Authored by:
Maya M.

Last week, our exchange group went on a weekend trip to Granada. It. Was. Amazing. I was only there for three days and I’m already making plans to go back with my family this summer, and maybe even move there. The city was beautiful and had this really peaceful vibe that made me forget about the exams and school that I was missing. That’s probably what I really liked about it the most. I just felt free. 

During our time in Granada, we actually got to see a lot of the city and learn about it’s Muslim roots. We got to visit La Alhambra, an Arab fortress where a Muslim king and his military once lived. 1) La Alhambra is huge. It’s not just one building. It’s multiple, with a lot of gardens connecting them. And...quite a few cats just walking around. 2) The architecture is breathtaking. I don’t even understand how the Muslims managed to have so much patience for the all the detail that they put into the buildings. I can’t even explain how amazing it is. One thing that I thought was really cool was we were walking through once of the buildings and it some of the rooms, there were paintings on the ceilings, lined with gold. But what was really interesting was that these paintings were done by the Catholics, after they conquered Granada. I love that instead of destroying the Muslim architecture, they just added to it to make it their own. The other really amazing, and kind of scary thing, was getting to see the coffins of Queen Isabel and King Fernando. They wouldn’t let you take any pictures, but that was okay. I got to see the beautiful art and architecture of the church without thinking about pictures, just experiencing just being there. Inside the church there is this huge marble statue that has two separate beds. There were four people laying down as if they are sleeping. I don’t know who the other two people were, but the main people were Isabel and Fernando. Just underneath this statue, in a room, are the coffins of Isabel and Fernando (and like 4 other people). It was so weird to think that they were in there and were once alive, running a kingdom and sending people off on voyages 600 years ago.

The food in Granada is another story. I noticed that some of the food is kind of expensive, but it makes sense, it’s authentic Moroccan/Mediterranean food. It was so good, I wanted to try everything, but I couldn’t order anymore food or I would’ve gone broke. I got to try this amazing lentil soup, the best I have ever had in my life, falafels, couscous, hummus with Moroccan bread, shawarma, and a bunch of other food. One thing that I loved was getting to eat a granada (pomegranate) in Granada. I picked one from a tree with some of the people I was with, and it was delicious. I was so happy even though we got told by some random guy that we couldn’t pick the granadas from the trees (one of chaperones told us we could, and you can’t unpick fruit anyway). But the best food that I had, and that I’ve probably ever had, was a postre (pastry/cake/whatever you want to call it) from a convent. I had two and all I was thinking was when I’m come back, this is the first place I’m stopping off at, and I don’t care how long it takes to walk or find it, I’m coming back for more postres.  

I had the best time in Granada, and this is just one of four excursions that we’re going to go on, and I can’t wait.

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