June 6, 2004
There was a young guitarist playing softly some typical Spanish airs like "La Paloma." You could toss some coins in the hat before him if you wanted to. Also there were some caravanning vendors to the rear of the church as shown in the photo. They had an array of souvenirs that we had no difficulty avoiding. On the whole this was a low key tourist spot.
While my husband was taking photos, I got a bench seat next to a couple from England over for a weekend break. The wife proceeded to tell me how at 7am that morning at their hotel near the Plaza Nueva the public address system woke them out of a sound sleep. A female voice extolling the attractions of the Alhambra and detailing admission prices and contact information proceeded to unroll non-stop, breaking only for moments before issuing forth the same messages again. They were aghast at this early intrusion of this "commercial" and its subsequent repetition ad nauseum. It was still blaring as they fled the hotel to get breakfast. I was so glad we had rented in the Albaicin that I never asked her what hotel they were staying at (darn it), but be forewarned this could happen to you!
Rick Steves and other budget guides often list hotels in the Plaza Nueva for this area is a mid-point between downtown Granada and the Alhambra and is filled with hotels and restaurants. Granada aggressively pursues tourism as a major contributor to its economic resources; the Alhambra is a major attraction for a city that is not a major industrial hub. And I am not the only visitor who finds the Albaicin alluring, filled with Andalusian charm, Moorish architecture and colorful flowers in bloom everywhere one strolls.
Our son the explorer sought out the "other" mirador suggested by Rick Steves in his "Spain and Portugal." He agreed with Steves that this Mirador on Plaza de Carvajales had an even better view of the Alhambra than the St, Nicholas viewpoint and it was far less tourist-filled. Since he visited this mirador at sunset it probably was better than the view we saw at St. Nicholas.
From journal GRAND GRANADA II