Last weekend I went on my very first trip of 2015, accompanied by my gal pals from UTS (who currently reside in Zaragoza, Logroño y Pamplona). Here’s a quick rundown of the city before I delve into my aventuras.
Destination: Granada, Spain
When: Fri, 20 Feb – Sun, 22 Feb
Where: A small city in the autonomous community of Andalusia, next to the Sierra Nevada mountains , about 420km south of Madrid
Why: Granada is rich in history and showcases incredible feats of Moorish architecture that act as an Islamic historical legacy. This is due to it being the longest Muslim ruled kingdom in Spain (approx 800 years) before Catholicism took over. It is also home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites, and not to mention it is one of the last places left that practices the ‘free tapa with your drink’ tradition.
Highlights: La Alhambra, Generalife, el Albaicín, Mirador de San Nicolas, Palacio de Carlos V, Catedral de Granada (and plenty more that we didn’t get around to)
Firstly, I’ve never walked this much in my life. Secondly, I’ve never eaten this much in my life. Thirdly, I refuse to participate in physical activity or the consuming of food for a week. Thanks.
One word – beautiful. Granada was beautiful.
After the 5 hour bus ride from Madrid (at 7am), it felt amazing to arrive in sunny, warm, Granada in all its beauty. We stumbled upon a small plaza lined with restaurants and chose the first place we saw – right in the sun. It was like we were back at home, enjoying an Aussie winter aka it was warm enough to strip down our layers and drink an ice-cold beverage. Solid.
The rest of the day was spent exploring and by exploring I mean I probably burned 10 000 calories. Think uneven cobble stoned streets and a seemingly never-ending incline. The physical struggle (on my part) was definitely worth it though when we reached Mirador de San Nicolas and were met with a breathtaking view of the Alhambra and el Albaicín – note the snow-covered mountains in the distance (first photo). The following day we woke up bright (except not really bright cause the weather wasn’t crash hot – shame) and early to check out the famous Alhambra and all its gloriousness. Despite the gloomy weather and the arctic-like temperatures, we were still in awe of the architectural genius that was the Alhambra and Generalife. Snaps for everyone who was behind the creation of this incredible place!
After eating some delicious Arab food that was unfortunately spoilt by appalling service we embarked on a hunt for graffiti covered streets, in which we were pretty successful (keep an eye on my instagram). Now, it was no Melbourne, but it was still amazing and it was made even more amazing because it brought us to the top of a staircase that held an incredible view of the city. We spent a bit of time there, taking it all in and secretly questioning how on earth we didn’t end up here instead of our cities (jokes… half jokes).
That evening we watched a Flamenco show which was oozing with tradition, from the singing, the Spanish guitar playing, the dancing and the costumes – one hour of passionate, intense, talented Spanish goodness. Seriously, Granada was #onpoint. And just when we thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, when we woke the following morning there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun was warm enough to thaw my bones. At this point we thought this city was just plain showing off.
We hiked/struggled back up to the lookout to get one last look at the magnificent gem of a city before heading back home to our own cities (except for Bec who came home with me). If you ever plan to travel to Spain sometime in your life, be sure to add Granada to your list of must-see’s. This was the perfect trip to start off my traveling adventures of 2015 and I can’t wait for the next get-aways I already have lined up. I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated!
Til my next post,
Besos para ti xx
Note: a ridiculous amount of food was consumed this weekend including pastries, tapas (for daaayyzzz), kebabs, paella, Arabic dishes, ice-cream, papas fritas, more ice cream and (FINALLY) macaaaaaaaz. Mate.