Great times in Granada!
Serene yet full of life, ancient and truly awe-inspiring … how I loved Granada! I had the best time there! When I visited Granada, I soon realized that I had landed in one of the most beautiful cities in the world with perfect weather, fantastic friends and a unique atmosphere like no other – it was my dream city.
Granada is definitely a city of two sides, which, as a lover of history and Spanish traditions, but also as a young student who adores the feel of a big busy city, was perfect for me! There was the rustic historic side of the town, up around the Albacin and the Plaza Nueva you could find cutesy souvenir shops, tea houses and – my favorite of all – the Arab baths. Then I could head 20 minutes down the road and find myself in Granada’s bustling commercial centre, with excellent shopping and restaurants next to shiny, clean, marbled plazas, and the refreshing splashing of public fountains.
I loved my school! Studying there, I found myself wonderfully placed in the middle of everything I needed – the shops, bars and cafes close by, yet the historic Albaicin (old town) and magnificent Alhambra also within easy walking distance. I used to lose myself for hours browsing through Zara, Mango and Bershka, taking breaks of course, for a well deserved yummy ice cream!
Twenty minutes walk up the street in the direction of the Alhambra (the incredible Moorish palace which overlooks Granada) and I’d be on the cobbled streets and market style trinket stores around Plaza Nueva and the Cathedral. Or, I could walk from the school, and follow the street to the lively student street of ‘Calle San Pedro Antonio de Alarcon’ – a calle which is lined with awesome late night cafes, fantastic places to grab tapas and places to dance your socks off to fantastic latino pop like Shakira and David Bisbal! I also used to love heading up to the Realjo neighbourhood for a wonderful dinner, and a relaxing time in a local bodega with tinto de verano (wine mixed with lemonade), and the buzz of local chatter and traditional flamenco music.
I simply adored the variety that Granada offered me. I could hang out surreptitiously in local tapas bars using my new-found Spanish language skills, or visit the world famous sites of the city such as the Alhambra Palace. The school had really good teachers, always friendly and willing to explain, repeat and take time with the students. They were really professional, but also had that ‘personal touch’ with each student, which made the whole experience so much nicer. The school had a student lounge, Internet café, outside terrace (where we all met up at break time) and air-conditioning!! – So important in Granada! The whole experience, the support and teaching, really equipped me with everything I needed to get out into the city and really feel like this breathtakingly beautiful place was my home and a place that I could fit in, make friends, and above all, communicate confidently in the Spanish language! I really could! Granada will always hold a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to return!