℘ GRANADA ℘
A fruity city named after the pomegranate, hidden between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and exposed to the Mediterranean Sea, Granada. Just like the arils fenced by the juice of the grenadine, this city has multicultural roots, where your all five senses will be explored to the maximum. The feeling is very close to eating a pomegranate; with every juicy seed exploding between your jaws, a new but kind of the same taste comes along.
One of my favorite things about this outstanding city is the remarkable proof that different people with different beliefs can coexist. Not just coexist but also can be extraordinary together. The place that defines this the most in Granada is Al Hambra. There, one can see the most beautiful combination between two religions, christianity and islam. It’s almost incredible how “ two” different contradictory things can create such an amazing almost perfect “ one”. Also, with Morocco being just three hours away, one can see the African influences as well. It’s like this city is an open heart, welcoming everyone with anything they are holding in their “ backpacks”, not even trying for a second to be against anything that its coming its way. That’s one thing I can’t say about the current situation in the world. This place should be an example for all of us; despite all differences and all beliefs, I believe we are able to live together happily and peacefully by creating instead of destroying.
One other thing that took my attention is how generous people are, even though almost everything comes at a low-cost. Wherever you decide to have lunch or to dine, the restaurants/bars of Granada will give you tapas for free. You order a sangria/cerveza ( beer) or any other drink and you will get in most of the places one or two free tapas, depending on how many people are. Oh man, the taste of those spicy olives is still dancing in my mouth ( I am obsessed with olives haha) . I mean I love all kinds of food, but what I like about tapas is their size; these little tiny perfect size appetizers go just perfect with a beer or a sangria, satisfying your tastes in an adorable way without making you feel like a balloon.
We got there by bus from Madrid, which was better than we expected. You can find various stores at the train station from where you can buy some sandwiches, juices or coffee. The sandwiches were actually better than we expected, especially the egg salad one. On our way there we watched El Chapo haha. Since the bus has wi-fi and comfortable chairs time flew away fast, but it takes almost 4 hours to get there.
Took a cab from the train station to the hotel, at a very reasonable price. Though at first we were a little bit skeptical because of our experiences with taxi drivers in other countries, but no, not in Granda! You can trust taxi drivers there. Got to the hotel, did the check in and went to explore the city. From the first minutes spent there you realize how magical Granada is. It’s like love at first sight! Usually me and Noor walk together but it happens sometimes to find ourselves walking in different directions. All it takes is one of us or both to see something that really impresses us and there we are, looking for each other with a big almost childish smile on our face, wanting to desperately share what we just saw. ” Bebek come see!”, ” No, you come see this!” haha.. well in Granada this happened a lot so that is a good sign.
After walking around a little bit on the streets of Granada, of course, we got hungry. We first went to a place called Beauty and the Beast which is a tiny bar that was designed by a 10 years old child exactly how he wanted. I thought that’s interesting, cool parents kid! We had some sangria, which is a must, absolutely delicious, very refreshing, fruity and full flavored. With every drink we got free tapas, which were ok.
And this is how our first day ended! With a pistachiolicious taste. I know Italy has the best ice-cream but I think you just haven’d tried Granada’s ice cream yet haha. We are pistachio lovers so we try pistachio ice cream everywhere we go. This one is the best so far!
The second day of the trip started with a delicious breakfast right on the street. I had bread with tomato and cheese, but trust me is more than the usual tomato and cheese. The tomatoes there are amazing, they are so good you just want to eat tomatoes all day. Oh and the cheeseee, and the jamon from what Noor told me, it’s the best! He went years ago to Spain and had some; when we were planning this trip to Spain all he was talking about was the jamon so yeah I think it’s really good. ( I know I don’t eat meat and probably I should not talk about how good jamon is but I am sure I have meat eaters as followers that would really enjoy it. This is a time where anyone can do anything and there is no judgments here on my blog, no right or wrong) .
After breakfast we walked around and than headed to Al-Hambra. We got the tickets online, it’s better and cheaper. The Generalife with a guide is the best choice, it includes all places, including the garden! Wear comfortable shoes and a hat, it’s very hot and you will walk a lot but the place is so beautiful that you will not feel how the time goes.
One of the stories that caught my attention is how these fountains were built in such a way that you cannot hear them. The Sultan wanted to be able to walk around them in peace and quiet without any noise distracting him from the important decisions he had to make at that time.
Al Hambra is enormous; the location of this beautiful architecture, the roses, oranges and myrtles transform this place in a magical spot on Earth; Moorish poets described it as “a pearl set in emeralds”, because of the wood that surrounds it. Above all this beauty, Al Hambra is also the standing proof that, we, the people, can make it work if we stop letting our differences to define us! And not just work, but do it in a marvelous way with an extraordinary result. I can’t honestly find in my vocabulary the right words to describe this amazing place. You just need to go and see it! Put it on your wish list!
As we do in every city, country, place we visit, this time was no different! One evening is kept for our date night which means we dress up nice, elegant and we go to a beautiful restaurant, have a delicious dinner, curious conversations and lots of laughing. Usually ends up with a tasty dessert, maybe other drinks in a bar, dancing or just walking around and singing on the streets haha. This time we went to a show first, a flamingo show in the gypsy area of Granada. Oh, man! It is fantastic!
Their voices and their dancing is so unique and beautiful that you can’t get enough of just looking at them. They are like real gypsies, with a family history of flamingo dancers and singers. The walls are full of their photos capturing moments of every generation. It’s a unique experience full of authenticity and history.
Nothing is more beautiful than walking on the street of Granada so after the show we walked to the restaurant, which by the way is our favorite and I recommend it to anyone who wants to have a lovely romantic delicious dinner. It is up on a hill from where you can see all Granada and of course Al-Hambra shining beautifully in the lights of the Moon. There you will be surrounded with live guitar music played by an asian man who does it in such a natural relaxing way that you will definitely get some of his good energy. Never thought I will ever hear an asian man playing guitar so beautiful in Granada! Thank you!
The place is called Las estreyas de Saint Nicolas. The menu is diversified, it has traditional Spanish foods like paella but also a various other choices like grilled sea bass, crispy red tuna, carpaccio, plates of cured jamon of course, salads and delicious desserts. I did take a photo of the dessert which we shared, it is the Red Fruit ” MilleFeuilles” with Vanilla Cream. So good we wanted to order another one haha!
Last day in Granada we had breakfast in the same place, because we loved it the first time! I wanted to buy some souvenirs so we walked and shopped a bit.
We found this gorgeous perfume museum. It had these small stairs which take you to the basement where you will find small utensils, recipients and boilers that people used long time ago to make perfume.
Walking in Granada on those little small streets which separate and combine at the same time two different continents, two different worlds is something one must experience at least once in his lifetime. With your nose and lungs being infused with the powerful smell of oranges, olives and roses all together, either hearing an old woman singing in Spanish or just a man who is sitting on the stairs having a sangria and singing on his guitar, Granada is a remarkable place, like a beginning of a love story, where Europe meets Africa.
There I felt free. I felt free and in love.
With all my love,