Epic Spain Adventure: Part 1 – Granada

Posted: 4 March 2013 in Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Back in December 2009 I had a choice. Earlier that year, i had finished my semester abroad and was looking forward to graduating with my BA. Then I found out that I had somehow missed the cutoff date and might be able to walk at the next ceremony in December. The problem was that I was going to be in England working on my MA. So I had a choice: go back to Miami to walk, or go to Spain for 16 days. As you can tell from the title of this blog, I chose Spain. I’m so glad I did. Yeah I would have loved seeing my friends again and walking to get my degree, but I’d never been to Spain.

First off, Granada was not my favourite part of the adventure. In fact it is at the bottom of the list. It’s for personal reasons I won’t share on here. But not all of it was bad. Just parts of it. Like getting there. For starters, my flight was two hours late. I flew RyanAir and I have decided that after this trip I will never fly with them again if I can find another way. The flight there definitely wasn’t as awful as the flight back, but i will get to that on a later post. I had figured Livan would be there to pick me up at the airport, but he wasn’t there. I found out later he had to go to work, and since my plane was really late I can’t really blame him for not being there. It was quite a nerve-wracking experience, especially since the airport is quite a ways outside the city and it was night time. I’d sent him a facebook message with the hope that he’d get in touch, but no such luck. I walked outside and heard a couple people speaking English. I went and spoke with them and I’m glad I did. The two girls, Ali and Virginia, were waiting far a third friend, Renee, to arrive. They didn’t believe me that I was American (because of the accent), but were still gracious enough to help me.

I have to say, meeting those three really made being in Granada as enjoyable as it was. If it hadn’t been for them, I don’t know if I would have liked it at all. Once Renee arrived, we boarded a bus to Granada. As we waited, Renee told us about her adventures. While tragic yes, she was a wonderfully storyteller and we were all laughing with her. Her best story was about her one-legged pigeon friend ‘Flamingo.’

IMG_1012

When we made it to Granada, we found a nice Turkish teahouse and had tea and chocolate crepes. Virginia was able to help me find a hostel to spend the night in. It was nice. I only had to stay there one night as I finally heard back from Livan. We met up, he walked me around town a bit before leaving to my own devices. I walked by a river below the Alhambra, visited a church along the way and listened to Christmas music. It was really nice. Since it was Christmas Eve, Virginia has invited me over to her place to celebrate with her, Ali, Renee, and a couple others. It was so much fun. We ate good food, I was given a small gift (which was awesome since I’d just met these girls), watched a movie, and just hung out. It was such an awesome evening. I didn’t end up getting back to Livan’s till really late.

IMG_1023

Christmas day was pretty chill. After an emotional phone call to my family, I felt better. I had decided to go find where I had planned on going to church on Sunday. It was quite a ways away. I found it though after an hour or so. Despite being in a different country (which is always great), it was nice seeing a familiar sight (since all our church buildings generally look the same).

Rather than going to Alhambra the day after Christmas, the girls planned to go on Sunday (the next day). The plan on that day was to get some things and walk around the city. I learned a valuable lesson that day: never interact with the gypsies. They screwed me over (reminiscent of what happened to me in Paris). Thankfully I got away without losing all my money. I really detest people who scam on the naive. It is low and dirty and even more embarrassing for me as I fell for it. Anyway. I met up with  my girls and we headed to Gran Via (the main road in Granada). The weather was quite rainy and all I had was a non-waterproof jacket. I’d been soaked a couple times already, so we hunted me down a more suitable jacket. We found me a nice white one that worked quite effectively. We had lunch at the Taverna del Druida and it was fantastic. I can’t find a website for it so here is the address, Calle Gran VIA de Colon, 41, 18001 Granada. The rest of the day we just walked around the main streets looking for various items for each of us and taking in the sites. At the end of the day, we made plans to meet at 9am the next day to see La Alhambra.

IMG_1075

La Alhambra was so beautiful. I got to the meeting place first. Since no one was there, I walked up the hill to the entrance. The walk is long but beautiful. Once they others showed up, we got our tickets. Apparently there are multiple types of tickets. Renee and I ended up getting a generic ticket while Ali and Virginia got the tickets that included the Nasrid Palaces (you can only see them with specific tickets). Virginia swapped tickets with me so I could see it while she and Renee tried to get the tickets changed. The Nasrid Palaces were incredible. It had moorish architecture and was first mentioned in documents from the 9th century.  It is hard to put into words how amazing the place is. There are pools, columns, fountains, gardens, and intricate designs all over. We visited the Charles V Palace, the Nasrid Palaces (obviously), and the Generalife. We walked all over the place so we may have been in some of the other area without even realising it. So since I can’t accurately describe it, I’ll just post some photos so you can get a better idea.

IMG_1121

 

IMG_1113

 

IMG_1091

 

IMG_1087

 

IMG_1062

 

IMG_1054

 

As you can tell form the pictures, it is a beautiful place. I would love to see it in the summer when all the plants are green and the flowers are in bloom.

The rest of the day we prepared for our journey to Madrid. We ate schawarma at the base of the hill. It was so good. It reminded me of the ones you get in Germany but these ones had green olives (which made them even better). We then found our way to the bus station to buy our tickets. It was exciting going to Madrid. I got to see a lot more there than I did in Granada. The only other thing that I got to see there was a massive cathedral.

IMG_1129

To be truthful, I wouldn’t mind going back. One, it would be nice to see La Alhambra in summer, and two to really get a chance to see the city and what it has to offer. I have talked to many people about the city and almost all have said they loved it. I really would like to find out what it is that they love so much 😉

Advertisements
Comments
  1. […] of them was standing on one foot and reminded me of the story my friend Renee (from the post about Granada) about the pigeon she […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s