Granada – the SparkNotes Version

Today, a friend of mine asked me what I’m planning to do when I get home and I honestly don’t know the answer. Work, I guess? Maybe take a SoulCycle class or two? Honestly, nothing sounds all that great compared to this past month.

Though all of us were quite turned off from Granada at first, I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are all very emotional about leaving this place. 

Granada, a city located in Spain’s Andalusia region, provides its visitors with some insane history, architecture, and culture, all wrapped up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Not only are there caves and cathedrals and flamenco, but there’s also gelato, tapas, tinto veranos, four euro earrings, and some of the best views I’ve ever seen. We spent our mornings in class, but after 2:00 pm you would find us being menaces around the city. Our tables were often asked to be quieter. 

I’m struggling to find the words to speak about this place and experience, so I’ll just list some of my favorite memories and places, in no particular order:

  1. Taking a flamenco class. The owner said I had the “it” factor for flamenco; I’m so glad my 16 years of dance has allowed me to get to this point. 
  2. El Gimnasio Triunfo. We took fitness classes taught entirely in Spanish and have never sweat more. 
  3. Shawarma, a Mediterranean pita-type dish that’s so good I went twice in one day. 
  4. The Hammam Al-Andalus Turkish Baths. Baths with strangers are fun.
  5. Wine nights in our rooms. The £1.50 bottles weren’t half bad. 
  6. The water from the Sierra Nevada, conveniently placed around the city in fountains. 
  7. La Alhambra. You’d think this would be a given, but it exceeds all expectations. 
  8. The sweet victory of making the leader board in Kahoot. 
  9. Los Italianos Gelato. It was on the way back to the hotel from town, so there was always a reason to stop in.
  10. This one taxi driver who was learning English. We spoke entirely in Spanish, but taught each other a few words from our native languages. 

Of course, these places wouldn’t be nearly as special without the people who shared them with me. To my bitties, Tessa, Hannah, Cameron, Bella, Jason, Dom, Megan, Annika, and Devin: thank you. I can’t wait to come back in 20 years to split some more liters of sangría. 

All in all, the amount of love and gratitude I have for my life right now is borderline unhealthy. There are no regrets about the past month, not even about the gnarly hangovers from our cheap supermarket wine.

With that, I say a heartfelt “hasta luego” to Spain. I know I’ll be back very soon, hopefully with less of an American accent and more of a fluency in Spanish. 

Don’t you worry though, my European adventures are not over yet. Now, it’s onto Paris with my mom and sister. My French is about as good as my Swedish, which is none at all. Thank goodness for Google Translate.

Be well,


Generalife Palace – La Alhambra
Dom, Tessa, Annika, and I – La Tagliatella, Granada
My class – Granada
Hammam Al-Andalus – Granada

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