This past weekend a few of the girls in the CELTA class and I headed out to Granada. I had wanted to spend every weekend here out of town, travelling north in Spain, south to Morocco, and heading over to the Alhambra in Granada. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do a few of those, but I’m making Granada happen for sure. Once we came to an agreement to head out of tow this weekend, I rented a car, and seeing as I’m the only one of us able to drive standard vehicle, I drove. We ventured out through the countryside to go see the Alhambra almost completely unaware of what to expect.
Perhaps the most thrilling part of this story is the fact that I drove and we are all alive. The roads in Sevilla and on the way to Granada are fairly standard roads, not much different from the roads I’m accustomed to in the States. There was a little bit of km/h versus mph conversation had in the car ride and a little bit of confusion on the behalf of the Americans, of which there were two, but we managed to make it into the Granada safely.
I’ve seen many photos that replicate what we saw on our drive. As friends travel the road from Arizona to California and back, likely snapping photos from behind the wheel. However, the same expansive, blue skies with wispy, white clouds met us in Spain. A reminder that wherever you go, you’re never far from where you were.
The streets in Granada are narrow and old. Built of stone and cement, many are just large enough for one car to pass through between two walls. Nerves twinging, I relied on my car mates to guide me away from creating a giant gash in the side of the car the width of an 18th century stone. Once we made it close to the Alhambra, I parked the car and we stretched our legs as we walked towards the Alhambra.
The Alhambra grounds are beautifully manicured, full of mature trees shading the area.
Walking through the Alhambra, there’s a feeling of deep history. Knowing so many people have walked through these halls, touched these stones, sat down for a rest. The views from the interior of the structure are perfectly placed to enhance the sights. Intentional craftsmanship is evident in every corner of the Alhambra.
There are several small shops and restaurants nearby for tourists. We spent some time meandering in and out of gift shops, considering souvenirs and presents for ourselves and friends back home. As we headed back to our parking place, we looked up a small, narrow staircase. Curiousity leading us to peer up the tiled stairs and orange walls, we walked through the potted-plant lined steps. When we reached the top of the winding steps we realized what we had found.
A rooftop restaurant that had the singularly best lunch we’d had to date. Chilled tinto de verano with fresh gazpacho and shrimp. Here’s the only shot I managed to take as we were consumed with our revelry in this incredible meal.
It’s clear to me now that any trip to Southern Spain, Andalucia, must be accompanied by a trip to Granada. What an increadibly eye opening experience.