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Excursion to Granada

Hi, future CEA students! We're studying abroad in Alicante this semester and we wanted to share with you all how much fun we had on our excursion to Granada recently! Even though 5 hours on a bus sounds daunting, fun people from around the United States, comfortable seats, and beautiful scenery make the time fly by. Once we arrived in Granada and put on our coats (it was a lot colder there),    we hopped on another bus to head to our first-ever authentic Flamenco show. It was held in the gypsy village where the houses are built into the side of a mountain. They were beautiful and gave us a great view of the Alhambra by night The performers were dressed in colorful, traditional Flamenco-wear. We had the best seats in the house for the performance and we really enjoyed it! It felt so Spanish! The next day we headed out to see the gigantic city of Granada. We all really liked the Chapel Real where King Ferdinand and Queen Ysabel are buried. The chapel was very gilded and Lidiana explained to us all of the symbols and secret markings. Outside of the chapel there were a lot of cool things to see, too. There was an awesome street performer dressed as a knight with his extremely talented dog, Gordi.   After the Chapel, we all headed off to what was our favorite stop, the Arabic market. It was full of the neatest souvenirs and keepsakes. I think between Maria and I, we bought about 8 scarves and several pairs of earrings! After this we stopped by a tetería and relaxed with some delicious and warm tea. The tea place was decorated in Arabic style and had lots of detailed tiles. Then we spent the next few hours relaxing before a night out. In Granada they have the incredible tradition of giving you free tapas when you order a drink in the many tapas bars. We were lucky to get tuna with tomato, bocarones (look it up!), meatballs, pasta, French fries, and a bagel sandwich. This was over the period of the entire night, don't worry! The next morning we went to one of the most visited places in Spain – The Alhambra. We had high expectations for it and it exceeded them.   In case you don't know, the Alhambra was an Arabic fortress during the 8 centuries that they ruled Spain. Once the Christians took over control of Spain again, it became a paradise for the royals to relax in. The architecture was so intricate that it's hard to believe it was all done by hand. The buildings were mostly Arabic in design, but you could easily distinguish the ones built later by the Christians. As awesome as the architecture was, the gardens must be some of the most beautiful in the world. Naturally, they were filled with granadas, or pomegranates, following the name of the city. We also saw lots of interesting new plants and plenty of places to relax and take in all of the beautiful scenery.   Feeling inspired by the Alhambra, we decided to have lunch in an Arabic restaurant. The inside made us feel like we were sitting inside the Alhambra. One of the cool things about being in a new country is tasting all the different foods they have to offer. Maria ate Tajin, which is chicken with almonds, plums and honey. It looked and smelled soooooo good. I got some killer cous-cous with chicken. We were definitely not disappointed after that meal! Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, but we were glad to get on the bus once more to return to our pseudo-home, Alicante. It really is home now and it will be hard to say goodbye. Thank goodness we still have a month left here on the coast.¡Nos vemos!

Besos,
Maria y Shelley
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