Within about 20 minutes of walking distance of my apartment is Parque del Oeste, directly translating to “Park of the West.” Situated in the northwest corner of the city, the park is huge and has many different features including the Teleférico (cable car rides), statues, open areas of green grass and trails to walk dogs, rose gardens (in May), and my favorite, Templo de Debod.
Finally, I had a chance to enjoy the open air and endless stretch of sky! For weeks I’ve been waiting to hike a mountain, ANY mountain! My chance finally came on a quiet Sunday, the last day we were in Granada. Since almost all stores are closed on Sundays here in Spain, we figured that we might as well take a short hike. My friend who is studying abroad in Granada went the day before and told us how beautiful it was, so of course we had to go!
We spent one of our nights getting lost in Albayzín, the Muslim quarter with winding streets lined high with walls of closed-off gardens of private residencies. It was easy to get lost because the streets weren’t linear and there were just so many stairs! But we finally found the restaurant we were looking for: Restaurante Arrayanes, a highly recommended Moroccan restaurant.
The Alhambra is a gorgeous, breathtaking castle that exhibits both Islamic and Christian precedents, telling the story of Granada’s resilience through Moorish rule, to the Reconquista of the Christians. The intricate details of the stonework left me in awe, even throughout my second visit. This castle served as a muse for poets and musicians alike, some referring to the Alhambra as a “pearl set in emeralds,” since it is set within a mountainous forest.
one of my close friends Josiah came to visit me in Madrid over his spring break. As soon as he landed from his 6 hour flight, we stopped by my house to drop off all the American goodies he brought for me (i.e. Hot Cheetos, maple syrup, Bisquick, VS bikinis, Urban Decay Naked Palette 2, kettle corn, my new external hard-drive….my new Nikon!!) and only an hour later, we were hustling into a taxi to get to the bus station. Five hours later, we were in Granada!