“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Hola amigos,

I'm sorry it has been so long since my last post. I have been very busy with school work these past few days. Last weekend was our trip to Granada and I have so much to share!

We left early Friday morning to take the train to Sevilla. It was there that we met up with another API group - apparently the snobby kids who are studying in Sevilla. All of the Bryant kids, of course, were in the other group. It was a shame that they weren't more friendly - it certainly made the 3 hour bus ride to Granada uncomfortable. But, this gives me an opportunity to teach you all a new word! The word is "bija." It is colloquial, Gaditano (from Cadiz) and simply means: snob.

So after 6 hours of traveling to a place that is no more than 3.5 hours away....we finally arrived at our hotel which was located across the street from the Alhambra. It sounds like the perfect location, but it was slightly inconvenient since it sits on top of a hill - no, no, not a hill - a mountain. We got settled in and then Carmen took Natalie, Teresa, and I for a stroll around Granada. It was great that we were able to break off into our small group because Carmen was able to treat us to churros and tea!
The churros in Granada were much better than the ones in Cadiz!

We stopped for mint tea at a local Moroccan inspired 'teteria." Delicious!

After dinner we all went to a "cueva gitana" - a cave - to see a flamenco show! The particular place we went to, Cueva de la Rocio, is famous because that is where Michelle Obama went over the summer when she took a lovely vacation here in Spain. The Spaniards LOVE the Obamas, so as you can imagine, there was a huge picture of her on display. Anyway, the show was awesome. Teresa had a great seat amongst a crowd of elderly Italian people. There were hysterical! They kept talking to her in Italian as if she understood.
Teri with her Italian friends.

Natalie and I at the show.

Here are a few pictures of the flamenco show. Afterward, we stopped at a local hotspot - La Cueva, a popular tapas place in the downtown area. In Granada, when you buy a drink, you get a 'tapa' or a little snack, free. We met a group of older men from Cordoba who were out celebrating their friend's upcoming wedding - and they were out drinking with their professor from college! They were great and challenged our knowledge of Gaditano (Cadiz) words.

 The next morning we toured the Alhambra, which is hands down one of the most impressive sites in all of Europe. More than 8,000 people visit everyday. It was built in the 14th century as a Moorish palace.There is so much history surrounding the Alhambra, for me to tell it, would take forever! I encourage you to research it online! I will share some of my favorite pictures below - I think they speak for themselves.

 So after the Alhambra and lunch, came the BEST PART of my trip to Spain so far. We went to the Hammam Arab Baths.

 Above is a picture I found online of the Arab baths in Granada. Oh. My. God. What an experience. There are 3 baths: hot, temperate, and cold. You have to start out in the temperate bath for a bit until they call you for your MASSAGE. Yes, you heard correctly. Massage. I was fortunate enough to have the only male masseuse. I'm not sure how, but that man took out 4 years worth of knots in my neck and back in 20 minutes. Best massage of my life. So....after your massage you can basically do whatever you want for the next hour and a half. I spent most of my time soaking in the hot bath and then ended with some lovely mint tea. I have to say that this was hands down the best experience I have had here in Spain.

The next day we decided to go exploring. We had walked past a staircase leading up to some olive trees a few times and it sparked out curiosity. So, on Sunday morning we decided to go on an adventure and we were not disappointed! While the rest of the group was off shopping - we found this!

Teri standing by one of the many olive trees

The view from the "spot" we came upon

Grape vines with 'fall foliage' as Teri calls it

Beautiful building with wines and a trellis
We spent about 2 hours exploring Granada on our own on Sunday. Sometimes now following the crowd and going off the beaten path leads to the best adventures. We discovered things about Granada that most other people don't see on a typical tour.

Overall, the trip was great. The 7 hour trip home was INCREDIBLY long and we were happy to get home.

This week has been very busy trying to get ahead with school work. I am also moving to a new host family tomorrow morning so I will have lots to share about my new family this weekend!


1 comment:

  1. Alicia, I agree with you about seeing on your own. Your mom and I did that when we were in Ireland.

    Oh, be the way, Andrew not gets a cookie at the football games.