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We arrived in Granada on Friday morning to a beautiful view of the mountains from the runway. Then it started raining. And it didn’t stop for 2 straight days. We didn’t let it stop us from exploring the city, though! We took a tour of the Royal Chapel and Cathedral of Granada when we first got there. The chapel was the most impressive, with white walls, a super high ceiling and many beautiful churches inside.

After lunch and a long siesta, we went to have some Arabic tea. The place provided a relaxed atmosphere with curtains and dimmed lights. The tea was minty and steaming hot! Perfect for my sore throat.

At night, we went tapas bar hopping! This was one of my favorite things we did because the places were so cute and it was extremely cheap compared to Barcelona! At each place, I bought a glass of sangria for about 2 euro and a tapa was included in the price! Sometimes we got to choose the tapa, but most of the time the chef made whatever his heart desired. Everything was delicious!

Later that night, Alexa and I met 2 local girls around our age. They took us from bar to bar for the best deals in town. We got to practice our Spanish and they got to practice their English, it was great! Our last stop of the night was the oldest bar in Granada. It was so small, and they only had beer and hard liquor to drink. No more sangria for me!

The next day, we took a few tours through different parts of the city. It was nice to see what the town looked like higher up in the mountains and we got some great pictures of the city. The only damper on our day was the pouring rain. I got soaked! Probably should have bought a cheap umbrella…

Later, we did the Arab baths. Mmmmmmm. They were so nice and relaxing. There were 7 baths, all of different temperatures. They kind of looked liked big hot tubs…or small pools…Anyways, the point was to go back and forth between hot and cold temperatures. I hated the cold one. It was freezing! But after suffering through a few seconds in there, getting in one of the warmer baths felt amazing. After relaxing in the baths for about an hour, I had one of the best massages of my life. It was only 15 minutes long, but it was worth it. I usually like hard deep tissue massages, but this woman knew how to work the gentle style. She used techniques that I’ve never felt before and I didn’t want it to end! It was wonderful.

As good as the baths and message were, my absolute favorite part of the trip was the Flamenco show! We went to a restaurant called El Templo del Flamenco for dinner and the show. I didn’t realize it when I sat down, but I got the pleasure of sitting front row! The show consisted of dancers, musicians and singers, all performing something I have never seen before. It was a mixture of clapping, guitar, percussion, tap dancing, stomping, singing, dancing and all the while cheering each other on. It was so wild and different, I loved it! I got so excited at one point, I even knocked over and broke a glass on the table. Oops! Here is a video of a “relaxed” point in the show:

And a picture from one of the more upbeat points in the show!

It finally stopped raining on Sunday, which ended being the perfect day for the tour of the Alhambra and Generalife. These were the prettiest parts of the city. The Alhambra was a Muslim palace and the Generalife was a large beautiful garden next to it. We got great views of the city from here!

I’m so glad we got to visit Granada. It’s such a different atmosphere than Barcelona. Which one do I like better? Tough to say, but Barcelona holds a special place in my heart that is tough to beat!

If you want to check out my personal blog with more posts about Barcelona and my other trips, here’s the link: http://blogginginbarcelona.wordpress.com/

By Courtney Ellis, Ithaca College

Courtney Ellis

Courtney is an Integrated Marketing Communications major from Ithaca College, and studied abroad at UAB in Fall 2012.

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