Last stop on our Spanish adventure was the beautiful Granada. Sophia and I took a 2.5-hour bus ride directly from Cordoba. We dozed off every now and then because we tried to see all the hills and fields we passed on our way to our destination. Sadly, it was a gloomy day and just when we got to Granada it had just started raining. We were stuck at the bus station for 2.5 hours in a big rainstorm. We managed to find a taxi when the rain had died down a bit. Finding our Air BNB was a bit difficult because it was located within an apartment complex that was within an alley/side street. Once we found our Air BNB we managed to get in another nap. Traveling from one city to another can be quite exhausting!
Hunger soon came and we were on the search for a place to eat for dinner. Fortunately, my cousin Paola had recently been to Granada and had great restaurant recommendations. If you can’t already tell, you don’t do dinner in Spain, you do tapas! We had everything from Ensalada Rusa, Jamon Iberico, Mussels, Pork loins with olive oil and more.
After stuffing our faces, we caught a taxi that took us to a gypsy cave far from the city center for a Flamenco show! For historical reference, Flamenco was created with an Arabic influence due to the large population of Arabs that lived in the Southern part of Spain. From there Flamenco spread throughout all of Spain and people started creating different styles of Flamenco. When we learned more about the history of Flamenco we knew we had to go see a show while we were in the region where it all started. I had read about the gypsies that lived in Granada and how they gave dance performances in their caves. I was hooked.
When I attended a Flamenco show back in May 2017, I witnessed a classical style of Flamenco. This show in Granada was filled with more intensity, soul, and a different style. New instruments were introduced like the flute, and there were more women performers than men. I tried to really listen to the lyrics of the songs this time and noticed how each song told a story. Most of Flamenco songs are based from Spanish poets like Pablo Neruda.
We ended the night with a glass of wine at a local bar near our Air BNB. The next day we woke up and had a quick breakfast in the city center. We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping for souvenirs. Since we were in a more Arab concentrated city a lot of the souvenirs had an Arabic influence. I kind of felt like I was in Morocco or something. The artisan objects were stunning and if I had more room in my luggage I would have bought more things! Since I had been still recovering from a cold I caught in the middle of our trip I was in the search for another café that served tea. We found an Arabic shop that served a great variety of herbal teas. I ordered the one specifically for people who were sick and I immediately felt better!
We then took a bus to the Alhambra. The Alhambra is a palace that was originally built as a military fortress until the 13th century when the Arabic king Mohammed ibn Yusuf Ben Nasr started building more structures to accommodate it as a palace or castle. Throughout the Nasrid dynasty and the later Catholic rule, the Alhambra survived battles and was reconstructed a few times.
You can find 18 sites to explore within the Alhambra, most of which is made up of gardens, smaller palaces, chambers, and courts.
We spent about three hours in this palace. We easily could have spent more if we ventured to more areas, but we had to make sure we had enough time to go back to our Air BNB for another Flamenco show we bought tickets for.
Alessandro and Paola recommended the Flamenco show we saw on the second night located in the “Andalusian Dog”. We witnessed an 18-year-old girl do an incredible performance! This venue, which was located in the city center, was also small and felt intimate. Wherever you are visiting in Spain, especially in Andalusia, I recommend looking for smaller shows. You’ll get a closer and better view of the performers and really feel the music. It’s a great experience!
We ended the night with more tapas for dinner and some chocolate for dessert. The next morning we packed really quickly and took a taxi to the airport to fly to our last destination!