As soon as the bus made its way to the outskirts of Granada from our landing point in Seville, I could tell I was going to like this city.
It was the outline of the Sierra Nevada against the city. I was the dizzying array of ancient buildings spread out below. It was the bright blue sky. It was just the way the city felt.
At the Alhambra Zoom hostel, we checked into a cheap and comfortable triple room, next to a impeccably clean bathroom. That was all I needed to be happy – especially since the city center was steps from the hostel.
Matt was not feeling well the first night, so we got him some peanut M&Ms and water and walked around a bit. The city by night was beautiful and the weather was still cool.
The next day, the weather had turned to broiling as I realized this was the first time I had visited Spain during the summer. Hungry, we wandered around to find a place that did not have English menus. I thought that we were too close to the city center to to find a non-touristy place but alas, we found a small cafe where Younes (a fluent Spanish speaker) ordered us sangria and two big platters of tapas.
The sangria came out in huge glasses with almost enough fruit in them to make a second meal. They were perfect – light, refreshing and just enough sweetness without being overly so.
The tapas platters were massive and delicious. I particularly liked the manchego cheese, because CHEESE.
With that, we proceeded to take our overly stuffed bodies for a walk. Up the hills of Granada we chugged, the hot sun beating down on us. The views were, however, well worth it. Finally, we made it to a small park with sweeping views of the Alhambra and the city below, with the mountains backdropped against it.
After rest and picture-taking we walked back down to the city. I was hot and had one goal on my mind – cold cerveza. On our way back to the hostel, we stopped at a shady cafe to indulge.
A cool shower and a nap at the hostel perked me up and it was time to think about our night out. We wandered and had a drink here and there before ending up at the same tapas place we had been for lunch. Hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? I indulged in a large platter of manchengo and jamon and gazpacho and of course more sangria.
The next day was our much-anticipated visit to the Alhambra. Younes and I were psyched to see the ornate palaces, the amazing intricate designs and the elegant gardens. We were not disappointed.
However, Matt was not overly thrilled with looking at a bunch of buildings, so we promised him plenty of sangria and tapas for putting up with playing tourist for hours on end – a promise we were happy to deliver on as we passed the rest of the afternoon away at a misty outdoor cafe in a lovely square.
Our time in Granada was concluded by sipping drinks – including an extra-dry glass of cava for me – in yet another square as our last night in Granada settled in on us.