Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Guide to Granada.

I've recently decided that this blog, while originally created to relay my international escapades, has fallen woefully short of that intent.  Not that humorous introspection doesn't have its place, but I think I should try to switch it up a little.  Come with me now and take a walk though my streets: the streets of Granada.

You may be in Granada if...

#1. You may be in Granada if...when you order a drink, you get a tapa the size of your face with it...for free.

A "Los Pescadores" tapa captured by one Hannah Martone.

(For those of you not in the know, a “tapa” is normally a small serving of food that traditionally comes with a drink, originally on “top” of the drink.  I think it was created to keep flies from getting in the drink, but I can’t speak to the veracity of that theory.)  It's no secret that Granada IS the happeningist place for foodies of all tapas persuasions.  The size and tastiness of the free tapa will vary immensely depending on the establishment being patronized.  Some of the best tapas are located in my neighborhood, the infamously hip Plaza de Toros.  Caution: A lot of the time your brain is tricked into thinking that the tapa is larger than it actually is because of the massive quantities of bread served with the tapa.  Do not be fooled!  A restaurant of superior quality will not rely on bread alone, but will craft a quality tapa from a variety of ingredients for your dining pleasure.  Local Granadinos benefit from tapa restaurants of all sizes and varieties: Spanish, Moroccan, World-fusion, Spanish, French, Italian, and Spanish.  It’s deliciously dangerous.

#2. You may be in Granada if…you see weird stuff like this on the reg.

Just another typical day in Granada.

I don’t know if this happens as frequently in the other capital cities around Andalucía/Spain, but, to date, I’ve seen roving groups of teletubbies, vampires, the pac-men pictured above, and even boxes of condoms.  I’m sure there've been more, but that’s all I can remember for the moment.  If there is a purpose behind these shenanigans, it is completely lost on me.  I will say, however, that they have made me much more diligent about having my camera with me whenever I go out.

#3. You may be in Granada if…you can see the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains from almost anywhere.

View of the Sierra Nevadas from Avenida de la Constitución.

The Sierra Nevadas are the highest mountains in continental Spain.  While rather small in comparison to a lot of other mountain ranges around the world, they nonetheless contain a certain majesty.  I’ve had the experience several times where something stupid will be bothering me as I leave my apartment.  As soon as I get to Avenida de la Constitución, however, I have the view pictured above, and I remember, “oh yeah, it’s not that big of a deal.”  I can’t quite explain it, but feeling small is healthy from time to time, methinks.  It’s a great reminder that the world, in fact, does not revolve around me and my silly problems.

#4. You may be in Granada if…you have one of the most awe-inspiring cathedrals in Spain at your doorstep.

Definitely worth the 3,50€ entry fee.

The Granada cathedral, according to one Rick Steves, is the second largest Gothic cathedral in Spain (after Sevilla’s), and is one of only two Renaissance churches in Spain (high five to Córdoba for having the other).  One thing that makes this cathedral especially unique is the brightness of the interior.  Most cathedrals are rather dark inside, whereas Granada’s is exceptionally bright.  If it weren’t so expensive to go for a visit, I would probably go once a week or so, just to take it in.  I think it goes back to that “feeling of smallness.”

#5. You may be in Granada if…you see this wherever you go.

The unwashed masses of Granada.

(The above picture is normally accompanied by a wafting weed smell.  Cig smoke may, however, be substituted from time to time.)  I’ve said it before, so I won’t dwell on it again for too long.  Granada, being the hippie capital of Europe, is home to all varieties of unwashed youths, hanging out with their dogs, doing nothing nothing with their lives (I was going to say something nicer, but…I chose honesty instead).  I think my biggest problem is that I just can’t understand why these people are here.  I mean, I guess self-expression and blah blah might have something to do with it, but it’s mostly just beyond me.  At least they don’t go around asking everyone for money like the Gypsies.

That’s all I have for now.  I hope you enjoyed a walk through the beautiful Granada!

1 comment:

  1. I like how after all the beautiful stuff you ended with weed and gypsies.

    Very informative and well-written as always :)