Hi! Today I wanted to write about some of the peculiarities of living in Granada. Yes, the tapas are free, I get to see the Alhambra nearly everyday, my classes are in Spanish, my friends stay out until 6 AM, and Granaínos have one of the coolest accents in the Spanish-Speaking World. But I want to show you some other stuff; stuff that you only get to see if you pay close attention and what you get to see only if you take the road less traveled. Maybe less fun than Camborio all night, but I’ll show you what makes Granada interesting to me.
Granada is a city of nearly 250,000 people but it feels much smaller sometimes. Spain in general feels like a small enough community from what I’ve seen so far. It’s been a couple times that I’ve been watching the TV with my host family and some one in the house knows some one on the local TV. When traveling to other cities I almost always see some one from Granada or even some one I know! Around town too it’s very common to see somebody that you know and stop and talk with them.
I, like most other people here, walk everywhere and everything is “just five minutes” away and “just straight ahead.” These are terms you’ll here if you ask any one for directions here, but in reality, most destinations aren’t usually too far away. The city does stretch pretty far from north to south. So, if you have to walk from South Zaidin to Plaza de Toros, or Cartuja or even the Socromonte it can wear you out. The other thing is there aren’t street signs on the street; there are signs on the sides of buildings that tell you what street you’re on. I wish I had a picture because they’re really cool, but they’re not that effective, they’re nearly impossible to see and half the time aren’t existent.
For some reason a lot of the walls here are re-enforced with broken glass. I don’t know if it’s for extra protection, or just for decoration. I don’t think it’s particular to Granada, I think that I’ve seen this other places, but it’s just very common here.
Here’s an example of a “muro” with La Alhambra in the background
The Same Muro and the Same Alhambra
Different Alhambra (just kidding)
This type of fountain is pretty popular here in Granada. They’re all concentrated in the old parts of town and I think that they’re all pretty old because you don’t see this type of fountain much in the newer parts of town. They all have they’re different designs and show an artist’s unique image.
Here’s one at the Alhambra
This weekend I took a trip out of town to the giant mountains, just north of Granada. There I met a lot of good people, ate some good food and saw some of the best views that Granada has to offer. It was a family event in an area of “picnic” in Spanish, with the same meaning as the English word, and “camping,” both borrowed from English. It was pretty cool and I think every one had a lot of fun. I was there with some family friends and los alayos, the Spanish equivalent to the boy scouts. I also got to participate in “geocaching,” apparently an American word and activity that I’d never known about. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun, and it’s basically an excuse to hike or “hacer senderísmo” in Spanish. Whatever you want to call it, in my opinion hiking is just walking that happens to place in the mountains or just in the “wilderness” at all. It’s a lot of fun and I got to see some historical sites too.
The first site we explored was a ruins of an old hospital of tuberculosis, converted into a war hospital. This site was special for a few reasons. During the Spanish Civil War, it had been bombed and destroyed, and now it’s left in ruins. Many of the sites in this area were significant to the civil war. Another attraction to this site is the supposed ghosts that haunt it. The nurses that died in the bombing are now supposedly ghosts that haunt the ruins, they even have names, but I don’t know them.
The Views were Amazing Too
La vista looks a bit similar to western states, maybe Colorado?
There’s Me in the Shadow
The two snowy/rocky peaks on the right are Mulhacen and Alcazaba. The tallest and third tallest peaks of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain/Portugal). It was the first time I got to see them and pretty impressive. They’re both over 14,000′ I believe, and just in my backyard!
There were “Trincheras,” Trenches used During the Civil War
This is a cave filled with water. We hiked the whole way up the mountain to see it, and it was fenced off.
Well that’s enough of talking about Granada for today. I think I’ll go out and enjoy it! Ciao!