In Pictures: Guadix Cave Houses in the Desert of Granada, Spain? Or Arizona, USA?

“Are you a troglodyte?,” a friend of mine once asked when I told stories about living in the caves of Granada, learning flamenco. What the heck is a troglodyte anyway? A cave dweller who chose to be simple, even ignorant of the outside world.

I don’t know about you but that sounds good to me, especially in this times of instantaneous news, Putin’s “special military operations” and seemingly ceaseless stream of information-stimulants. To the bat caves of Guadix, here we GO! And here it is, in pictures.

Here they come! An alien invasion. . . or is it Putin’s special military operations?
Two-level cave houses at the cave neighborhood of Guadix. This is one of the old ones with a swimming pool that seemed to be in a seemingly ceaseless state of “under maintenance”. In other words, as much as our kids like pools, this one was a NO-GO! Our cave was on the more rustic upper level.
At the porch of our first cave house, Kaj says in the morning: “I like it here… the lamparas (lamps), the flores (flowers), the television, la cocinita (kitchenette), the stone couch, the tira arco (archery), football, the everything!”

Going through the Alpujarras is definitely one of the best relaxing Andalucia road trip that our slow-go family enjoys. And on day 10 of our fourth family camping road trip in Europe, from Spain to Poland, we come down the mountains of Andalucia and enter the last leg of our slow-go road trip across southern Spain.

From the highest white village in Spain, where you can almost touch the sky (at least that’s what a road sign said), to the desertlands of Granada. This looks a helluvalot like Arizona!
Our first cave house. There were a dust storm when we arrived. When the TV did not work, management moved us into a bigger one with 4 beds, a stone couch and galley kitchen.
To the BAT CAVE! The tunnel passage to the depths of our new cave. The echo in cave provide for a perfect flamenco setting.

For this part of our road trip with kids, we continue heading east from Trevelez–the highest of the white villages of Spain–to the desert-like cave houses of Guadix. I, the father in this free electrons family, am obsessed with flamenco–the song of the outcasts, traditionally the gypsies of Spain. So, longed to stay in a cave where these primitive songs might have flourished and may be it’ll make my playing a bit better.

We came to give the kids of living in a cave. Then, they didn’t want to leave! Guess they are real primitivos! The primal in all of us kicked in.
Sparkly painted and plastic rustic decors livened up the place that could sleep 12, some passed out on the floor after a party. No stove and sink for kitchen, like the other smaller one… And there’s TV! … but no internet signal… DUH! We’re in a deep cave.
A huge patch of well-maintained grass is hard to keep in the desert lands of Guadix caves. It’s a welcome amenity for travelers with young kids. Here, the boys play football and archery with their new friend, Emilio–a German Spanish energetic kid, while his mother Maria chats with their mom.

The wife and I have done that in the Sacromonte caves of Granada when we were young. It was cold and the sun could not get through the shut doors and windows. Now. . . “to the batcave” is all our young boys care about.

Cave living with indoor pluming, modern showehead and, ohhhhhh, proper toilet! Here there was no bathroom-funk like in the other cave.
A road trip through Andalucia is a great way to see the vast diversity of Andalucia; from the whitewashed houses amidst the lush of mountain greens in the Alpujarras mountain region to the dust brown houses in the desert of Granada province. The town of Guadix is seen here in the middleground, with its cathedral tower to the left of center.
Like a little Zaragoza, Guadix is an elegant town with its wide streets and adorned and well maintained buildings, like this cathedral. Unfortunately, it was closed during our visit, just like the Alcazaba (the fortress at the hill) and the next tourist train ride goes again the following morning. Our timing seemed a bit off for visiting tourist must-sees.
On a side street across from the Guadix cathedral, Kaj tries his skill of directing “Karol”–one of the many films that were shot here (also his brother’s name), including Indiana Jones, and Gitanita. . . Ok, ok; old films nonetheless.
FREE tapas still reigns in the province of Granada. Here, for the cost of 8.80 for 2 beers and 2 cokes at La bodeguita in Guadix, we get these little pulled pork sandwhiches with chips. They were hearty snacks that could really get you going.
A recently discovered Roman ruins of some 45 years before Jesus Christ is sure to add to the “things to do and see” in Guadix.
From cave kid to choir boy.

We came into town too late to see the cathedral or Alcazaba or even get on a touristy train ride around town and the caves because we had to solve a problem with Vodafone. Somehow we could not return our home internet gear to a store in Jerez because Vodafone has not finalized the transaction that we initiated 3 weeks prior. We’ve been lugging this gear all across Andalucia for 10 days at this point. In the end we were able to dump it, but new problems arose. . . and we were about to leave Spain! OK, my bitchin’ stops here. Thanks for listening.

Pedro Antonio de Alarcón Park–a nice place for a siesta and ice cream with your little ones.

If you and your kids need a break, there’s a quiet park nearby (Pedro Antonio de Alarcón Park), across the street from the Cathedral, with 3 playgrounds and plenty of shade where you can have siesta and ice cream with your little ones.

That’s it. Next stop, the most beautiful and well-preserved renaissance towns in Spain: Ubeda and Baeza.

On our 4th family camping road trip in Europe, we spend a week camping in the mountains of Las Alpujarras in the sunnysouthside of the Sierra Nevada. We begin our trip in Orgiva, near Pampaneira, visiting the white villages of Capileira, Bubion, Pampaneira, Yegen and Trevelez before heading to the caves of Guadix.
When in Guadix, don’t miss this majestic and surprisingly well-preserved castle of La Calahorra some half-an-hou south. The castle was apparently built over 500 years ago and is the only Italian Renaissance-style castle built outside of Italy. Beware! It is only open on Wednesdays. Bummer! Oh well, save some for the next time around.

what to do in Granada Province

Here are some of the must-do/must-see things in Granada, othern than visiting Granada–the city itself–and all its majestic places to visit. That’s a separate post altogether.

Check out this video of FREE things you can do with kids in the Sierra Nevada. . . in the snow!

Hoya de la Mora in the Sierra Nevada–The southernmost part of Europe, where you can ski or sled or do your snowy things down a mountain and swim in the Mediterranean sea within one hour of each other.

With over 300 days of strong Andalusian sunshine here in southern Spain, you would not think that there would be snow. Think again!

The Sierra Nevada, about a one-hour drive from the city of Granada, boasts the southernmost point of Europe where you can ski, sled and snowboard as late as early May. 

You can literally hit the snow slopes all morning and swim in the Mediterranean in the afternoon.

Leg 5 of our Andalucia road trip, part 4! This one was from the highest white village of Trevelez to the desert caves of Guadix, Granada.
A mesmerizing tapestry of colors and quilt-like patterns adorn the streets of Pampaneira and. . . HEY!. . . they work quite well in giving some relief from the scorching Andalucian summer sun.

You can visit Pampaneira along with the other white villages of Capileira and Bubion in a day. For us, slow-go family travelers (with KIDS!), it would be too much.

In this sunny south side of the Sierra Nevada–the artist-trap mountains of Granada–we’d like to especially take it easy. . . you know, like Sunday mornings.

Next Stop: The Most Beautiful Renaissance Towns of Spain

Onwards, upwards. . . . to Andorra! Here’s the first half of our family camping road trip. . . number FOUR! 1,617-something kilometers from Jerez de la Frontera, detour to Bolonia, then Setenil de las Bodegas, the white villages of the Alpujarras, the caves of Guadix, Baeza, Ubeda, Ossa de Montiel, the hanging houses of Cuenca, Lake Caspe and finally the little country of Andorra. . . at least for the first half of this trip!

Last Stops: Trevelez

First half of free electrons family camping road trip number 4, from Jerez de la Frontera to Andorra la Vella.

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