boarding up. The plane took off on schedule at 0600, landing in Amsterdam at 0830. The airport at Amsterdam was rather large, and we only had an hour and a half to make it to our port. The airport there was easier to comprehend than the one in Madrid, with its directions and signs defying all common logic. By the time we found our gate, our plane was already boarding up. By 1000 hrs we were taking off again, heading to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The flight was ten hours long. We drank all the complimentary wine, beer, and whiskey that we could. We also slept a good bit of the way, waking up only for food. We landed in Minnesota at 2000 hrs. Here we had to run again, since the airport was rather large and our plane was leaving out soon back to our home area of Atlanta. The flight took only two hours.

Upon landing we were met by our children. Our eldest daughter carried us back to her place, where we spent the night. The next day the youngest daughter drove us out on the three hour drive back to our hometown, and our personal apartment. Even though we had slept well, we both still felt very fatigued. We offloaded our bags and materials, carried it all to the apartment, changed our clothes, then crashed for a few more hours of slumber.

Thus ends the log of my latest adventure offshore. I tried to find work in Spain, but needed another month to succeed. My funds exhausted, so that was out of the question. I would recommend AirBnB, just be careful to analyse the advertising claim, since the information could be slightly stretched. If something doesn’t sound quite right, then it probably isn’t. Check distances stated in the ad on the computer/google map, question references, etc.

I would never recommend ASAP tickets, however. Honestly, we never knew for certain what we were going to be handed. We were lucky in that our experience wasn’t a real catastrophe, and only a slight hair raiser with a bit of steam around the collar. The situation where our room wasn’t covered when we first landed in Madrid was the worst experience, although there were numerous times where we felt uneasy about our situation through them. In the end I had traveled to Spain, lived well for more than two months, toured several cities, and had memorable experiences that I will never forget. I managed to accomplish all of this for less two thousand dollars, including the air fares, bus fares, etc. My wife’s fares were another story, since the MA program itself cost 6K$ American, but it included several travel destinations and on certain occasions, really splendid food and accommodation. The experience was very well worth our money and effort spent.

So here I am back at my present home town. I interviewed at a local community college for work as a continuing Ed instructor. I don’t know if I will land it, but should know very soon. I have also written and submitted several stories and poems. One of my poems , “Wherefore Art Thou, My Love,” was submitted and accepted for publication by “Leaves Of Ink” literary journal today. For more real life wild eyed adventure stories, stay tuned right here at this link! Until next time….

Traveling Spain On A Pauper’s Dime With A Purpose

Today is our last full day in Malaga, or Spain in general. We decided to spend it at the beach. We intended to arise and make our way there before 0900, but we didn’t actually make it out until around 0930. By the time we made it, all of the chairs with umbrellas had been rented out. Securing one is possible for only 7 euros and the rent can last all day long into the night.

Live At The Beach!

We strolled along quietly and took our breakfast at an outdoor cafe’ called Coshilattes. Behind this restaurant is a large palm that casts a nice shadow. A wares peddler was attempting to sell blankets, more than likely from Morocco. He wanted 16 euros, but my wife talked him down to 8, and purchased a fine specimen of her own choice. On this blanket beneath the palm, with a backpack used for a pillow, we both lay in the shade, taking turns watching our bags and swimming.

Live On A Beach!

We remained in this spot, basically, moving only to get a bite of food. Later in the evening we purchased a local dish of rice, beans, shellfish, shrimp, and fish. We only paid 8 euros and were told that it was for two, but when we got the food, we were convinced that it was really only a dish for one. In the end we were both satisfied, however.

Our hostel is located directly across from the large train station with a mall inside. There are advantages and disadvantages in that. The greatest benefit is that being so located makes it simple for us to find our room later on. The con in the picture is that walking to the beach takes around 45 minutes to an hour. I don’t mind it, but the wife really struggles due to age related issues. We exited the beach around 2100 hrs and made it back to our room around 2200 hrs.

Take The Long Way Home

Traveling Spain On A Pauper’s Dime With A Purpose

We both arose from the Burger King and began walking around checking out our surroundings. Malaga is nice and very antique. The city is 2800 years old, and one of the longest continually inhabited places on earth. The Phonetician, a tribe of Canaanites just as the Hebrew were, began the city. It was a place of import/export commerce, since the Phoneticians build an empire on trade and business negotiation.

The Malaga exalt their history, not discard it simply because it might not fit into some sort of present day political agenda being forced upon its citizens. That is what I mean when I say that a place has soul. I found Naples, Italy, to be in the same category, as is Charleston, SC, and S.T. Augustine, Florida, back in the US. Atlanta is an entirely different story, however, but enough on that. I think that readers get the picture by now.

The City From Its Bastille Wall

We found a hostel for 70 euros a night, where we book up for the next two days. Here we place our suitcases and bags, only to hit the town walking around. We both had slept on the all night bus ride and felt fit as a fiddle, being completely rested. We hopped a city bus and rode all over the town, getting off at a few places here and there along the beach. Throughout Spain the city buses only cost 1.5 euros. Along the way we also purchase a hop on and off bus ticket for thirty euros a ticket. This ticket includes a free pass to eight different museums, a boat ride around the harbor, and a Flaminco show. We hopped the bus and spent the remainder of the day partying and strolling around in the city. The Flaminco show was excellent. We made it back to the hostel at 2130 that evening, and were exhausted by then.

The Last Fandago

The wife is talking about going to Morrocco, but the travel agency was closed by the time we made it. The deal seemed really good, with a bus tour, three meals included, and a return trip. We will see how everything turns out today.

We completed out bus tour, then hit the beach, where we walked around in the sun and sand all day long. From the knees down and on my arms half way up between my elbows and shoulders, not to mention my face and neck, I really have a good tan. We ate lamb, rice, salad, and french fries for only 7 euros at one of the beach cafes. This dish included the drink of our choice, from water, to juice, to whatever. We are back in our room now at 2205. We showered and are resting a bit, where we might go back out later on.

The Bull Fighting Ring, A Must See!

Traveling Spain & Greece On A Pauper’s Dime

Much has happened since the last time I made a post. We traveled to Greece. The first day we walked around the beach near where the resort was that we stayed. The resort was called Smaragdi, near a small beach front development called Perissa, although the true area is called Perivolos. The two municipalities once were separate, but now have grown together. Once out on the beach there were plenty of souvenir shops, small stores, and bars to pause at. We purchased a small drink, then lounged around underneath one of the umbrella areas near the beach listening to authentic Greek music be played to accompany our lounge. We stayed out until 2100 hours, then made our way back to the resort for some late night pool side relaxation.

Our second day was originally planned for the total island boat tour with Kamari Tours. We had a mishap, however , that caused us to postpone the tour until the next day. The resort room had a lock box for valuables. The lock worked by entering a four digit number into a computer. My wanted to get into the box and miss-stepped on the number. The problem was that this new number was preferred by the computer over the old one, and the wife forgot what number she had entered in, consequently jamming the computer system. I told the manager about the matter, who tried to break the code and enter in, but failed. He called in an expert at doing these things, who finally opened the door to the safe after more than an hour of trying. In the end everybody laughed about it and all was well.

Because of the experience with the safe, we would up lounging around at the beach for another day. We also took the local bus for 1.50 euros, and explored every major town and city on the entire island of Thera. We saw some beautiful sights over looking the city and the ocean from several mountain heights. We got some really cool pictures, especially in the city of Oui. We didn’t make it home until 0200 the following morning.

Hanging Out On The Town

On the third day we had to be up by 0845 to meet the tour bus by 0900. This moment was the big day of our Santorini trip. The tour bus left, taking us to a small port town where we caught the ship. By 1000 hrs we were on our way out. The first place we paused at was another small village near the volcano. For about two hours we could walk around exploring the area, or swim if we chose to. The wife and I chose to walk around.

Kickin’ it Greek island style!

The second place the tour transported us to was the volcano itself. While Thera volcano is said to be inactive, there have been some seismographic activity detected in recent years. Here one was free to hike all the way up to the center of the crater. The weather was more than a hundred degrees Fahrenheit, and extremely dry. It also cost 2.5 euros to make the hike up. My wife was feeling badly at the time, so we both hung around at the base of the volcano for twenty minutes or so, then made our way back onto the ship for our pick of the best seats. Most of the people didn’t stay out much longer than we did, so we didn’t feel like we lost anything.

The Volcano!

Our third destination was another small town near the base of the volcano somewhere on the opposite side from where we were. Here we could make our way off the boat and explore for the next two hours. There were plenty of souvenir shops, and food restaurants. The sun was really hot so the wife and myself took our ease in the shade.

Our forth destination was an area to too far away where passengers were allowed to leap of the ship and swim in the ocean. I dipped in for ten minutes or so, then made my way back onto the boat. We only remained there for an hour, so by the time the boat started back up, I was already dry.

The tours final destination was to the city of Oui. Here we were allowed to explore the town until time for a spectacular sunset. The scene made for some post card quality photographs and plenty of good conversation. By 2100 hrs we were headed back down to the Euromarket where the bus let us off and we walked back to the resort. The walk was only about 5 minutes and really relaxing more than frightening. We made it back by 1100, so we still had time to lounge around the pool over a cool drink and some good conversation.

Sunset Time!

The next day we had to be up and out by 0330, since our flight back to Madrid was at 0500. We booked a cab for 15 euros a piece, and made it back to the small island airport in plenty of time. In no time we were on our way back to Madrid, and our Greek island experience was over.

Once back in Madrid we took our time figuring out what we were going to do next. We finally decided to book a 7 hour bus ride for 16 euros a per person to Malaga, a beach town. Our ride was booked for midnight, so we will be on the road for seven hours when we go. We also booked our return trip from Malaga back to Madrid so that we might avoid any possibility of not being able to meet our flight back to the States on August the 6th. Right now it the time is 1800 hrs and we are just relaxing in Burger King. Stay tuned to find our how this adventure winds up; same wild place, same crazy time!

Traveling Spain & Greece On A Pauper’s Dime With A Purpose

Its been a week since I made my last post. Lots has happened during this week prior. My wife completed the MA program in Salamanca for international language teachers. She received her MA certificate. During the ceremony I could readily tell that she must have been the happiest person there. When the ceremony ended the participants and their families/company were treated with all the wine and horderves one could take in, on the house.

During the time that she was in class I made my final walk back into the Plaza de Mayor. I purchased a large cone or three of this fancy ice-cream that Spain and France are so famous for. I also took the cathedral tour for 6 euros. While in this tour I was guided through two massive cathedrals, walking into bell towers of each, and above the congregational assembly rooms, and the museums. When I made it into one of the bell towers at the top, the largest one began ringing. The sound felt as if it would kill me. I vibrated away from it quickly as I could.

One cathedral had a prison in it where people on the run could seek sanctuary, but once inside, they were sealed behind bars, with no promise of being allowed to exit out. Criminals were also subjected to being penalized by the church inquisition, depending on what his charges were. Every sentence from extended incarceration in poor living conditions, to execution could be carried out.

On June 28th, the wife was finished. On the 29th we said our goodbyes to the lady with whom we has resided for the past month and a half. The fact dawned on me when we all hugged, shook hands, then parted, that more than likely we would never see each other again. This lady didn’t strike us as ever leaving outside of Salamanca much, and there are simply far too many other/better choices for us to make for living quarters, should we ever return.

When we made out exit out of the residence where we resided, we had no idea where we were going to stay. My wife face-booked a friend of her’s from Ecuador, who had a son living long term in Madrid. She called up her son who invited us in with opened arms, so the matter was solved. We made out way to the nearby bus station next to the college, purchased two tickets for 46 euros, and away we went. When we made it to Madrid, the wife had the address to this man’s home, who was the son of her friend. We asked directions there at the main subway station, and soon we were standing in front of his home at 2200 hrs. We clicked on the number of his place at the gate, and he came running inside to meet us. Our quarters for the night were then sealed, without us having to spend a dime other than a few cents for the metro card and the bus tickets. I hadn’t seen him since he was a young boy. He is a doctorate now.

The Moment Of Our Meeting

The next morning we awoke, walking with him down through town for breakfast, then he parted in his ways for the day. When we made it back to his place, we secured our bags there in his room, then exited out into the streets of Madrid where we walked around going on our own sightseeing tour until 1900 hrs. We had our backpacks only, filled with four changes of clothes, and my computer. We had to be back at the airport by 2000 hrs, since our plane ticket to Satorini, Greece, was calling for us to jet out by 2330.

We took the subway back and made it to the airport by 2000 hrs. By the time we discovered where Iberia airlines counter was, got our boarding passes, and everything squared away, it was time to fly out. Soon we were boarding up!

The lift off was good. In 3.40 hours we made it into Santorini airport. The landing there was horrible. The plane hit so hard it almost knocked the breath out of me. The plane put out its exit ramp at 0400. The resort we had booked with called Smorabati, resort, would not make it there until 0800. The airport in Santorini is not much more than a garage with a runway. Patrons were asked to sit outside in seats. The resort shuttle was there on time. But this resort was way out back on the opposite side of the island in a place called pieces. When we finally made it, we checked in and crashed for a few hours, since we had been 24 hrs without much sleep.

When we awoke, we had our first day on the island. We took the local bus and traveled to two major cities, called Fiera, and Oui. We took some really nice pictures and walked many miles down narrow streets, and stone stairways to high plateaus. We left out by 1000 and did not make it back to the hotel until 2230. When we were on our way back, the bus dropped us off at the Euromarket. We were told it was a short walk back to the resort, but we walked to a small individually owned hotel and bar, where the owner, an elderly gentleman, was king enough to give us a ride back, at no charge.

Looks Like We Made It!

Traveling Spain On A Pauper’s Dime With A Purpose

Not much going on today concerning sight seeing. I have done lots of writing, editing, and making submissions, however. One thought was weighing heavily on my mind. While Airbnb is a fine service most of the time, some of these people putting their property up can be dishonest/miss-representative in varying degrees, and somewhat difficult at the same time. We have heard claims of this emerging fact from other teachers in residence. We also have our own experience.

The lady who we rented our room from is very welcoming and friendly, yet her man doesn’t really want her renting rooms out. He is not rude by any stretch, yet one can readily observe an air of resentment, even if they don’t speak his language. She filed a complaint against us with Airbnb, claiming that we did not fully close her door, and that she felt unsafe as a result. The problem is that we did close the door, and checked to see if it was secured, so we feel that maybe her man prompted her into making this claim.

We have been very careful not to give her reasons for making complaints. We clean up behind ourselves, clean the kitchen and bathroom, etc. Being accused with Airbnb can give negative ratings for the potential renter, consequently eliminating one’s ability to take advantage of savings in rental opportunities. Renters should always go the extra mile to secure positive ratings, this fact of being simply can’t be overemphasized.

There is more that readers should be made aware of. This lady miss-represented her place as being a college residence, rather than a private one. A college residence would have had fellow teachers as roommates. This private residence had her, her man, and their children, among many more from the surrounding neighborhood.

This lady advertised breakfast as being served with her room rental. We have been living here some five weeks, and have yet to see anything resembling breakfast being served, not even coffee and cookies, etc. On the contrary, we always had to prepare our own.

After some time living here, I soon found the place to be somewhat unsanitary. The neighbors keep dogs, as does this lady. These dogs are allowed to run around, often indiscriminately, leaving waste, etc. Waste attracts flies. In Spain the weather is hot, so that means one must leave the windows open. The kitchen and the house in general always fills with flies. I am forced to shut the kitchen up and kill five or more flies every time I bother to cook or sleep in our room. This gets old after a while.

The woman complained to us about making noise during siesta time (1100-1600 hrs), yet when her children and others play, they scream, yell, throw things, and make so much noise until neither the wife nor myself can sleep. This usually continues on from 1200 until 2100 hrs! Not only that, the woman and the man often scream and yell at all hours of the evening until mid-night. They argue about finances, food, her not acting right, etc. Sometimes I feel as if they might actually come to physical blows.

The distances from the center of town/wife’s college was miss-represented. It was advertised as being only 15 minute walk from the Plaza de Mayor or the college of Salamanca. The truth is it was at least a 45 minute walk from the Plaza, and a 30 minute walk from the college.

The moral of the story is this: our first time dealing with Airbnb was this one. Keep all of these facts in mind and be certain to ask the proper questions, should you choose to rent with them. In the end, our stay hasn’t been that bad, but it sure could have been much better. The residence hall would not have been much more expensive, and the accommodations far better! Hold these facts dear when planning your next adventure!

Traveling Spain On A Pauper’s Dime

On Sunday we all awoke to eat breakfast at the hotel in Grenada. This breakfast was a fine meal, contrary to what I was expecting. As a general rule European breakfast amounts only to serial, toast, jam, and coffee. European coffee tends to be foam in a cup. I, on the other hand, prefer water boiled over roasted beans, and the end result. Some fruit might be scattered about, but such is about it.

After we completed our meal our tour group headed out the door toward the bus. The trip from Grenada to Salamanca was three hours in duration. We also stopped along the way for thirty minutes. When we finally made it there, our first destination was the Plaza de Spain. The Plaza de Spain in Seville appears to more Arabian architecture that one assumes is hundreds of years old, but it only dates back to 1926. Nevertheless, it is one beautiful place that one simply must visit if he travels to Spain.

Plaza de Espania, Seville
Is this heaven?

Once we completed our two hour tour of The Plaza de Spain in Seville, we headed out into the town. Here we walked with our tour group, passing a number of famous land marks, such as the Golden Tower, and walking on down toward the river front park. The Golden Tower was where all the gold extracted by the Spanish from the New World, was transported and contained. I glanced in as we passed, and it was still heavily guarded, with one needing special permission to enter. I also had the feeling that it might have been some sort of bank, but I never heard any discussion in regard to the matter, nor did I bother to ask.

When down in the river front park one may relax on the numerous metal benches in the shade of the china berry and fig trees, or he could choose to take a harbor cruise. The harbor cruise is a three hour tour that includes a cool drink and a sandwich, all for 20 euros, if I heard right when I investigated. The three hour tour includes a guided investigation into the history of the city itself, since on the opposite side stand many historical homes and buildings. Also the port side was once the main side of entrance, so any hero of the past who journeyed into Seville more than likely passed through the area, if he didn’t walk in on land.

After our bus driver completed with his version of a city tour, all included in the price of the bus package, we were free to roam about throughout the city on our own. Here we were responsible for our own meals, but no problems since there was plenty to eat at decent prices, from 5 to 13 euros. By 1500 hrs we all met in a central roundabout in town, where we loaded back aboard the bus, and headed back toward Salamanca. We would arrive back in Salamanca at around 2030.

Good food for the taking

Traveling Spain On A Pauper’s Dime With A Purpose

Today is July 22, Monday. Our tine in beautiful Spain is winding down. The wife has final exams all week. This weekend was our big trip to Seville and Grenada. It was a five hour bus trip from Salamanca to the Grenada, since Grenada sits not far from the beach. We had booked the trip through the agency on main street, walking passed the hospital from the college. There is a quiet park shaded by what appears to be ancient ruins shaded by wisteria sitting immediately across from the agency.

Prices were not bad at only 150 Euros a person. For that 150 Euro price we had a very comfortable bus ride with air conditioner, a room in a luxuriant hotel that would have cost more than 100 Euros by itself, and a very fine breakfast. The bus ride was pleasant with frequent stops at service stations and cafeterias. Prices in these places can be rather high with only basic sandwiches being 3 euros or more. My personal advice, however, would be carry along some apples purchased at the local Marcado, or homemade sandwiches with a few cans of Pepsi and/or bottles of water. Seville and Grenada are scorching in the summer, and many places exist where the emptied water bottles may be filled for free.

We traveled to Grenada first, arriving there by 1400 hrs. Once we made it into town our first destination was to the famous Alhambra. This complex is rather vast. Expect to spend half a day here, if one’s tour allows the time. The immaculate Alhambra has been around since the 1200s. The Arabs took it over, but were conquered in 1492 by the catholic priests. Since that time it has been used as a palace for the king. The first monarchist couple were King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. It was in this palace where Christopher Columbus besought Queen Isabella on both knees twice, successfully negotiating investor financing for his now famous expeditions. No record exists, as far as is known, of the exact interest amounts demanded, but it would be a good bet that the second loan was a high rate of return, more than likely standing somewhere around 30%. The very king’s chamber where Columbus dropped down on both knees before the queen’s throne may still be viewed.

Behold The Alhambra

Some two hundred years afterward the Alhambra fell into a state of disuse and neglect. Paintings exist showing weeds growing up to cover the palace. Squatters began to use the facility as their own campsite hangout. This fact of being didn’t change until the late 1700 and early 1800’s when various British Romantic artists, poets, and writers, began to idealize the old ruins for their long lost past glory. City leaders then commenced a process of restoration that continued on until the 1970’s. Today its one of Spain’s most visited sites.

See how nice the restoration has been?

The only area where one may get an overview of the city of Granda, Spain, is on the Alhambra. Virtually everywhere else one is locked inside the city itself with virtually no overview what so ever. For this reason alone one could never visit Grenada, Spain, without spending time on the Alhambra!

See it from above!

Our tour group exited the Alhambra by 1700. We continued on walking through town to the local plaza. There were many music shows going on with dancing of many sorts, from the Waltz to the Tango. If one does not know how to do these dances, then he might want to brush up before coming to Spain. This continued on until around 1900 hrs, where we made it back to the hotel.

Once inside the hotel we dropped off our bags, bathed, then headed out to the next big event. This event was a sight seeing party. The cost was 30 euros per person, but very well worth the expense. A number of famous people had taken this same tour, from what I could gather from signatures and photographs. Some of these famous people included Mic Jaggard and Michelle Obama. The sightseeing tour concluded with one of the best Flaminco dance parties I have ever bore witness to.

The Flaminco club was packed. Here was where we actually paid for the tour. When our tour finally made it inside, the staged scene was one of a traditional Gypsy wedding party. The women present were the bride, her mother, and three sisters. The groom was present, but didn’t say much right at first. The story spinster begins to moan the words of the poem as the music plays. Beginning with the women each one tells her own version of what is about to commence. The last woman to do so is the bride.

After the bride dances her part in this lyrical tale, there is a break. During this break one’s choice in the drink of his choice is served. The final show and the best dancing act, to my shock and surprise, was the groom. While the women were outstanding, the man was beyond description. His grace on the dance floor did not match his slightly overweight physical body. He appeared to be somewhat out of shape, but he danced like a well toned champion. At the conclusion of this show after about an hour of watching the dancing, all of the dancers danced with our tour group, including myself. I danced with the mother of the bride.