[Update: the Metro opened 21 September 2017].
We say ‘open’ but not in the sense you can travel on it. From its first planning stages in 2002, today, the steel shutters of Recogidas metro station – on one of central Granada’s main thoroughfares – were rolled up, the lights turned on and a steady procession of soon-to-be travellers and tourists descended into what, at first sight, seemed to be a cross between a lap dancing club and a Muse concert. And there was music – the type that people sit cross-legged to next to a fountain. Whether this music will be part of the travelling experience, we’ll have to see. Today, it was just a neon glimpse of what’s to come.
But what an amazing station! We asked, but were none the wiser, about costs of travel and whether buskers playing ‘Calles de Granada‘ will be allowed, but the whole route – stretching 16km from Armilla to Albolete, via 26 stops in around 48 minutes, is due to open ‘by the end of the year‘ (we’ve heard that one before). The trains will be air-conditioned, have security systems, video surveillance and will be a very smooth ride.
S almost demolished the state-of-the-art ticket machine (five languages available) by ‘pressing’ the touch screen (clearly just a display model just to wind everybody up) before the escalators took you down onto the platforms. Above, a film played of the view of the countryside from the train’s window.
In the dim light filming was a hazard as the edge of the platform and track wasn’t that easy to spot. Unlike London’s Jubilee Line – with its open and close platform doors – safety measures were hard to spot.
The route was chosen (see photo) to pass the ‘main centers of leisure, work and social interest with stops in Polígono de Juncaril, Fuentenueva, the neighborhood of Zaidin, and the Technology Park.’ There are also stops at the Sierra Nevada shopping complex and both Granada’s train and bus stations, so that’s fab. The city’s students will also be pleased as the route passes the main university buildings.
It was like a mini-version of London’s Westminster station taken over by a West End show producer. There were no trains to view or vending machines with stuck euros in their slots – not even a pigeon. But we can’t wait to return once Metropolitano de Granada opens. Judging by the leaflet the trains are green and driven by people with beards.
Prices: A ‘one-off’ journey costs 1.35€ but it’s possible to pre-buy blocks of tickets for 5€, 10€ or 20€ meaning the journey reduces to 0.82€ – for example, 5€ gives you six journeys. If you are a tourist you can get a day pass (unlimited journeys) for 4.50€.
Here are some more photos and our short, juddery video.
© con jamón spain