3 August 2006: Having decided to start early for beautiful Valencia we found our selves in the national road Valencia – Albacete (N340) at 10 am. We keep driving on national and country roads located near to coast in order to avoid the traffic.
Anyway, today our destination is Granada, through Sierra Nevada. Before we travel we discussed a lot about Sierra Nevada since is one of the most hot areas of Europe especially the months July and August. I addition to that the route passes through country roads with many turnings and with not so good road surface. All these will cost us time to reach our destination but we accept the challenge.
Driving next to the national road we reach the La Font de la Figuera (N344) node to Yecla without anything special to see in the area. After 70km we enter back to the national road N301 for Murcia. Before we reach Murcia we follow the signs to Lorca and Almeria for 100km making a stop to beautiful Lorca. After 45km driving in the national road (N340) we meet the node Santa Barbara – Albox and we follow the country road 334 to 349 to Tahal.
The scene has little flora while the rocklike mountains appear in the scene. From the specific point we follow an uphill road without meeting any villages for many km. The place is dry and inhospitable for someone to leave there, however the scene has a wild attractiveness. As we kept climbing and been in an elevation of 1000m we found some olive oil trees. This was odd for us since in Greece at this elevation you can find only firs.
Passing outside Tahal we took the downhill road towards the Tabernas village, while in the background we could see the sea. We drive alone since there are not many vehicles here. At the map we see that this area is part of the Sierra del la fibres rocklike mountains, while at the point which border with Sierra Nevada is located the Mini Hollywood where we reach after 10km driving after the Tabernas village.
In order to understand its beauty we have to tell you that many western movies have been produced here. It makes you thing that you are to the Wild West of Texas. You have to pay 25euros to enter and see the place and the studios which are near to the road. Unfortunately for us the luck of time makes us to keep driving…
Driving for Almeria, we turn for Gabor while we already are inside Sierra Nevada. The road 348 is wide –at the beginning- and with many turnings especially as the elevation increases. Here we find many villages at which the touristy development is high. You can see hotels, pools, and many restaurants all harmonic attached to the environment. The scene continues to be dry and inhospitable however in many areas there is much flora offering a relaxing breath. There are some points that we pass next to a river while others that we pass next to a verdurous park.
As we reach a high elevation we meet villages which are suitable for winter excursions. In every village you see squares, running water, traditional architecture, hostels, hotels and taverns. We decided to stop at Mecina Alfahar village for coffee and to rest a while. By looking around we note that the people there are curious to learn about the foreign travelers. Most of them sit at the tables’ playing cards and enjoy. At the cafe we sit the owner asked from were we come and were we are going and they seem to be interested.
After our stop we continue for Granada. The driving now becomes testing since the road becomes narrower with a lot of turnings. We pass through many villages but what was in our minds is when are we going to reach Granada and when we are going to find a gas station since we are about to run out of benzene pretty much soon. After the Beznar village we found the national road which leads to Granada and so we increase our speed and after 30km we reach Granada.
With the help of GPS we head to the area where most of the hostels are located. The area is located behind the Cathedral with many alleys and traditional buildings. We started to look for a hostel to stay since many of them are full. Finally we found a room at the Pansion Zurita (Plaza de la Trinidad, 7). The employee there was very friendly and gave us much information. Unfortunately for us the parking was full but lucky for us there is a police station at the 50 meters where many motorcycles are parked and has all the time a guard. The time is almost 11pm and likely there is a restaurant open next to our hostel. We eat something and discuss about tomorrow’s program.
The employee at the hostel tells us to visit the most important sight of the town which is the Alhambra fortress, but in order to get in we should be there from 07:00am although the ticket shop opens at 08:00. So we slept and we settle our clock alarm for 06:00 o’ clock in the morning since the place is only 30minutes by foot for were we are…