Mike asks some pretty good questions sometimes. As we sat in the back seat of Dols old Toledo using BlaBla Car for the first time, (yes, I will explain), he eventually looks to me and asks, “Who harvests all these olives?”
I reply, “I’m assuming humans, but I could be wrong.”
I was mostly wrong. We asked our host Manuel in Granada about this intimidating feat. Machines harvest most of those salty treats to which we both sighed with relief. Some of those cliffs we saw were pretty gnarly.
So, Blabla car. Veronica from our Barcelona couchsurfing adventure mentioned this carpooling service. You set up a short profile, choose a destination, hope and pray someone is driving that direction, and pay a small fee for jumping in on their ride. I guess you could say it is a legal form of hitchhiking? With a fee, of course. We were a bit desperate in Valencia when trying to set up transport to Granada. 8+ hours by train, buses were sparse and expensive, so we thought let’s do this. Glad we did!
32 Euro each got us a comfy seat in Dols car for the 5 hour ride. Pretty legit. No, he was not some strange creeper dude or worse. His profile said he successfully transported other people 32 times and his rating was a solid 4.8 out of 5 stars. We gave him a raving review and 5 stars. The world really is becoming that episode of Black Mirror huh?!?
I’m not doing a very good job with photographing our food but I will say these 2 places were quite memorable in Valencia. Canalla Bistro advertised the most mouth-watering burger and after a week of light tapas, we were ready to devour a beautifully juicy local burger. Thanks to this awesome place, we did. The wine list was killer and each bite of all the dishes we ordered were dynamite. A must stop in Valencia! Another must stop we discovered was this cute little pizza joint near the beach called Como pizza y nada mas. Angelo the owner was such a delight. A true Italian man bringing Italian pizza to the beaches in Spain. The spicy olive oil spray really elevated the pizza to the next level. Complimentary homemade limoncello and tiramisu put the exclamation point on the exclamation. Lovely food experiences in Valencia. This place was crazy cool too. Definitely go walk around these grounds. An Arts and Science museum, Opera House, 3D cinema, and Europe’s biggest aquarium.
Now for Granada.
Wowza. Definitely more of a gyspy/bohemian vibe rock those streets. Our AirBnB was amazing. Here is the view of the Alhambra from our rooftop terrace.
This definitely did not suck. We spent only two days roaming these streets listening to random Spanish folk strumming their guitars through the winding cobblestone streets. At the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada was named ‘the hill of strangers’. We now understand why. The history of Alhambra and learning about the rotation of cultures that once inhabited these hills was fascinating. Dark, but fascinating.
From Granada, we bussed it to Sevilla and let me tell you, it was sweltering. We have developed a new nickname for the phenomenon that happens to our feet in this heat. We now have ‘choriztoes’. Fat little sausage toes, and fingers for that matter. I guess if that’s the worst worry thus far, we are in pretty good shape.
Sexy Sevilla. Ooooooweeee! I loved it here. There is something about a good ole 90 degree night, sweaty flamenco dancers in the street, and jolly Spanish drunk people infiltrating the streets. Even children are running around at midnight. After all, these people are REAL good at siesta. Mike and I are becoming pros at this. We love siesta.
This AirBnB is yet again blessing us with a rooftop terrace up 5 flights of skinny, skinny stairs. How they got beds and couches up here baffles me. The space radiates music. Our host gave us keys and told us some local spots to go investigate. He mentioned his roommate might pop in and have a jam session with his band later. We got excited. Yay! Free live Sevilla music! Little did we know we were staying with a famous person. This man is a beautiful human. Mike got to jam with him a bit. Of course we are now friends. NoNo Garcia and his amazing bass player, Joan (pronounced Juan), play beautiful music. They invited us to this intimate, underground show they were playing that night. The place was so underground that we passed it twice before we saw a man peeking his head out a set of burgundy doors and realized this was the place. For 5 Euro each we saw these guys…
I’m pretty sure we didn’t stop smiling the entire set. How blessed are we?!? They later invited this wonderful singer up on stage with them and she lit up the room even more. It felt rude to have my phone out, so one picture is all you get.
More of Sevilla…
Flamenco artists, bullfighting, cool art in the streets, and this: Sevilla Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral and third largest church in the world. We just happened to stroll by on a Sunday so we entered as mass was in session. Being raised Catholic, I appreciated the magnitude of this holy space. Our stay was brief as neither one of us practice a church going religion anymore, but this place is magnificent. Wow.
Each city we explore I find myself saying, ‘this is my favorite thus far’. I only hope I keep saying this as we go deeper into all that is Europe.
Bussing it to Portimao, Portugal from here to stay with a Couchsurfing legend named Kurt. Can’t wait to tell you all about him. Real excited for the Algarve lifestyle and working on my tan. I’ve got some catching up to do around here.
We wish many blessings and happiness in times that our home city has had some recent horrific, tragic events occur. Keep spreading that love and light. We send you ours.