Class and studying is one fun aspect of studying abroad here in Spain, at least for me it is, but another aspect about studying abroad that is just as fun is traveling. With my program CIEE they have small excursions planned for the students that are all for free and this past weekend I went to a town called Granada.
Granada has approximately 250,000 people and is named after the fruit we know as a pomegranate. It is situated in the mountains and is a four hour bus ride east of Seville. Granada is one of the most important cities in Spanish history because this is the last Islamic town conquered by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel in 1492. As a result, in this year, 1492, Spain was officially created and it was one nation under God. Christianity reigned throughout the land and other religions were actually outlawed. If you did not want to convert to Christianity you were either expulsed from the country, killed, or forced to practice your religion in secret.
In Granada the main sites we saw on our short two day trip were the giant castle, called the Alhambra, which is supposedly the second most visited site in the entire world and the burial tombs of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel! I had already seen these sites with my mom when I went earlier in January but since it was free and it´s a beautiful city I thought it couldn’t hurt to see it again.
Besides all this history, one really special part about Granada is the way you order food. At a restaurant when you order a drink you get a small appetizer, called a tapa, for free: it´s a fun and cheap way to eat. Our program gave each student 10 euros for dinner to try this type of dining and overall the trip this past weekend was very fun! I met a lot more students from my program, not Spaniards sadly, and I am very excited for my other trips throughout this semester. As of now I´m planning on going to Morocco, Italy, Portugal, and other cities in Spain. If you have any advice about any of these locations or places to see please send it my way!
I really love this picture... except for my shadow... If you can't read it the pillar, it says Granada.
A garden in the Alhambra
P.S. Sorry I don't have any pictures of the tombs. As requested by the museum, I didn't take any.