viernes, 25 de mayo de 2012

Andalusia for beginners: Granada

Warmed up and a bit suntanned we headed to Granada. The bus between Malaga and Granada was cheap and comfy, and the views on the way were good as well: olive groves, hills, little villages. I even spotted The Bull! 

I had quite big expectations as to this city because many people had told me it’s the best of Andalusia – and it was, I definitely fell for Granada.
The architecture is absolutely charming there. White houses, tiny narrow streets, balconies decorated with flowers, little patios and sunny squares… It was like a totally different world and I loved it. The influence of the Arabic culture is immense and it fits in there perfectly. 

What we were also looking forward to was the food. Granada offers loads of cheap bars with yummy tapas. The first night we went for drinks (and free tapas, something that kept startling me until the very last day) to a bar on the top of a hotel which was followed by a great flamenco show and honey and almond pancakes and shisha in one of the popular teterias. The second night we hit the centre to enjoy the local nightlife. It was buzzy and happy, loads of students around. We went from one bar to another drinking and eating, finally ending up in a nice little bar where for 1€ you get a glass of tinto. The bartender showed us some magic tricks and it was a bliss.
That’s another amazing aspect of Granada (and actually other cities of Andalusia we visited) – the people. Very very different to Catalans and even Madrilenos. People on the streets talked to us and smiled, cars always let us cross over and there were no obscene piropos! I will write a separate post on this phenomenon, for the moment let me just explain that piropos are ‘flattering comments’ girls get from men, usually when they walk past them on a street. Also in Granada the southern accent is very strong and I find it extremely cute!
We couldn’t say we have been to Granada if we didn’t see the famous Alhambra. Unfortunately we could only get tickets to see the gardens – it was still impressive.  Massive massive constructions and lots of green combined with breathtaking views – what’s not to love? 

I genuinely felt upset when we had to leave. Granada is so far my favourite city in Spain!

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