So I did a pretty novel thing this weekend…stayed in Granada! It couldn’t have been a better weekend though. On Friday it was one of my friend’s birthdays and we did one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life to celebrate. Granada is in a big valley surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains and other smaller mountains of olive tree fields. My friends and I decided to take advantage of this fact and went on a little hippie hike to see the sunset over the city. We took a taxi up to the Alhambra park and from there just picked a random mountain and scaled it. We were almost definitely trespassing in someone’s olive farm (oops…) but this view was so worth it. Picture this: picnic dinner on a blanket in the middle of an olive tree field, over-looking the sun setting over Sierra Nevadas to one side and the most famous Castle in Spain to the other, guitar music and good friends- I could have stayed there forever!
And then on Sunday my Grandparents came to visit, completing the awesome weekend! I have lived here for over two months now and have yet to go to a single museum or tourist sight in Granada. Not proud of it, but hey its expensive to see the Alhambra! Lucky for me I got to tag along with my Grandparents on their trip and it was all I was expecting and more. I have seen it from far away many times but you can’t tell how massive it actually is until you take the three-mile long tour. Spain has a very interesting religious history because of the influences of the Moors and the various religious conflicts over the years. It makes seeing cathedrals and palaces all the more interesting because you can see the years of history in the architecture and how all of the cultures meld together. I’m actually going to see the Alhambra again later this week with my art and architecture class and I’m glad because once was not enough!
Halloween this weekend was also an interesting cultural clash to observe. All week long my madre was drilling about candy and trick-or-treating and dressing up. She was fascinated because they don’t have any comparable holiday here and if you think about it, to a foreigner Halloween must be pretty weird. I don’t know who first thought that it would be a good idea to dress your kids up as spooky things and send them around the neighborhood begging for candy, but they were definitely American. Since there are so many students in Granada (American and International) Halloween is huge here. The biggest difference I noticed about they celebrate it here was costumes. Spanish girls all dressed up as some sort of zombie with blood and gore and face paint etc. I was….a Christmas tree. Needless to say, there was no hiding the fact that I was American that night.