After three hours on a pretty comfortable ALSA bus, we arrived in Granada early on a cloudy Saturday afternoon.
We took a taxi from the bus station up into the Albaicín neighbourhood where our hotel is located. Like Alfama in Lisbon and the Judería in Córdoba it’s a neighbourhood of steep hills and impossibly narrow winding cobblestone streets.
We braved the humidity, downpours and dripping air conditioners of New York City for an August long weekend getaway. We usually avoid summers in NYC, but we had the travel bug after our London and Iceland adventures and snagged a good summer rate at the Nolitan Hotel in Nolita near Soho.
We took things easy and spent a couple days mainly along the Upper and Lower East Sides of Manhattan.
One of our first stops after we checked into the hotel was the nearby Elizabeth Street Garden. This small park is an oasis filled with lush plantings and stone sculptures, located on the site of a former public school torn down in the 1970s.
We are staying in the Southwark/Bankside area of London, which is on the southern side of the Thames, about a ten-minute walk east of Waterloo Station. It’s a former industrial area that’s become trendy over the past few decades, but many signs of its grittier past remain, including numerous arched brick railway overpasses.
We are staying at the CitizenM hotel, the London offshoot of an Amsterdam-based chain.
The hotel is very hip and modern with hi-tech rooms where all the lights, television, blinds, heat, wake-up alarms and other things are controlled via tablet app. There is a distinct lack of stuffiness, with efficient friendly service and minibar fridges stocked with free (non-alcoholic) beverages and snacks that are replenished each day.