So I am the luckiest woman on earth and will be living in Granada for five months. So, any general advice on the city? Anything I should absolutely see (other than the ALhambra)? also, any tips on dealing with Spanish men?
Also, since I'll be there for so long I know I'll want to spend some weekends exploring other cities and countries. Any suggestions? I definately want to go to Morocco, but does anyone know if I need anything other than my passport if I am only visiting for a weekend?
I know, sooo many questions, but I'd appreciate any answers I can get. Thanks!
Hi Hannah -
I would recommend a trip up to Las Alpujarras - a really beautiful part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. You can get a coach from Granada, takes about 3 hours I think. You can go skiing up there in the winter and the villages and scenery are beautiful all year round. If you go in the summer there are campsites and guesthouses etc.
Um - as for Spanish men - ? Quite hard to generalise! I suppose quite a few of them do conform to the "hotblooded latino lover" stereotype, and I did have one Spanish boyfriend who was ridiculously jealous (but then again he was Catalan - different story.) But never had any problems really, on the whole found them to be a pleasant bunch. And pillow talk is always the best way to learn any language - but I digress...
Have fun with all those spanish men you lucky lady......
1. You'll find lots (and I mean lots) of americans spending their semester abroad in Spain (maybe thats also your case) and Granada is not an exception. You wont feel alone. Granada is also one of the top destinations for Erasmus/Socrates students in Europe (that's the european students exchange program) so you'll also meet lots (and I mean looooots) of brits, germans, italians, frenchies...and you'll probably speak more english than you think.
2. In Granada: La Alhambra, el Albaycin, Mirador de S. Nicolas, la Cathedral, Carmen de los Mártires,...but let's face it, you'll spend most of your time in calle Recogidas and Mesones (shopping streets), El Corte Ingles (department store), and at Hannigan&Sons (the most famous irish pub where you can listen to every language in Europe but spanish) or any other tapas bar. There are 2 Tourist Information Offices where you'll be provided with all the free stuff you need.
3. Near Granada: Skying in Sierra Nevada -January until April-, Las Alpujarras (the south side of Sierra nevada, already mentioned), Salobreña, Nerja...la Costa Tropical, la Costa del Sol. Try renting a car and tour Andalucia.
4. Andalucía: Seville, Cádiz, Gibraltar, Marbella, Córdoba, Cabo de Gata Natural Park(Almería)...
5. Spain: Barcelona, Madrid, Santiago, San Sebastian/Donostia, Mallorca (the Island is great, Palma, its main city not so interesting), Valencia, Bilbao...
6. Europe: London, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin... From Granada Ryanair flies to London, Liverpool, East Midlands, Milano and Frankfurt. You can also fly to Madrid, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca with Iberia, Vueling, Air Europa and Spanair. From Malaga you can fly nearly everywhere in Europe so you choose. For me London is a must.
7. Men: Considering my experience with friends you better beware of italians, not spaniards Seriously, I think you'll end up talking to british or australians rather than spaniards. It depends on how much effort you make trying to interact with locals. Many europeans spend months in Spain but never try to learn the language or approach a different culture, I dont know, maybe it's not easy. And guys are nearly the same everywhere, some are nice, some are stupid, some will try to flirt some will have real interest...impossible to generalise.
Good luck. And try to have fun.
PD: Remember in the south of Spain we speak spanish with andalusian accent ('andaluz') which can be hard to understand at first. Dont worry if you dont catch a word. Its not your fault. Its ours. (examples: 'Gracias'='grathiah' 'Hasta la vista'='ahtta la vihtta') and so on.
...I forgot to mention Lisbon, one of my favourites cities.
Thanks so much for the advice! I am definately going to try some of your suggestions. Oh, and Gusiluz, I apprciate the tip about the Irish pub... and I was just wondering what a girl was supposed to do on St. Patrick's Day in Spain. Adios!
Yes, you are a lucky woman!
I can assure you that you'll fall in love with Granada (and it comes from a local that realized that when she left! bit late!)
I hope you enjoy the experience, and if you need any help, let me know, I am not living in Granada anymore, but I go often enough to know the tricks (and more importantly the places to shop and party!)
x x Miromar x x