Finally, I am here in the city that started my daydreams about Spain way back in middle school. GRANADA. Everyone knew the best way to avoid learning about grammar during class was to get Sra. G to start reminiscing about her study abroad experience in Granada, and now it’s even easier to see why. I also learned the day before I left that my neighbor’s girlfriend had studied in Granada and she even gave me a quick highlight reel of some of her times there. Talk about building anticipation.
Although Córdoba was an easy wade into the Spanish city life, two nights and a couple full days was plenty of time to see what we wanted to see. We took a bus to Granada, and it didn’t take long to realize that the only thing to see between cities is n o t h i n g. Most Spanish people live in and close to the major cities, so when we turned a sharp corner and I pulled back the curtain to see this, I knew we were there.
We got to our hotel (much nicer than the last one, good job SU), passed out for 2 hours a little bit and then went to dinner, WHICH WAS SO GOOD. I sampled paella, chicken, meatballs, French fries, salad, empanadas, and so much other stuff. Not all delicious, but paella was for sure my favorite. There was watermelon for dessert, cream puffs, assorted cakes, chocolate croissants (fan favorite), and these perfect-sized baby ice cream cups! All so good, I’m feeling hopeful for Madrid, but missing my mom’s cooking!
The wifi access has been horribly spotty, which is extremely frustrating. We were all so sick of saying and hearing “wifi” that we used “broccoli” as a substitute word. Made for some pretty funny exchanges, but unfortunately didn’t really help with connecting to FacebookInstagramTwitteriMessageViberWhatsappEmail when trying to get a little piece of home.
The first full day in Granada (Thursday) I hung out by the hotel pool chatting with some girls from the trip, and then in the afternoon, after a lesson (this seminar is 3 credits, mind you) we went to La Alhambra, which is a magnificent Moorish palace that attracts over 8,000 visitors a day! There was a light glaze of clouds today, making it a bearable 90 degrees instead of the usual 99 in the shade, but I bet the breathtaking sights and perfect panoramic view of Granada would have been impressive even in the rain. I liked the Courtyard of the Lions the best, and again I was amazed at the Moorish architecture and how much precision went into creating and assembling this place. It redefines “detail-oriented” and goes in the 1,000% Must-See List if in/near Granada.
Later that night, we went to a Flamenco show at Cueva de la Rocío (the same place Michelle Obama visited on her vacation) after holding our breaths watching the bus driver maneuver down the most narrow winding streets I have ever seen. The venue was a cave-like room with flashing lights, loud accented staccato music, and graceful yet powerful flamenco dancing. A couple people (including yours truly) were pulled out onto the floor to dance a little with the performers. Definitely a highlight of the trip.
Later (11:30 pm/12 am), the bus dropped us off on Gran Via en el Centro, and we walked two steps before we found blocks down the street to a wine bar. While all of us were more concerned about the free Wifi access, we sipped sangria and ate free tapas (Thanks for the tip Gabi!), which was some type of fried ham/cheese/potato ball of deliciousness. We then bar hopped and explored the city before settling in at Hannigan’s, an Irish pub in Granada (I know, I know). We ended up meeting a guy at the bar who WENT TO SYRACUSE IN ’06 AND STUDIED ABROAD IN LONDON, where he now lives and works for BBC (#cusenation). Of course, we got a picture on somebody’s phone, and then spent the rest of the night chatting with some Italian guys about European adventures. So cool. When we got home (scary how fast that definition changes), Allison, Rhiann, and I rewrote the words to the underrated one hit wonder “Pop, Lock & Drop It” to describe our nightly skin care routine: “Pop, Wash and Creme It”.
The next morning, we threw up in the bathroom of visited the Real Capilla de Granada Cripta y Museo de los Reyes Católicos, which sits right in the middle of the city, completely surrounded by modern day stores. I was surprisingly practically moved to tears by some of the paintings of Jesus on the cross, especially a close-up head-on one, and one with someone’s arms surrounding him, with their faces nearly touching. There’s something about painted pictures of hands that I just can’t stop looking at. So delicate, yet expected to hold whatever the artist chooses to include.
After another four-hour bus ride, we have finally arrived in Sevilla! We overlap with the Azahar seminar group for a night here, and I cannot wait to see some more familiar faces, including my Madrid roommate, Anna. We also get our host family assignments soon. I feel like a freshman again, waiting to hear the news about a random college roommate. In other news, I have no idea what is going on in the outside world because I cannot access the Internet on my smartphone or MacBook (#firstworldpains), and I have only limited Spanish-speaking capabilities. If there are any updates you want to share, please comment below!
Until then, here’s a preview of our day tomorrow: