Archive for June 24th, 2009

First Stop in Granada

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

We left Barcelona Sunday night and drove for a while. We didn’t know what the quality of roads would be down to Tarifa—where our ferry departed Wednesday morning—so we decided to give ourselves plenty of time to cover the 1200 kilometers. Since I [david] usually wake up first in the morning, I slept in the driver’s seat, and the next morning I woke up and drove while the others slept. It turns out that the roads are good all the way across Spain, so we made very good time. We stopped south of Valencia to replenish our food reservoirs and ate some egg sandwiches at a rest stop shortly thereafter. While there, I helped push start a car that belonged to a Muslim who had stopped. I didn’t think that I the first car that I would push-start on this trip would belong to someone else (but am thankful that it is the case).

After lunch we looked at a map and determined that we could make it to Granada—where we have friends—by that evening, so we continued making good time across Spain. That afternoon it got quite hot—it topped 100°—which is not the most comfortable in a car without air conditioning, but we figured that we need to get used to it because it won’t get cooler for quite a while. We also enjoyed passing vehicles with huge amounts of stuff packed on top of their cars and vans. We looked like we were travelling lightly compared to many of the other cars on the road.

We made it to Granada by early evening and tried to get a hold of Kevin and Wendy Mayer (our friends from back home), but they were not answering their phones. We found their apartment building at that same moment Kevin called us, so we let him know we were not only in Granada; we were in front of his house. We had given Kevin and Wendy a warning that we might swing by Tuesday afternoon to pick up some documentation for our car before heading to Morocco, but we didn’t prepare them at all for a Monday evening arrival. Nonetheless, they welcomed us and explained that they had no room in their house because they were already hosting Holly Yoder and Debbie and Rachel Yutzy who are travelling Europe for two months. We went to Rosedale Bible College with Holly (Kevin worked there at the same time), and Matt is second cousins with the Yutzys, so we saw more familiar faces in Granada than we were expecting. Kevin called up Pablo and Judy Kaufman (Pablo used to be my pastor back in Ohio), who had room and were very willing to let us stay at their place.

That evening we went to a hill that overlooks the Alhambra and is a popular spot for the locals to mingle and smoke various things. We then walked back through town and Kevin treated us to shawarmas—a popular street sandwich in Granada, before heading back to their place. We then walked to Pablo and Judy’s apartment where we spent the night.

In the morning Pablo and Judy served us gallo pinto with eggs (since we aren’t able to make it to Central America on this trip, it was good to get at least one Latino breakfast), mixed fruit, toast, orange juice, cherries, and café con leche. Delicious. After breakfast Pablo took us down to the Cathedral, where we were to meet Kevin and the young lady travelers. Pablo introduced us to the old cobbler who works next to their apartment. He explained who we are and what we are doing, at which point the cobbler shook his head and commented that he had never even left the state of Granada and never wants to. He did say that he will donate his organs when he dies, so after he is dead parts of him will travel the world.

We met the Delaware girls (what I will call them from now on, since they reside in “The First State”) and first went to the Royal Chapel which is the final resting place for Ferdinand and Isabella the famous monarchs of Spain who set up their capital in Granada. We especially noted how Isabella’s pillow is sunk down extra far on her marble sculpture due to her extremely big brain which is really heavy. We also studied a picture in a side room which pictured a crucified Jesus and Judas appearing through a wall. It was both disturbingly odd yet extremely fascinating.

We next went to the Cathedral were impressed with the fake candles that were actually LED candles. You drop in a coin and a corresponding number of candles light. We also saw a sculpture of James the Moor slayer trampling a Muslim with his horse. Onward Christian soldiers. Let them feel the power of Jesus’ love coursing through the horse hooves.

We then went back to the Mayer’s house and ate a wonderful late chicken kabob lunch complemented with rice, bread, and salad before having a desert of chocolate-covered strawberries and frozen cookies. After lunch we talked for several hours before heading down to Tarifa where our ferry was to leave the next morning. We were extremely grateful for all the wonderful food that we were served and Pablo’s giving us a place to sleep on such a short notice. I was thankful that we were able to spend some time in Granada before heading down to Morocco because Pablo and Judy will not be in Granada when we come back through after we visit Morocco.

david miller