Aug 2, 2015

Hotel Universal, Granada, a Review

Here is a brief review of Hotel Universal in Granada where we spent one peaceful night.

Location. 

If I can rate 200 on 100 for Hotel Universal of Granada, it will be for its location. It is so perfectly situated, near the shopping area (400m from Granada Cathedral) and easy approach from the highway. We didn’t loose much time in finding its location. They helped us with parking and that was a relief after the long drive from Barcelona.

Staff 

The reception is a small area but it is not really important unless you wish to spend 3 to 4 days there. Very fast and efficient team at the desk. Room keys were handed over fast, so were the wifi passwords. A city guide map was given and they even explained some of the important routes which would help us with our walking tour. Wifi connection was free and with good speed. Any blogger would consider this as prime need and be happy with it.



Though they have a rate that includes breakfast, we didn’t opt for it as we had plans to leave early for tickets to Alhambra the next day. They sounded wishful when they said if we go early to the ticket counter we can get the day tickets for the palace. Next morning they called a taxi for us and thanks for that we could reach early and be ahead of others of others in the queue. We were allowed to store our luggage in the hotel. When we returned at 8.30 in the evening they didn’t charge us for parking, which was really kind of them.

Rooms 

We took twin rooms. They were basic and had all the necessary amenities, nothing very grand or stylish yet sufficient for the single night we intended to spend there. I have the pictures here. It is rated as three star hotel and has a cute little cafeteria in the top.

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Rates 

Family Room for up to 4 people with 2 bedrooms, sharing bathroom, minibar, safety deposit box, TV, telephone, air conditioning, heating, hairdryer, wake up service alarm, work desk. Charges: 80euros.

(I stayed here on the night of 18th May 2015.)

Aug 1, 2015

Faces of India - 224


I was on a day’s trip to Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala last Saturday. It was for my college get together, so didn’t have sufficient time to do sightseeing. But I managed to capture a couple of faces for my FOI series. Here is one woodcutter or may be wood collector who seemed to be in a hurry, didn’t look as if he minded my clicking. I wonder what he was thinking though. 

Faces of India, a series through which I intend to portray the various characters of my country whom I met during my travels. See more here

Jul 30, 2015

Granada to Seville, by Road

It was one hectic sight seeing of Granada which started at 6.30 in the morning and went on non stop till 8.30 in the evening. The next night halt was planned at Seville which is 250kms west of Granada. Google maps showed estimated time of travel by road as 2 h 39mins. The spirits were high after the memorable tour of Alhambra and we thought we would be able to complete the journey; we weren’t aware then the tensed ending the journey would have.

At 8.30 when we started our journey by road, the sky still looked bright and sun was quite above the horizon. I was excited about the photography opportunity I would get of setting sun, hubby dear thought on different lines and wanted to make most use of sunlight time for the drive. But the final part of Sun’s exit is very fast, by 9 the sun had set and by 9.30pm darkness ruled. So far so good, we didn’t realize the restaurants would pull down shutters so fast. At around 10 we decided to have dinner, but we went on and on with no success of finding a place to have dinner and not snacks. Finally around 10.30 we spotted a taverna and we got some awesome delicious stuff. We were their last customer for the night.


Rest well taken at this brief halt, next part of the drive was planned to be taken uninterrupted. By 11.30 our GPS had guided us correctly to Seville and we were almost near our hotel, but for the remaining 1km the GPS looked confused. With so many lanes and narrow bylanes the approach to hotel seemed impossible. It was almost 12 and all the streets were deserted, not a single policeman too in sight. We were totally clueless what to do. The kids were fast asleep and finally at a distance of 700m we decided to venture out on foot. Again not a single soul, whom to ask for directions, out of desperation we rang the hotel guys. Though they were keen to help they couldn’t figure out where we were stranded.

Suddenly I saw 2 women emerge out of nowhere. I ran towards them with big hopes when they told me they themselves were tourists. I was very disappointed; I was still clutching the hotel reservation confirmation sheet, one of them asked to see it. The hotel address had the details of street. The lady had a detailed map of Seville in her mobile and on feeding the address she directed us to the correct lane. It was hardly 250 m from where we were standing. Whew! I thanked them with so many words so many times; she was like an angel for me then. By the time we got the suitcases down both of them had vanished. I hadn’t even asked her name, I regretted.

It was almost 1 when we hit bed that night!



SkyWatch Friday 
Good Fences 

Jul 28, 2015

Wordless - 340

Inviting your captions and titles on my wordless moments. 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thank you very much dear friends for all your lovely comments in my previous post. Few of your comments here:



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1. I'm in charge here and that's no bull. by Stan
2. I m the king of Mountain !! in Hindi " Yahan ke hum Sikandar "" by Yogi Saraswat 
3. This bull leaves no B.S. by NC. Sue 
4. Large and in charge. by Sandra Nachlinger
5. "Standing here day and night has given me this deep deep suntan" by Haddock

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Wordless Wednesday, Outdoor Wednesday,   ABC Wednesday (C for crown), Saturday Snapshot , Weekly Topshot , Silent Sunday, Wednesday Around the World,
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Jul 27, 2015

Flowers and Pools of Generalife Gardens, Alhambra, Granada

Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual abode; and best of all is Allah's goodly pleasure; that is the grand achievement. ~ Koran 9.72

Traditionally Moorish gardens are a symbol of cool place to rest and reflect and their imagination of jannat (heaven). There is one more famous Muslim garden in the lawns of Taj Mahal; unfortunately for me I haven’t been able to visit it yet. The major contrast with English garden is that these Muslim gardens are themed on water and shade, while English gardens are designed for walks. "Gardens underneath which rivers flow" is an expression that occurs more than thirty times in the Koran. The concept of flowing water and yielding plants, fruits or flowers is important and stressed. This garden in Generalife, Alhambra too showcases this concept this very well. Here I have a photo essay of the flowers and pools of the garden.


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Today's Flowers