The original plan was to leave for Ronda today. However, by the time I got around to booking our train tickets, the train was already full. What I had failed to realize was that today is All Saints Day, which is a public holiday for the Spaniards. Given that today is the last day of the 3-day weekend, all the Spanish tourists are headed home. We had no other choice but to stay an extra day here and head to Ronda tomorrow. The trick was to find things to do around town.
We managed to cobble together a few minor sights. We found a deal through Monumentos Andalusíes where a 5€ ticket gets you into 4 sites – Corral del Carbón, El Bañuelo, Palacio Dar al-Horra, Casa Horns de Oro.
Corral Del Carbón – a caravan inn similar to the Turkish funduq, is actually free to enter which we had stumbled upon a couple days ago.
El Bañuelo is the traditional Arab bath, like the Turkish hammam where you go for a steam bath and a good scrubbing.
We had trouble finding Casa Horno de Oro, so we decided to grab a late breakfast instead. After that we wandered back up to the Alhambra since we were in the area. This time we took a different route, and it was actually shorter and more scenic.
There were actually a few areas in Alhambra that don’t require an entry ticket, and that we had missed yesterday like the Convent of San Francisco.
The rest of the afternoon was spent tracking down the other 2 sights left on our ticket.
Palacio Dar al-Horra was the residence of Boabdil’s (the last Sultan) mom.
Casa Horno de Oro is a traditional Muslim house built towards the end of the 15th century.
Afterwards, there was one more museum left on our list. The Inquisition museum was conveniently located just a few steps away from our hotel.
The Spanish Inquisition lasted for almost 400 years. Muslims and Jews were ordered to convert to Christianity or be expelled from Spain (in 1483, all Jews were expelled from Andalusia). Converters suspected of being crypto Jews/Muslims were often deprived of their goods and properties, and subjected to torture to extract confessions. From 1481-1808, 34,000 were burned alive and 18,000 were burned through “staging” (accused heretics either died in captivity or escaped before they could be publicly burned alive).
Finally, we capped off our Granada trip with tapas hopping, with an absolutely entertaining food tour guide (transplant from London), and an equally engaging lady from Idaho who was part of the group.