Monday, April 23, 2012


My favorite part of the whole trip, hands down. It is so easy to see why Grace decided to pick Granada as her study abroad location. I think I was just so excited to see where she has been living and going to school that nothing about Granada could disappoint me. Of course the highlight for me was getting to meet Grace's host Mom Carmen. Hugging her and trying to thank her for taking care of my baby was a bit emotional, but totally happy emotions.
We flew into the tiny Granada airport on Easter Sunday. Our hotel was perfectly located downtown so we were able to watch the Easter passion processions right from our balconies. We could hear the drums beating long before we were able to see the actual parade. So very cool.
Once we got settled into our hotel room, Grace took us on a quick walking tour of the city. It's not a very big city and because it was Easter everyone was out and about. We stopped by the building where her classes are held and then up and down these tiny little alley streets taking in the sights.
We popped in and out of plazas and just enjoyed being outside in the sun shine and fresh air.

Monday morning, Alan and I slept in. OK, I slept in. Grace met us at the hotel around 10:00 after her early class. We walked to the Cathedral of Granada. It's pretty much all about Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. They are actually buried there along with some of their family. The whole city of Granada is tied to the king and queen somehow. The Cathedral was one of the prettiest we visited on the trip. Very ornate in an old world sort of way.  In this picture you can see how big it is compared to the rest of the buildings.
After the Cathedral, we grabbed a bite to eat and then walked the 30 minute walk to the apartment where Grace has been living. We only got one picture of Carmen, Grace's host mom, but we took many of her 3 year old granddaughter, also named Carmen. It was easy to tell that Grace is very fond of both Carmens.

Alan and I spent most of the next day visiting the Alhambra. Grace had class all day so it worked out pretty well. We bought our tickets to get into the Alhambra months in advance and it was a good thing. They only let a certain number of people in during the morning and afternoon sessions and the tickets were sold out for the coming week. We took so many pictures. I'm just going to pick a few to share with you. It is really a place that you have to see for yourself. It was built by the Moorish Sultans way back in the 1300's for the Muslims Emirs of the Nasrid Dynasty. Pretty darn old. Then it became the palace for Isabelle and Ferdinand in 1492 when they drove the Emirs back into Africa. It is the place where Christopher Columbus was granted permission set off to discover the Americas. Everything about the place feels "special". The views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the city and farms below were just magnificent. Like I said, we spent the whole afternoon touring the grounds and buildings. I wish I could show you more.
I hope that kind of gives you an idea. Just beautiful. After our Alhambra visit with met back up with Grace for some dinner, a little shopping, and then a Flamenco show. Grace was determined to have us experience the "real" Flamenco. We were able to get tickets to a show held in a small Gypsy cave. The place was packed and the show was something to see. I don't think I've ever heard or seen anything quite like it. Very serious and almost sad feeling, but when the performers were finished and the audience cheered everyone was happy. We got back to the hotel close to midnight, said our good byes to Grace. It was a little hard for me to know that our visit with her was over, but we had such a great time and she will be home the end of May.
Our final stop was Seville.

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