Tuesday, August 05, 2014

August 5, 2014 -- Granada, Spain

I haven't been in Granada long enough to look around, so don't expect a detailed description yet. I did notice as the train approached the city that the air was quite smoggy. Perhaps I was spoiled by hiking the Camino, but I got used to clean air.

One of the fellows with whom I shared a dormitory the last two nights in Madrid is quite the character. He is from Argentina, and I wish I had a picture of him. He is quite skinny and has a scruffy, short black beard. If I were going to put on a play about don Quixote, I would typecast him for the lead role.

When I first met him and we exchanged personal information, he said (in Spanish), "Ah, the United States!" and put the fingers and thumb of his right hand together and kissed them, a gesture that he was to repeat about every five words. "Los Angeles! (kiss fingers) Chicago!  (kiss fingers) New York! (kiss fingers) I took a train across your beautiful country. (kiss fingers) From New York to San Francisco in three days. (kiss fingers) It was beautiful!  (kiss fingers)" He enjoyed it so much that he went back to Chicago and took another train to Los Angeles.

Here's a picture I took in front of the hostel in Madrid yesterday afternoon. It illustrates how not to lock a bike. The front wheel has a quick release and could have been easily removed, so the the owner ran the chain through it. I assume the rear wheel was bolted on, because there was a wrench lying on the sidewalk next to the bike. From the picture, it looks as if the chain doesn't run through the bike's frame, either, so I wonder why the thief didn't just undo the front wheel's quick release, leave the front wheel chained to the post, and carry off the rest of the bike.

 Now I have to tell you about my room in the youth hostel i Granada. That's right! A room! It's a two-person room, but I have it to myself. I am not sharing it with dozens of other people. It includes its own shower and toilet, closets, clean towels, a remote-controlled air conditioner, etc. In other words, except for having no TV, it's almost like a Motel 6 room in the USA. The price? I am paying 85 euros or about $114 total for a seven-day stay. That works out to just over $16 a night, and breakfast is included in the price.

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