1701hrs, on board the Talgo 297 to Madrid Atocha
despite the apparent laidback nature you see in this country, you’d never guess how punctual the trains are. i guess this is my last entry for this whirlwind five-city vacation. i guess it was no mean feat to do such a thing, then again, there are people who have achieved much more – like doing hoek van holland-amsterdam-antwerpen-oostende in less than 24 hours (i wonder who that may be).

we checked out this morning and decided to have one last walkabout in granada. had a gorgeous brekkie of the usual (i’m saving churros for later tonight at san gines) near plaza bib-rambla. we headed for albaicín again. i know – it seems we never get enough of that part of the city. but since this is our last day before our flight back to london tomorrow, we were gonna do some souvenir-hunting. albaicín does have an uncanny similarity to the alhambra. there were fountains and wells of the clearest water. there were even rectangular pools which were mini versions of the ones we saw in the patios of the palacios nazaries. another curiousity is the central drains that we saw on the pebbled alleyways.

we finally got to cuesta de gomérez, which is the road that leads uphill to the alhambra. along it are souvenir shops aplenty, some of them with the usual postcards and t-shirts, whereas others are actual workshops of craftsmen. the two crafts you get to see were flamenco guitar-making and the nasrid-styled wood inlays made into objects as varied from coasters to coffee-tables. we nipped into the workshop of one francisco manuel diaz, who was ever so friendly (it wasn’t until i got back to the UK that i found out that his teacher made guitars for the likes of andrés segovia! -ed.). he actually offered me a guitar to play with but after seeing the skill he possessed, i quickly pointed to ninie, saying that it is she that really played and not me.

after buying enough souvenirs (i wish i could’ve bought a guitar) that we could fit into our rucksacks, it was lunch alfresco at plaza nueva. ok, both of us had kebabs in england but to actually savour beef (as opposed to kambing) and the crispiest chicken kebab shreds with pilau rice was simply gastronomically out of this world.

looks like we’ll be arriving in madrid around 11pm. anuar has bought us tix to catch superman returns (el regreso – but we are catching the versión original with spanish subs. hehe.). i wonder if i have enough strength to go to chocolatería san gines after that!

eh, melayu.