Saturday, April 14, 2007

Escape route

It's a glorious day here in Andalucía, so I spent the afternoon wandering around the Albaicín. Definitely not as flat as Seville, so a little harder on the feet. For those of you who sent e-mails wondering about the lodging situation, I can finally report some progress. The hotel situation in Granada turned out to be a little tighter than I had anticipated, so it proved difficult to get a hotel for two weeks uninterrupted. The only possibility seemed to be the most expensive place in town, where the snootiness of the reception-desk personnel didn't particularly inspire me to want to give them my business. (What part of the word "hospitality" do you suppose these people don't understand when they give out attitude like they do? It's always puzzled me. You would think that the more expensive the lodging, the more helpful the staff, but the inverse relationship seems to be the norm more often than not). Anyway, to cut a long story short, since I didn't want to have to change hotels once I move, I ended up settling for spending the last 10 days of my time here in Granada at the friendly 3-star hotel around the corner from my current lodgings. It will be easy to transfer next Friday; I will have stayed the best part of 2 face-saving weeks en la casa de señor Rosa, and once I've moved to the hotel, I won't have to move again until leaving for Madrid.

I also made some useful progress on the question of getting from Granada to Madrid. Initially, I had some idea at the back of my head that I would do so by train, but given that my dealings thus far with RENFE, the Spanish railway network, have been fraught with the wrong kind of excitement, I was only too open to other options. It turns out that Granada does have an airport, albeit a very regional one. Indeed, its provincial nature was pooh-poohed by more than one of the teachers during this week's classes. Basically, the message was, unless you are flying to Madrid or Barcelona, don't waste your time. But.... I do want to fly to Madrid. In that case, they had to admit, it might be worth a try.

¡Bingo! When I tried (or whatever it's called) and similar sites, they all came up with Iberia flights in the range of 120€. Sparing you the gory details, I'm happy to report that I now have an e-ticket from Granada to Madrid which cost only $49. Given it cost me almost 30€ to get from Seville to Córdoba and back by train (for evil-RENFE-duplicity-related reasons), this seems like a pretty good value.

So, for now, I am pleased that arrangements to reach the next stage of my adventure are in place, leaving me free to enjoy the rest of my time in Granada without worry. And with only five more mystery dinners to endure at Casa Rosa.

The plain people of Ireland: You expect us to care about this kind of stuff, do you?
The management: No, you ignorant peasants, I do not. But some of my real friends might. Now be quiet, you whining wretches, before I set the dogs on you.

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