My sister, Vanessa, graduated last year from Vanderbilt with her Master’s degree in Women’s Health as a Nurse Practitioner. This year she landed her first job in her new profession, and I couldn’t be more proud! On a bit of a whim, she decided to treat herself to a much deserved vacation before she jumped head first into her new career. Lucky me she decided to come to Europe and her last stop was Southern Spain! We took an amazing road trip to some of the must-see sights in Andalucía and our first stop was Granada.
When we finally arrived in Granada (about a 2 1/2 hour drive) we couldn’t figure out why everyone was staring at us in our car. Then we realized that we still had our California plates on the car. Most people probably hadn’t ever seen an American license plate! We got a lot of funny looks. Once we got all checked into our hotel we set off on our first adventure. We were headed out into town to explore. We were able to find our way to a bus stop with ease and hop on board to go to the Albaicín district. This area of town is the ‘old town’ lined with cobblestone streets and some wonderful buildings.
Our first stop was at an amazing overlook that had amazing views! We took the opportunity to take a photo.
While we were enjoying the overlook we saw a cafe on the street below. We decided to make our way there as it was less crowded and we were ready to warm up a little with some drinks and good conversation. It was such a great find and if you go to Granada I highly suggest you find this place!
We took advantage of the empty restaurant and relaxed there for quite some time while we talked about our plans for the rest of the afternoon and the following day. Vanessa had purchased a wonderfully informative travel book from Lonely Planet and it had a ton of suggestions for things to do in the area as well as a ‘must see/must do’ list. Alhambra was of course on the list and we (luckily) were able to get some last minute tickets for the following morning! Just a heads up – get your Alhambra entry tickets in ADVANCE! I had been keeping an eye on the tickets the week leading up to our visit, and there were plenty available. I had every intention to purchase them online a day or two before we arrived in Granada, but it slipped my mind. Once we arrived in Granada and decided we would visit Alhambra the following morning, all the tickets were sold out! After a few panic stricken moments, and some googling, I found out that the La Caixa ATM’s also sold tickets. We high tailed it to the nearest ATM and were able to secure our tickets for the following morning. I definitely learned my lesson there to plan ahead, throughly!
After we left the Albaicín district we took our time meandering the streets and making our way back down the hill towards our hotel. During our walk we passed by a church. Every church/cathedral in Spain is breathtakingly gorgeous. We popped in for a moment to check out the beauty. My husband took a moment to say some prayers. I don’t know who or what he was praying for, but boy did I fall a little more in love with him in that moment. He never ceases to amaze me with his spirit.
We continued on our way and we stopped into a few places to grab a caña (a small glass of beer) and a bite to eat. We had heard that the tapas in Granada were amazing, but we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into! We ordered one of my favorite foods, croquetas de jamón, unaware that we would be getting complimentary tapas with our drinks.
Not only was the plate of tapas HUGE, the croquetas were also the largest I have ever seen! We happily indulged until we could not possibly eat anymore. We had to turn away food with our next round of drinks. As long as you order drinks they will keep the food coming! We were officially ready to call it a night after a long day of traveling and exploring. We just happened to stumble upon a hookah bar on our way back to our hotel, and who can say no to hookah?! Not us! We had a nightcap of some delicious tea and more hookah than we could smoke. It was the perfect end to our day! Stay tuned for the next of our adventures with Vanessa!