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Caminar en Granada (To walk in Granada)

 The streets of Granada are full of things you would never encounter in the United States. Each step down the streets provides a new experience to all those who dare to wander the narrow alleyways.
Walking down the streets of Granada, my sneakers hit the hard tile that lines the streets in perfect squares. Little shops line the streets on each side of the street, and the shopkeepers are hard at work cleaning their windows before the rush of the day hits. The towering buildings that hug every street cast shadows over the streets, providing a stark contrast of light and dark. People hurry by: a couple holding hands, a daughter that has linked arms with her elderly mother, a mother pushing a double stroller down the narrow sidewalks. Everyone is chattering happily as they wait for the last car to pass and run across the street to the next sidewalk.  People rarely wait for the walk sign to light up. 
 
     The smells of fried garlic and coffee fill the next street, and I suddenly remember how hungry I am.  Then, I’m distracted by the drops of water falling onto my head. It’s not raining is it? I look up to see the plants that line the small balconies of every apartment and realize that I've been mistaken. 
In the distance, between the buildings, I can see the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. The purplish tint against the blue, cloudless sky is a beauty to behold all on its own.  My feet carry me up the slight inclines of the streets, and it seems there are an infinite number of alleyways to be explored; each with steps to climb to a new place. I come across a large space with a statue, a plaza, every so often, and it is full of people relaxing, enjoying the weather, or chatting with friends.  The people of Spain take their time when they talk to people. Hours pass at a tapas bar without ever knowing it.
 
      As night falls, the Alhambra can be seen in the distance. The lights that bathe it make it seem like the castle is floating in the dark sky.  It is as bright as the moon and twice as beautiful to look at. I’m sad to turn around and start my walk home. There is so much more of the city to see; so many more statues and history hidden around every corner of the city of Granada. 
 
Jace Waller, a senior at Illinois State University, is the CEA Fall 2012 MOJO for Granada, Spain

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