This, friends, is my last post of pictures from Granada. After this, I have only photos and musings from my fantastically fantastical trip to Greece. Saying goodbye to this city was overwhelmingly difficult, and Granada will always have a special place in my heart. Sometimes part of what makes an experience so special is its impermanence, and I am trying to honor that fact when I feel sadness that it is has come to its conclusion.
Anyway, if you recall, Granada in Spanish means pomegranate. The city is covered in them. Here are some photos of the pomegranates I spotted while out with my camera.
It’s a cute little detail to search for around the city. There are tons more!
This past weekend brought with it deliciously beautiful weather, and inspired me to whip out my camera. Enjoy the photos captured of possibly the most hippie city in Spain, Granada:
Sorry my blog has sucked this past month. I know, it really has sucked. There were fewer pictures, and fewer anecdotes. I’d like to insert my fabulous excuse (here), however, I really don’t have one. I’ve been traveling less, and saving (well, trying to, but mostly failing) more. I’ve been sick. But mostly, I’ve had a rather boring existence this month.
Last weekend was a holiday weekend in my area of Spain (no work Monday and Tuesday). I had lofty plans in mind…The Canaries? A beach house? Malta? But none were able to come to fruition, which is probably best for me and my budget with so many trips planned in April, May and June (Eastern Europe, Gibraltar, Portugal, Greece).
I did have this little moment of clarity about it all though…I’m living in Spain. I live here. When you live somewhere, you don’t typically travel every weekend. And not every weekend is special. I can come back to Europe anytime to visit a couple of places that are still on my to-do list (granted, it might be more expensive…) but I can’t move back to this time in my life, with these people, in this apartment, in this part of Spain. This is a once-in-a-lifetime stint.
Some fun things that have happened in February, as a consequence of being around Andalusia:
- Attending a birthday party in a huge house in the most beautiful neighborhood in Granada featuring flamenco guitar and other miscellaneous instruments.
- An overnight trip to my favorite city in Andalusia, Sevilla (insert love music here) with some friends. It’s SO magical!
- A day trip to Antequerra (a little town about 1.5 hours away by bus) with a friend.
- Celebrating Dia de Andalusia at school with my students! There were oranges and ham and bread and chocolate (specialties of Andalusia) at snack time, and lots of fun games during the afternoon. They all did little presentations about the different provinces of the area, and the rivers. They made flags and buttons (they made me one too!).
- Lots of sunshine and freckle collecting in my favorite park. It’s been amazing weather!
- Random rendezvous with lots of wonderful people from various EU countries.
- Catching up on reading, sleeping, and skyping.
So really, I can’t complain. I may not be somewhere exotic right now, but I’m still living the dream, and securing my place as a Granadina.
Europe seems to have fallen victim to the “Santa Epidemic” and by that I mean… both last year (I was in Europe during Christmas time in 2009) and this year there were millions of people who chose to decorate their apartments with this heinous item:
That’s right. It’s a santa doll climbing into a window from a rope ladder.
Factually, it’s all wrong. Don’t these people know that Santa comes down the CHIMNEY? More importantly, where are the reindeer?
Beyond that, I find it tacky and comparable to the U.S. trend of blow-up snowmen. Apologies to any reader who has one on their lawn. But I’m being honest…those are really ugly, you should re-evaluate. Can I get some garland? Simple white twinkle lights?
The one upside to this is that if you’re ever really bored, you can count Santas. The number is obscene. I participated in this past time last winter, and I was appalled by the number.
I apologize that it’s been so long since I’ve updated, but I was engrossed in a bit of traveling and I had a two-week stint of visitors which was quite delightful. I’m going to try to back track to where I last updated, but it feels so long ago that things will probably be more brief, as I can’t easily conjour up my feelings for the most authentic blog post.
My family came to Spain for Christmas, and it was so great to spend time with them for a week. It was nice to have quality time together as it was our first family vacation in a decade and I’m unsure when we will all be together again.
It was so comforting to be around people who know me so well. During their visit (as mentioned in a previous post), we went to the Alhambra:
Visited a monastery in Granada:
We also walked around the city, and saw the beautiful Granada cathedral:
For Christmas Eve, when everything was closed, we had a picnic in the hotel of bread, cheese, fruit, and the delicious Spanish ham.
We also went to Jerez de la Frontera for a vineyard tour of Tio Pepe sherry, saw the highlights of Sevilla, and went to the famous Museo del Prado in Madrid. All wonderful. Unfortunately, my camera battery died and I was not equipped with my charger, so I have no photos of these experiences.
As a young woman, and also as the youngest in family, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on the transformation of my family over the past few years. I moved to Spain, one of my brothers moved to Illinois, and how I feel when I am in the house I grew up is much different than I once did. What is “home”? Spain doesn’t feel like home. My parent’s house feels safe, but it doesn’t necessarily feel like “home” anymore either. I wonder when the next time will be that I will feel rooted to a certain place. I’m starting to believe that home is more of a feeling than a location. Being with my brothers and parents feels like home. Sharing a laugh with friends feels like home.
I have a quote taped to my mirror in my apartment, and it has become truer as I grow older.
Home is wherever you are if there’s love there, too.
My family has journeyed across the Atlantic to see me. 🙂
I am a happy camper. During their visit, we went to the Alhambra, which is in Granada and is the most visited monument in Spain.
It has a great view of my city:
We took a group tour to get the “full effect” and I have a big confession to make. 1. I didn’t pay attention at all. 2. I hate history.
Call me ignorant, but I could really care less about what things took place thousands of years ago. I’m quite happy that other people find this interesting, but it does not add anything to a travel experience for me. I’m the kind of girl who likes to wander and marvel. I’d personally rather make up my own stories of what happened in a historical place. So the point is…if you have more questions than Where is it? What does it look like? or Is it pretty? I’m probably not the person to ask.
My favorite thing about the monument was the detail work carved into the plaster. I took lots of photos of this, and told one of my brothers that I was thinking about writing a blog post called “The Patterns of the Alhambra” to which he replied, “sounds like your most boring yet.” I’m going to post them anyway (hmph), so I hope you enjoy.
See? Wasn’t that exceptionally un-boring?
There are so many other pictures and anecdotes I want to share, but all this uploading and editing is hurting my brain. To be continued soon.
Merry Christmas, everyone 🙂 I’m enjoying the holiday with my family and hope that you are having a special day, too. Besos!