For the next leg of our trip we caught a train to Granada, which had something of the same feel as simple, sun-soaked Seville, but with a bit more grit. I don’t want to say ‘dichotomous’ because my #1 rule for life is ‘Try not to be a wanker’, but this tiny city contains some surprising contrasts. (Maybe not more than any other city, but brought into such stark relief because covering the city takes less time than baking Betty Crocker brownies.)
The main street – Calle Reyes Catolicos – for example, is a shiny boulevard (literally shiny – they had big sanding machines out to rough up the tiles which ballet-flatted tourists were skating around on like butter on hotcakes…) with the swanky feel of Rue St-Honoré or Rodeo Drive. As you move up towards Carre del Darro and the Albaycin (old Arab quarter), the boutiques stipple into dilapidated hostels and whitewashed houses. Cobbled streets wend up the hillside, providing a calf-aching trek for shoeless street artists and tourists alike. We saw more than a few dreadlocks — and only some belonged to other Aussie backpackers (who were wearing Bin Tang singlets and cleaning the souvenier shops out of shotglasses. What can I say…we’re a classy bunch).