Friday, January 30

Friday, December 26, 2008

This morning we got a very early wake-up call at 3:00am. We headed back to Spain today, so we had to leave Rabat at 4:00am in order to make it to the ferry on time. We had about a three-hour drive to Tangiers. I slept on the bus—like everyone else. We got to the ferry with no problems, and after an hour of sitting on the ferry before we actually left the port, we got on our way and made it to Tarifa. This time, the ferry ride was much smoother, not so much rocking and swaying.

Once again, we went through customs. It took awhile for the customs agents to clear us. Apparently this is a popular route for smuggling drugs and people into Europe, so our bus had to be thoroughly searched while we waited out on the curb.

Once through, we drove through Algeciras and along the Puerto del Sol, the Mediterranean coast. It was stunning. We had beautiful views of the sea, and the buildings were lovely as well. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and I wished we could have taken some time to walk along the beach and sit in the sun.

We arrived in Granada, Spain around 3:00pm and had time to walk around the city. It’s lovely here. Everything looks so old in that charming kind of way. This huge cathedral and monastery are just right in the middle of it all. It looks like the city just sprouted up around them. After an hour or so of wandering around, we stopped for coffee at a little tea and coffee shop. We were lucky enough to get a table that was about two feet from a coal-fired heater. It was awesome.
Dinner was at the hotel. We sat with Natalie and Mark and again had a terrific time. We all had two desserts since it is, after all, Boxing Day (even though Mark and Natalie can’t come to an agreement on the origins of the holiday). After dinner we took a bottle of wine back to Mark and Natalie’s room and hung out and drank wine all night. We discussed politics and shared our dating stories. We are consistently surprised how aware others are of American politics. They all know just as much about our presidential election as we do.

I asked Andrew to write part of today’s entry because I was getting sick of writing so much every day, and here is part of what he wrote: “Overall we had a delightful evening in Granada. I’ll miss Natalie and Mark when they’re gone. They’re the real reason you go on tours. It’s nice that you get hotels and meals planned, but it’s the companions you meet that you remember.” And I have to agree.