While I was home over winter break I found myself missing something. I could not have been more excited to be able to find affordable sushi, spicy salsa and chocolate chip cookies at a drop of a hat but I kept wanting to ask: How come my glass of wine at Pizza Republica or Blue Moon draft at Tavern DTC did not come with a free plate of food? Now you have probably heard me talk of tapas before but, turns out, it’s one of those “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone” kind of things.
I was only back in Madrid for two weeks when the travel bug crept under my door and set up permanent lodging in my ear until I made some sort of ticket purchase. I listed off viable quick trips from Madrid including places like Segovia, Toledo and Salamanca, but then I landed on Granada, home of the notorious Alhambra, and famous for, you guessed it, tapas. For only about thirty Euros, you can grab a five hour bus there and back. With the details in place, I enlisted my boyfriend to accompany me and we stepped into the city Saturday afternoon.
The owner of our hostel shooed us back out into the streets upon check-in, letting us know we had only a window of time left to walk through the cathedral. Not the warmest welcome, but I am happy she did it for the church was deceivingly huge and gorgeous. After a quick snack we journeyed to the Mirador de San Nicolás, a lookout providing beautiful views of the city and La Alhambra that is definitely best seen at night. Then it was time to see if, as my roommate said, “Granada’s tapas were all they were cracked up to be.” Babel World Fusion was a funky joint in town and we went there first. For less than seven Euros we ended up with four cañas and four plates showcasing “world fusion” like falafel, fajitas and shrimp skewers. Thus marks the start of our tapas crawl.
The street of our hostel was crowded with tiny hole-in-the-wall joints boasting cheap drinks and big plates. We sipped red wine whilst noshing on croquettes, sausages, fish, tortilla, and chips at five different places. Let’s just say I have never ate nor drank as much for as cheap in any city and don’t think I ever will again.
We had to be at La Alhambra by nine the next morning and ended up touring the stunning grounds until about one in the afternoon. I had visited the site back in middle school and remember loving it which I did yet again. The architecture is so intricate and really unlike anything else I have seen.
Ravenous and with time to kill before catching our bus home, we grabbed lunch which was perhaps the best meal of the trip. At a place called La Antigualla, two drinks came with two sandwiches and french fries that filled us right up. Then we just relaxed in plazas (I haven’t even mentioned the perfect weather) and maybe had a couple more snacks before it was time to catch our evening bus back to the city.
Great food? Check. Amazing sights? Check. Fun city? Check. Granada in just 24 hours turned out to be better than imagined. Even so, the travel bug seems to have gotten pretty comfy in my ear and I can already tell another adventure is just around the corner. But for now, I’ll be dreaming of tapas.