Published: June 21st 2010June 21st 2010 Video Playlist:
common room at the hostel
I spent this past weekend in Granada a city in the region of Andalucia which is southern Spain. This was the one city in Spain I was dying to see and I was so happy I got the opportunity to go. I was originally going on a planned trip through the school until we found out last Monday it was canceled. Ten of us girls still wanted to go, so we planned the whole trip in a week, I was so proud of us!!
We left on an ALSA bus at 2:50pm Friday and didn't get in till 10pm due to all of the stops. We didn't quite think ahead about how we were going to find our hostel once we got to the city, but after a couple city bus rides and asking many people on the street we found it. I had a bad image of what a hostel would be like in my mind but this one was amazing. We had found it online because of the high ratings it got but it was wonderful. It was called the White Nest Hostel. It was clean, very safe, had many commodities like a kitchen and
computers with wifi, and a very friendly staff. We were so excited to be staying there.
I have never done so much walking in a day as I did on Saturday. We went everywhere we possibly could and I fell in love with the city. It is gorgeous. Granada has a huge Arab influence because this region of Spain was inhabited by Muslims from the 1200's-1400's. Spain was split under Christian and Arab influence and in 1492 Granada was the last Arab city to fall to the Christian reconquest under the monarchy of Fernando and Isabel. You can see the arab influence in the arquitecture and many of the "teterias", which are arab shops all over town. You can buy things like tea, hookah, and different gypsy looking scarfs and shoes. It was very cool.
We saw a multitude of sights on Saturday including the Cathedral and the place where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel are buried. We walked up to the mirador de San Nicolas, a place that gives an amazing viewpoint of the Alhambra (an Arab palace I will describe later). I got to go to a flamenco show in the local neighborhood of Sacromonte. It
was amazing. I can't believe how fast those dancers stomp their feet. That night we went out with a few people we met at the hostel. In Granada when you order a beer or wine you get free tapas, which are like appetizers. Each bar gives you a different type of food, some even had seafood and Chinese. We bar hopped Saturday night and made a meal out of it. It was so good.
Sunday morning was devoted to our visit to the Alhambra. We took four and a half hours to see it because it is enormous. This is one of the most unbelievable things I've ever seen. Its broken up into three parts. The Alcazaba is a military fortress which was used for many things and has a number of watch towers. The Palacio which was the most amazing part was where the Arab kings lived. There are so many rooms with waterfalls in a number of them, the arab arches over the doorways, and not a single wall was without decoration. The plaster on the walls has intricate carvings of arab writings and poems and other designs. It was gorgeous. The final part was the Gardens
of the Generalife. These gardens are massive! These gardens served as a leisure place for the kings and there are so many flowers, trimmed shrubs, and more waterfalls. It was unbelievable and by far one of my favorite things i've seen on this trip.
The rest of the day we got a bite to eat, packed up and headed home on the bus. We payed extra to have the faster bus which got us home in 5 hours by 10pm. I was exhausted last night but so happy about the weekend. I was so glad I had the opportunity to see it. When we got back all the hogueras were set up and the festivities of this week had already begun. Music played till 4 am this morning on my street but I was so tired I was out as soon as I hit the pillow. Can't wait for the festival this week!
Hope everyone is well. Hasta Luego!!
There are more photos below