Anticipating a hot day approaching 90 by the late afternoon, we planned a walk in the morning and the cold cathedral for later. Ducked quickly into the Museo Arcqueologico, with artifacts dating from pre-historic to Roman to Visigothic to Moors. Then a long walk along and above the Darro River into the Sacromonte district... famous for its cave homes and gypsy community. By noon, we needed a break... Los Faroles was the perfect hole in the wall (more like a cave in the wall) with a small terrace tucked into a white-washed corner overlooking the river and Alhambra beyond. Two cold Alhambra beers and a plate of spicy salami, cheese, and bread...all for 4€. The cheery owner had a wide, gentle smile that never left his face. Dressed in light gray pinstripe slacks, with a cream-colored shirt dotted with roses and a brown vest. He wore a neat brimmed hat (straw) with a black band. He gladly sold a similar hat to a bald customer with a full-sun seat...our picture-perfect perch was under a wide umbrella emblazoned with an Alhambra beer logo.
Plotted a return route that wound upward as the shadows grew narrower. Found a grand vista with panoramic views of the city wall, Alhambra and the snow capped mountains beyond. Re-entered the historic city thru the Puerta Nueva. Back into the Albayzin following winding routes to Plaza Nuevo near our hotel. Water and creamy ice cream to beat back the now-oppressive afternoon heat.
On to the cathedral...the second largest in Spain after Sevilla...check and check. It's becoming hard to describe these cathedrals and not use the same words: immense, ornate, enriching, breathtaking. Our path usually circles around the outer edges, taking in the many side chapels and naves, and other decorative things stuck in every nook. And then its time to dive right in...with enclosed choirs and towering high altars. The amazing things about cathedrals is that when you step back, they are amazing...and when you step forward, the tiniest detail tells a story. I may not understand the meaning of all of the Catholic imagery, but I am moved by the sheer artistry and inspiration.
Leaving the cathedral, we wandered through the local streets, taking in random sights...snapping random photos. Came upon another church, the Real Monestario de San Jeronimo...with a quiet cloister and santuary to explore. Only two other people in the church with us...which made the visit even more intimate and reflective.
We grabbed a late afternoon beer at Six Colors. Dinner was in a plaza near the catheral. Once again, we ate outdoors...as we had every night except for the one rain night. You can really connect with a city when you dine surrounded by it after dark.