Sunday, April 21, 2013

{travel|} granada, andalucía, españa

I need to catch up on my trip journals before I go to any more cities!

Granada, Spain is quite possibly one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to. Florence, Italy has been at the top of that list since I visited it at the age of 13, but Granada really just knocked it from its number one spot. I have never been more enchanted by a city.

Granada is a city filled with mystery and surprise. Every alleyway is a picture perfect scene with windy roads, old stone stairs, and adorable houses and businesses.

The main drag of Granada is Calle Gran Via de Colon, but taking a walk to Plaza Nueva and continuing down the road by the creek will eventually lead you to La Alhambra.

Calle Reyes

Granada is known for being extremely generous with their free tapas portions. Check out any bar, order a caña (small beer) or a copa de vino (glass of wine) and wait for the plate of tapas to come before you order anything off of the menu. You just might be able to fill up by hopping around to different bars and restaurants.

Chopitos - tiny fried cuttlefish. They are similar to calamari.

Granada is also known for its Moroccan & Arabic markets. These markets fill tiny little alleys with touristy items, leather bags, knick knacks, incense, tea shops, and more. 

One of the market entrances near the Cathedral in the center of Granada.

We went during Semana Santa (Holy/Easter Week), so we ran into a ton of procesiones. The parades in Andalusia are famous around the world. 

One of the Catholic brotherhoods parading through the streets of Granada.

Most parades ended at the Cathedral.

Although I was already enchanted by the city center of Granada, my love for this city was taken to a whole new level during our time spent in the Alhambra. It was once a Moorish palace when the Islamic leaders were in power in Spain, and then became a place for the famous post-Reconquista rulers, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel, to rule from as well.

View from the Generalife Gardens' summer palace.

Walking back down the rest of the grounds from the gardens.

View from the Alcazaba - an old fort on the grounds.

The famous Nazaries Palace. 

It is said that this was the place where Isabel and Ferdinand officially granted Christopher Columbus the go-ahead to explore the New World.

After hiking back down from the Alhambra, we went and ate some much needed tapas. After that, we went back to our hostel and relaxed until it was time for our flamenco show! We purchased a ticket earlier in the day for a flamenco show with dinner and a drink for 35 euros at a restaurant called Jardines de Zoraya. I highly recommend that you check out this show if you visit Granada. Andalusia is known for its huge flamenco culture. This restaurant seems to be one of the best places to go to get a glimpse of it in Granada. Check out all of the TripAdvisor reviews as well!

The show was intimate and passionate, and the food was great. What more can you ask for?

Another cool thing about this restaurant is the location. It was a five minute walk to the "Mirador de San Nicolas," a famous place to get a great view of the Alhambra day or night.

So magical.

Trip overview:
  • Travel Connections: We took a 5 1/2 hour Alsa bus ride from Madrid. I don't think that the speedy Ave trains travel to Granada, so a train ride takes just about as long as a bus. We then took a bus to Cordoba.
  • Where we stayed: Funky Meridiano - great location in the city center with a friendly staff. We stayed in a four-girl room (which worked out for us because it turned into a private room). The room was clean, but there was only one plug that would fit our adapters. One other plug existed in the room, and it barely just fit my Spanish phone's plug. The wifi signal was also very weak inside of our room. These were definite annoyances, but not a reason to completely discount this place. 3/5.
  • Highlights of my trip: Tapas. Alhambra. Flamenco show and dinner at Jardines de Zoraya. Wandering the streets and exploring.

I did not have nearly enough time to fully explore beautiful Granada during our two days there. I can't wait to go back again someday.

Look out for new blog posts on the following cities soon: Cordoba, Sevilla, London, and Valencia. :) 

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful place. I need to add Granada to my list of places to visit.


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