If I had to pick superlatives from my recent trip to Southern Spain (and I had to because what else do you do on the way home to make the trip last a little longer?), I’d say that out of Ronda, Nerja, and Granada, Ronda was the most charming and Granada the most interesting. From our hotel window at the foot of the Alhambra and overlooking the city center, Granada looked more like a peaceful town or a village than a city. However, once we trekked down the hill and wandered the city streets, we soon learned that the city is full of energy with street performers and artists entertaining cafe goers and tapas eaters, business people traveling to and from meetings, students and professors attending class (but mostly not attending class), and market goers carrying home their fresh fish and olives. Looking back on our few days in Granada, it’s almost a blur of wandering through these scenes, tapas, sangria, more tapas, and flamenco!
On our first night, we traveled by bus to the old gypsy caves in the the Albayzin area where flamenco is said to have been invented. Yes, these cave shows cater to tourists and you won’t find a local except maybe on stage, but it was so much fun. The dancers were excellent and the overall experience one for the books. We loved it so much that we had to see another show the next night. For this one, we stayed down in the city center at La Alborea. While the dancers on the first night were good, the one’s performing the second night were spectacular! So much energy, athleticism, and emotion! We were completely captivated.
The Alhambra at night.
Of course, you can’t talk about Granada without talking about the Alhambra. While it’s truly a treasure and easily my favorite part of the city, Granada is so much more than just the Alhambra (although it hurts me to even type “just” the Alhambra). Its vibrant and loud and passionate, just like it’s native dance. Also, it’s fried eggplant drizzled in honey is the final word on salty and sweet.
Find more on the Alhambra here.