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Monday, December 2, 2013

I Will Go the Distance to Get to Granada


I had a blast this past weekend with my two friends Tori and Sam as we explored one of Spain's most beautiful cities: Granada. The free tapas with drinks, the city exploring, the shopping bargains and the ceaseless laughter are my most prominent memories when I look back on my time in Granada now, but the beginning of the trip was far from smooth sailing. Then again, what else would I expect? Welcome to my life. Clearly the odds are never in my favor.

My weekend starts off with Friday morning, when I woke up in a panic and realized that I still hadn't packed for the trip. And we were supposed to be leaving in 30 minutes. So there's that.

After speed-packing and a throwing on some clothes for the day, I managed to only be running five minutes late. I told my friends that I would just meet them at the bus station in order to keep them from waiting for me. I was half way to the bus station when I realized some terrible: I forgot my passport back in my room. We were taking a bus to Granada and I didn't know if I needed it for anything or not (Side note: Never used my passport of course), but I didn't want to get stuck somewhere because I forgot my passport in Sevilla. I hightailed it back to my room, grabbed my passport, and sprinted back towards the station with 10 minutes to spare.

Oh, wait, but of course that isn't all I forgot. I also happened to leave my bus tickets back in my room, and didn't realize that until I had arrived at the bus station. And nobody would let me cut them in line so that I could talk to the woman at the counter and possibly still make my original bus... Did I mention that this bus was leaving in ten minutes?

Long story short: I had to go back, grab my old tickets, pay for a new bus ticket for a different one an hour later, rode the bus alone while trying to work on my podcast report for my class, arrived to Granada an hour later than my friends, walked aimlessly through Granada with no map for an 1 and 1/2 alone before calling my parents (because they would be so much help from across the world) and finally getting a taxi to meet up with Sam and Tori at the Alhambra, a famous palace in Granada.

 I have to say though, after half of my day consisting of one anxiety joyride after another, it was a relief to walk through the Alhambra and let my jaw drop at its indescribable beauty. The wooden walls were carved with an immense amount of detail and the fountains were exquisite. I wish I could show you photo after photo of this magnificent palace, but my camera died after taking one photo. So here is that one photo:


I have to admit that I wish my one photo from the Alhambra had been of the wooden wall detailing, but this isn't the absolute worst photo I could have ended up with. I could have accidentally taken a picture of my foot (so attractive) or gotten a pocket shot where the screen is just completely black (also insanely attractive). The picture above, however, is much better than those options, and shows part of the ceiling of the baths in the Alhambra.

After seeing the Alhambra, we headed out to the streets to do a bit of shopping at the Mercado Artesenal.


It was so fun! We made friends with a cool Moroccan guy, he gave us discounts, we bought some things. I opted for an elephant blanket-ish thing. It's colorful. Pretty much a win-win situation. The market reminded me of Morocco, which made me wish I bought stuff in Morocco rather than the Mercado Artesenal, but it was still neat to check it out and have some things to take home.

Afterwards we headed to get some Chocolate y Churros at this cute little Cafe we saw that specialized in such treats. It was so yummy and the perfect midday treat! Seriously, if you ever need a quick picker-upper, this is your answer my friends:

Don't forget the delicious Cafe Americano to accompany your snack!

Later that night, we headed out to Calle Elvira to check out the tapas bars. In Granada, if you buy a drink, you get a free tapa! (Which means free dinner what what). 


It was all fine and dandy, minus the fact that everything is so busy so it takes over 30 minutes for the waiter to come back over to your table to order another drink and tapa combo. And seeing how small the free tapas were (please note the image above), it would take quite a few tapas in order to make a satisfying meal. A.k.a. it wasn't much of a dinner, so I was still starving. Finally deciding to ditch the whole drinks/tapas ordeal, we stumbled upon a a little Falafel joint and I got myself a yummy sandy for only 3 euros. What a steal! Although I really struggled for a long time with figuring out how to approach the sandwich...it was quite intimidating:

Like seriously, how do I even approach that?

The next day we decided to have an easy, breezy, carefree day that was not strict to a schedule. We moseyed around Granada, and although I was already out of money (what's new?) we went shopping for a bit. Later in the afternoon we headed to Mirador de San Nicolás, a lookout point that you have to hike up to in order to get a magnificent view of the whole city. Though I was dying and out of breath by the time we got to the top, the journey and ending view was well worth the trek. Take a look at the walk up:






And finally...a panoramic view from Mirador de San Nicolás:


It was a short but phenomenal weekend filled with good food, breathtaking views, and lots of laughter. Despite my hectic experience getting to Granada, I'm glad I stuck it out and made it through, because the weekend trip was well worth the moments of stress.

Finally, we had to say goodbye to our adorable hostel, but it was euros well spent, and I would stay there again if I find myself in Granada sometime in the future:


Until next time,

Leah

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