Name: Andea Morgan
Semester: Spring 2011 Liberal Arts
School: Gustavus Adolfus College
This is about to be a big undertaking. This weekend was absolutely fabulous and I loved Granada so much! We did A LOT and I am going to write about all of it and put pictures. That said, if you don´t have a lot of time, maybe don´t start to read until later, becuase this is going to be looooong :D
Friday we met up at about 2:00 to head to the Palma airport. Of course, I was frantically packing until the very last minute, which seems to just be a theme of my life when I travel. We were flying Air Europa, which I have never done before, but I knew that the carry-on limits were extreme.I kept getting nervous that my backpack was too big or too heavy, so I ended up just taking my big stupid pink purse. Everything I needed fit, but it was way cumbersome and annoying to have everything in a bag that doesn´t really shut. I would have been totally fine with my backpack, which is good to know for when I have to pack for Semana Santa (10 days of my life and three countries defintely won´t fit into that purse). Everything went completely smoothly, we got on the plane on time and made it to Granada earlier than we expected. This gave us some time to walk around the city for a while and explore a bit.
La Alhambra from the city
After walking around for a while, we went to a Flamenco show. It was so cool; the bar had been converted from caves into a restaurant, which was awesome, and the dancing was amazing. It was completely different from what I expected Flamenco to be, because only one dancer danced at a time; apparently authentic Flamenco is a solo show, not a dance with two people. I liked it a lot, although parts of it were kinda funny. It´s a lot of violent tapping and stomping with the feet, which sounds really cool and looks sweet as well, but at times, the dancers' faces showed that it hurt them, and it looked to me like they were throwing a tantrum. Stamping and flailing their hands everywhere haha.At the end, the dancers pulled up a few people from our group to dance, which was hilarious! We also befriended some Japanese kids which was fun as well :)
After the Flamenco show, we went back to our hotel to sleep before the loooong day ahead. We woke up on Saturday, and left for the Alhambra, and spent about five hours seeing it. It is probably the most beautiful thing I´ve seen here. The gardens and fountains were spectacular, and then we went in the palace, which was unbelievable. It was the Arabic palace when they took over Granada, so the architecture and decoration was absolutely amazing and so different from anything I´ve ever seen! My favorite part, though, by far, was the view. The Alhambra is 3km uphill from the city, so you can see everything. There are mountains in the distance, and every single angle of the city is breathtaking. I took way too many pictures, and of course they don´t adequately represent what we saw, but alas.
walking with the ipod dock
More pictures to come as well, because other people took some great ones that I plan on stealing (esp ones with people actually in them)
After the Alhambra, we went to lunch and then back to the hotel for a siesta. May I say that, not being much of a nap person, the siesta has really grown on me. Anyway, this was a serious nap, and it lasted a little more than two hours. We weren´t messing around. We got up and then got ready to go out and see nighttime Granada. It was Carnaval this weekend, which is pretty much like Halloween, but without the scary part. People were dressed up all day, and we decided that we were gonna go out in costume. A couple of guys from our group went out and bought some sombreros and we were a Mariachi band. One person in our group has a friend who is studying in Granada for the semester, so before we went anywhere, we went and hung out at his apartment for awhile. Ok, this next part may be my favorite part of the whole night :) We had a portable iPod dock, so as we were walking to the apartment, in our sombreros, we were playing music. Everyone was stopping to watch us walk by. It was hilarious and so much fun. We hung out at the apartment for a while, and then went to a bar and then the discos. I had so much fun.
probably my favorite picture of the night
Sunday we had to be up early again, so that was no fun. We went to the Catedral and then to the market. This was amazing, becasue it´s so different from the markets in Palma. Granada is full of Moorish influence and such, so the things there are all very Arabic in style. I bought a fabulous tapestry for hanging on the wall (Rachel, get excited!) We then went to a tetería, which is a traditional teahouse. This was one of the coolest restaurants/drink place/whatever you could call it I´ve ever been in. The tables were low, and we sat on cushions, and there was incense burning and the ambience was just really cool. You all know how I feel about tea, so I ordered a café Árabe, which is coffee with cardamom. Not sure what that means, other than that it was delicious.
a pretty lame picture, but it gives teh idea of how the place looked
I would be all over stealing this table, but I´m pretty sure they would have seen me.
It was a pretty small place.
After tea, it was time to get our stuff for our flight back to Palma. Unfortunately, our trip back was more in line with the theme of my stay in Europe, which is "A Series of Public Transportation Fails". You´ll all remember the bus that left us at the stop and the train that hit the donkey. Our flight out of Granada was delayed for 2.5 hours. Of course we didn´t know until we had arrived, so we had to just hang in the airport for a few hours. This sucked because 1) we were absolutely exhausted, that siesta being the most sleep most of us had had over the course of the weekend and 2) this airport was a hallway with 5 terminals, meaning that there was nothing interesting to do. We ended up playing cards and name that tune with the iPod dock until our plane decided to show up.