Granada 13-15/3/2015

So Miranda, one of my childhood best friends, happens to be studying abroad in Madrid, which has been perfect for me, it’s like having a little slice of home in Spain. Through her program, the university hosts excursions for her class to cities in Spain, and one of them happened to be Granada.

I had never been yet, and neither had Oda, so we decided to crash their party and make it more fun with our presence.

 


We caught a 7am bus ride that lasted about 5 hours. Our bus company was ALSA, and the reason I recommend it is because they had wifi. First picture of the trip, obviously I’m ecstatic with joy.

We arrived around noon, and checked into our hostel, Dolcevita. After, we lounged around on the terrace and waited for Miranda to arrive to go exploring. I am probably not the first to say this, nor will I be the last, but Granada is gorgeous. Although Madrid will always have my American heart, there is a looming magic over Granada that blankets the charming city.


Such a cool piece of street art, which made me fall more in love with Granada. This was on one of the first corners of our exploration


Then we went to a park built in the honor and memory of the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. The scenery is as beautiful as his writing.

So Granada and southern Spain in general, from what I have been hearing, is renowned for their huge plates of tapas. And trust me, it didn’t disappoint. But the best part is, is that they’re free. 3euro for a drink, and free plate of food. Can you see why I love Granada? The way to my heart is through my stomach.

We ended our first day in Granada, and decided we would check out the night life, which proved to be so worthy. We went to a chupeteria, which is basically a bar that sells all shots for a euro. I was in pure bliss. Then we went to Granada’s most famous club, Mae West.

It was so much fun, and the music was awesome. If we hadn’t exercised enough from walking all day, we definitely worked off the tapas and sangria from shaking our asses.

Oda and I returned to our hostel at about 6am, and us being the crazy gente we are, decided to grab our blankets from our room and sleep on the terrace. They had mattresses on the ground decorated as furniture so it turned out to be really comfortable. However, at one point in the night, it was freeeeeezing, and then the sun came out and burned our skin off and that’s the story of how I lost my face to frostbite and fire.. jk.

But really, such a dramatic change in temperature when the sun came out.

In the morning, we decided to find a cafe and get some food in us for fuel. It had been a long night, and we needed to rehydrate and re-energize.

 

We ate at a placed called Mayerling,and although the food was fantastic, that is not why I absolutely adore this restaurant. Our waitress was phenomenal. Not only did she address us in the formal ustedes (which has never happened to me in Madrid), but she was so helpful. She basically picked our meals for us, and they were delicious. The food in Granada definitely has so much flavor, it reminded me of home.

After, we met up with Miranda again, and wanted to go to a high point in Granada to catch the sunset (forever a romantic) and photograph the Alhambra, which is a very famous palace/fortress. I cannot describe the view with either words or pictures. It just is, and I’m so glad I got to experience it.


I am all for girls wearing whatever they want if it empowers them. But some things can still shock me haha. But hey, it’s still a pretty good picture of this lovely couple.

Miranda probably thinking, “Hurry up Trinh, tired of waiting for you to take pictures.”

Oda being Norge in Granada, naturally.

I am such a huge fan of kindness. While we were walking up the swirling and compact streets to reach the top, this woman stopped me and began to explain that there is a better view elsewhere than the touristy plaza. She then gave us directions to a different area, and left us with hope in our  hearts and a stronger determination to keep going (even if our calves were on fire from the trek up).

And my god, was it worth it.

The Alhambra.

I remember my thoughts so clearly while taking this picture. Oda and Miranda were sitting below me on the steps, chatting and laughing, enjoying the view. And with their voices in the background mixed the Spanish murmurings of strangers, my being swelled with happiness. Such beautiful moments in life make everything that led up to the now worth it. I remember thinking, “thanks life for everything that has happened in the past that has led me to this point, to witness such a beautiful sunset.”

Sunsets really move me, emotionally. I don’t know why, they have just always hit me at my core and leave me a better person than before.

To my pleasant surprise, Granada still had more charm to give. As we were walking back down, we witnessed engagement photos being taken! It was so cute. They had a photo opp by a restaurant called “Taberna de Besos.”

The bride to be was excitedly describing her dress to her husband and he just grabbed her hand and smiled. I swooned, so hard.

And I prayed a silent wish for the two, that the love they share be everlasting. I will never see them again, but I hope to god they make it, that they are successful with their vows of forever.

To end our night, we decided to smoke some hookah. We found the cutest place ever that was void of tourists, and completely immersed with Spaniards. We each had about 3 rounds of delicious sangria, probably the most authentic I’ve tasted so far. Not as strong as we would have liked, but still refreshingly appetizing.

Overall, Granada was a complete success. Granada is… romantic. It is for the passionate at heart, and adventurous souls. It is for lovers of food, romance, and scenery. Going to Granada felt like going home. And to feel home in a foreign place is a very overwhelming emotion.

 

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