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A Week in Granada: The Beginning of a Journey

Granada is truly one of the most unique places I’ve ever had the chance to visit. What first caught my eye as I was trying to decide where to study abroad was the multitude of cultures that have shaped this city’s history and are still here today! I am shamelessly a history geek, and Granada has truly seen it all. To give you an idea of how far back we could go, this area was inhabited by the Romans and the Visigoths as early has 5500 BC. Jump forward to 711 AD, and the area is under Muslim rule (it will stay that way for the next 800 years or so). Then, in 1492, the final Muslim ruler surrendered his territory to Queen Isabel I and King Ferdinand V, marking the end of the Spanish Reconquista. I could keep going, but it’s much cooler to learn about history when you’re on top of the Alhambra or strolling through El Albaycín where everything actually occurred.
I’ve been continually amazed by how many different things you can see while walking down the streets here on a normal day, and that’s what I want to try to show you. Keep in mind this is just what I saw in a three days, so imagine how much more there is to discover!

Monday

This was my first day studying abroad in Granada. To introduce me to my new home, my host mom took me on a quick tour of the city. Highlights of this tour included: a cloistered monastery out of which nuns sell dulces, a tiny side street in El Albaycín lined with countless types of tea and colorful spices spilling out of burlap bags, and a visit to a gelato shop (Los Italianos) that Michelle Obama has actually patronized. After a long day of traveling and walking, my Señora made me Tortilla Española. Yes.

 Views from Señora’s asking tour of Granada

Wednesday

After a visit to the Alhambra and the Generalife gardens, all I can say is wow. Words could never do either of these amazing sites justice, and honestly neither will pictures, but I’ll just leave these here.

 Reflecting pool in the Alhambra
 
 More from the Alhambra
 
 Generalife Gardens with Granada in the background

Friday

Jorge led us on another tour, this time through El Albaycín. This was the Muslim area in town when Muslims were forced to either leave the city or relocate to specific areas following the Spanish Reconquista. The architecture, the history, the vistas: ¡son increíbles!

 Jorge, CEA Granada Student Life Advisor and I

I hope this gave you just a taste of how much Granada has to offer. There’s really no way to give a “cultural snapshot” of this city’s vibrancy, it’s so rich it would be impossible to capture. That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t intend to try; at any given time you will still find me with my camera glued to my face.

Megan V.  is the Fall 2017 CEA MOJO blogger in Granada, Spain. She is currently a Junior studying Political Science and Spanish at the University of Tennessee.



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