At the foot of the Sierra Nevada, between the Darro and the Genil, lies one of the most interesting cities in eastern Andalusia. To its impressive Al-Andalus heritage are added its Renaissance architectural gems and the most modern facilities representative of the 21st century. Last city reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492, Granada is full of inimitable Arab flavors. Its cuisine, crafts and urban layout are permanently marked by its glorious past. Fountains, viewpoints and Cármenes (villas surrounded by gardens) are helping to draw its unforgettable secrets. It is though quite normal that one of its oldest districts, the Albaicin, is now listed as a Heritage site, like the Alhambra and the Generalife. Huge cultural center for many centuries, under both the Arab and Christian governments, the city now enjoys a cultural agenda and enviable hobbies.
Cycles and film festivals, music and theater are completed with permanent and traveling exhibitions that bring together all areas of knowledge. The former Renaissance palaces host seminars, conferences and symposia, while the most innovative infrastructures receive the greatest events. Granada has a wide variety of accommodations, which include historical monuments as “cármenes” at the heart of the Albaicín or “casas-Cueva” (cave houses) in the Sacromonte. Its excellent transport system, pleasant climate and many opportunities of beach and mountain activites, make Granada a unique destination to see a least once in a lifetime!
After such an introduction, you should expect a huge article swarming of details… Not even close. I apologie, but it is impossible for me to describe in this article a typical day (or more) of sightseeing in Grenada and for a good reason: I’ve done too many of them! Let me explain: I lived for three months in the heart of the city as part of a language course. Thus joining business with pleasure, I learned Spanish and discovered, at a different rhythm from tourists, various aspects of Andalusian culture that were unknown to me. In 3 months, you can imagine that I had time to discover many things, but I was in a different state of mind than when I normally travel for a few days or weeks. Here I felt myself quickly part of the local mass despite my basic level of Spanish. Rapidly, it’s not my travel guide and my camera that I took with me when I was walking the streets of Granada, but my course books and novels on Andalusia. I sometimes spent hours siting on a bench facing a great panorama or at the heart of a bustling square.
Thus, you will not find here a huge bunch of pages nor a plethora of photos, but only a short text about some of places I particularly liked when I was wandering about. Disappointed? I’m sorry, but I did so many things on a whim or with classmates without taking either my camera or my notebook, so it is impossible to write something that would suit my needs… From these three months, I have kept precious memories and new friendships around the world and I think it is the most important! In summary, this is an insight to Granada that I invite you to discover now, which can also still be completed later if I ever go back to Andalusia! You will not find the famous Alhambra in this article as this architectural wonder has its own that you can reach by clicking on the image below. Enjoy!