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Granada and the Sierra Nevada

Carita had a flight back to Finland booked from Granada so we rented a car for a couple of days to spend the weekend there. Almeria's arid landscape has been used in many Wild West films over the years including The Magnificent Seven, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and we drove past Mini Hollywood, an old film set which has now been turned into a tourist attraction - though we decided to give it a miss until sometime when we're truly bored.

Instead, we chose to detour from the main autovia and instead cross the Sierra Nevada mountain range, at 3481m, the highest peaks on the Iberian Peninsula. The narrow mountain roads twisted and swung into hairpins as we climbed higher and higher, often with a sheer drop down the mountainside right next to them, making it really exciting when onward coming trucks appeared on the wrong side of the road. We stopped off at the lovely village of Trevelez, which clings to the mountainside and is well known for it's Serrano ham, and continued on through Lanjaron, famed for it's medicinal water springs.

Finally, we arrived in Granada, which, with it's mighty Alhambra sitting high above the city, far exceeded our expectations and proved to be a lovely destination for the weekend. However, we didn't manage to enjoy the splendour of the Alhambra as Carita was intent on visiting all of the shoe shops in Granada instead. Nevertheless, the city finally made us feel like we were in the cultural heart of mainland Spain as we wandered the narrow streets, enjoying it's interesting mix of Moorish and Catholic architecture and baking in the 41˚c heat.

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