TRAVELOGUE
Andalusia

Guadix

(travel period: May)
It's noon and we've just landed in Madrid. I have already reserved a car at a Spanish rent-a-car company. As this company doesn't have an office at the airport, we were supposed to be met at a certain location in the airport building by a company employee. Of course that no one is there to meet us. I call the rent-a-car company, but as it's weekend no one is answering the call. Tick-tack, time is passing by and we're waiting... When I already thought to find another rent-a-car company, 1.5 hours after the meeting time, an employee shows up and immediately starts filling the rental agreement. "I'm sorry to be late" seems to be an unknown phrase to him. We get the car key and the guy takes us to the parking lot where our Ford Focus is waiting for us. We immediately spot a few "bruises" on its exterior. The interior is even worse - cigarette ash and empty bottles everywhere on the floor... Well, at least we're paying it a half of what we'd pay if we booked through an international rental company.

Black ox - the symbol of Spain
Black ox - the symbol of Spain
Željka is driving and I'm navigating, using a Michelin map of Spain, trying to get us out of Madrid area. I like Michelin maps, they're easy to read. We're surprised to see that Spanish drivers are very gentle on the road - no honking, no hazardous driving; it's a real pleasure to drive here. After we got through the heavy Madrid traffic we get on the less frequented Andalusia highway (N IV). The countryside here is not too interesting. We drive a couple of hours before we reach Andalusia. From time to time we spot black ox panels (the symbol of Spain) along the road. We will be seeing them all around Andalusia..
Guadix - cuevas (caves)
Guadix - cuevas (caves)
In Andalusia we encounter endless reddish hills full of olive trees. One can drive for hours here and see nothing but olive trees. As it's already late afternoon, in front of Granada we turn to Guadix, a city in the region where houses were once built by digging into the soft clay hills ("cuevas" = caves). On the periphery of Guadix we find a hotel built in this style. Paths and stairs lead to particular caves, transformed into rustically decorated apartments. As we got hungry we drive to the centre of Guadix to have a snack. There is nothing much to see in the centre so we stop at a gas station to buy sandwiches. We don't sleep very well in our cave - in fact there is a highway passing behind our hotel and there are many trucks making noise until late in the night...
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Andalusia: Granada - Antequera
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