Finding Granada

Trip Start Dec 11, 2012
Trip End Oct 17, 2013

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Andalusia,
Monday, May 6, 2013

Sitting cross legged on our hostel floor in Malaga, maps and guidebooks fanned out around us, Claudia and I deliberated what our between stop to Portugal should be.
"Granada or Seville?"
"Uhh... Flip a coin?"
Brief hunt for coin. The coin is tossed - and lands on the other side of the room. Mad scramble. Claudia brandishes the coin triumphantly. Granada it is then...

Granada is divided into two parts: the flat city center with wide streets and modern houses and the older part that clings to the side of the mountain, more vertical than horizontal, with streets so narrow you could probably swap mugs of coffee with people on the opposite balcony. With our new friend Tony the Irishman in tow, we hiked up the narrow cobblestoned streets that webbed and mazed up the mountain. Already enchanted by the Arab stalls and smells of shisha and tapas, it took less than two minutes to fall in love with Granada once we'd seen our hostel. It is the kind of love that prompts shamefully soppy poetry and thirteen-year-old girls to graffiti their diaries with hearts and "4evas" - consider yourself warned. Even if it weren't for the three-story-bunkbeds, the tree house, people lazily reading in the hammocks or jamming with bongo drums, guitars and harmonicas in the chill out room; even if the bar didn't play everything from Miles Davis to Infected Mushroom, the happy and relaxed atmosphere of the hippie days of old was enough to convince us to extend our stay - the first of many extensions...

It took very little to fall in step with the rhythm of Granada. Breakfasts in the treehouse were drawn out until noon, sangria - ALWAYS accompanied with tapas, as is the Granadian custom, much to Claudia's and my ecstatic delight - enjoyed out on the plazas, thus making the official four hour siesta time from 2 until 6 all the more welcome. We decided to do as the locals do, donning our boho pants, but decided to give the official hairstyle of dreadlocks a miss. We joined the demonstrations on the 1st of May, promoting workers' rights, which involved a lot of dancing to drums down the streets. We partied it up with the hippies on the Sacramento mountain with amazing views of the Alhambra - probably one of the top things we've done so far.

"You'll never guess who's in Granada!"
I looked up from the very important and serious task of getting my legs a touch darker than their current blend-in-with-the-snow Austrian hue. A more is-there-coffee-in-my-milk coloring, perhaps?
Remember Australian Gus from Nice?
Thus Gus became an unofficial member of our hostel family for the next few days, only returning to his own around 5 or 6am to get some much needed sleep.

We managed to ingratiate ourselves into the hostel's inner circle one night when our stir fry supper with ingredients intended for four (Claudia: Do you think we have enough veggies? Maybe another zucchini? I mean, it has to be enough for all of us...) managed to feed twenty. With seconds. Some even had thirds. Van Embden portion estimation strikes again...

We ended up extending our stay three times, once having to sleep on couches and beanbags in the chill out room because the hostel was fully booked for the night (this is what you call hostel loyalty - or a cult). So as we sprinted down the cobbles this morning - late for the train again - our backpacks providing good momentum, as we employed the by now familiar tap dance to avoid the minefield of dog poo on the streets (these grenades are Granada's true namesake, I'm sure), I was really only interested in one thing: "So Claua, when are we coming back?"

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Cara on

Best one so far!Good laugh :) Keep them coming! :D x

aquirkybunchof2 on

Thanks Cara! :D missing you lots xxx

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