Anything But Paella

Sierra Nevada – What? No Snow???

Sierra Nevada has long been on our to-do list. As the mountains are located about halfway between Jerez and home, we thought we would spend a night there and enjoy the snow. Guess what! No snow!!!!

When we talk about Sierra Nevada we do, of course, generally mean the ski resort of Pradollano. That’s where all of the ski schools are and the vibrant apres-ski nightlife. The road up from Granada is quite a drive but not for the faint hearted. If you don’t like driving on hairpin bends you might be better off getting a bus and letting someone else take the strain.

If you are there in the winter for skiing and there is no snow, they do operate a number snow cannons to keep the pistes open. We decided it was a bit too expensive to justify a few runs on artificial snow so we’ll have to go another time. It’s a shame because the season started so well with heavy snow at the end of November and the slopes opening earlier than usual. Plenty of people were still having fun on two planks of wood though.

With no snow we decided to do some research about what it’s like in the summer. It looks an idyllic place for a stretch of the legs and as far as we can see there are walks available for everyone, from easy to ridiculously hard.

A place worth visiting both for its views and the information available in its visitors centre is El Dornajo. Inside there are some topographical displays to help you see the lay of the land and all sorts of boards about the flora and fauna of the region. There is a particularly interesting part about the role of the region in literature. You can also buy maps (although details of many walks can be found here), souvenirs and even beer there! I can honestly say that Alpujarra beer is worth the investment.

The most intriguing part for us though was the tram sat outside in the garden. Luckily there was an extensive display inside the visitor centre explaining why. From 1925 through to 1974 the Tranvía de Sierra Nevada used to run from Granada all the way up into the mountains. It was quite a feat of engineering with 14 tunnels and 21 bridges required on the route. It must have been an incredible journey and we think it’s quite sad that it is no longer possible to do this. The video below is the one you can see at the centre.

So, as you can see, it doesn’t matter if the sun is shining or the snow is falling, a trip to Sierra Nevada will always provide you with something to enjoy.

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