Two years later and I was reunited with the city that made me fall in love with Spain and traveling, Granada. I had an hour and a half flight from Barcelona to the tiny airport outside of Granada. My flight was at 7:30am so that was fantastic but it took me about 3 minutes to get through security and then I was on the flight. I got this super giddy and excited feeling when I walked off the plane and was surrounded by the Sierra Nevadas. It was crazy to think that a little over two years ago I got off this plane and was so scared. This time around it felt like a homecoming and nothing but pure excitement.
The Granada airport is tiny, it only had four gates. Leaving the baggage claim area I remembered how excited I was when my Dad came to visit and I was standing waiting for him to exit through those doors when he arrived. It seemed like just the other day. I took the convenient bus from the airport to the center of the city for an easy 3 euro. It was on the bus when I was the most excited, seeing the old familiar views and streets. It felt like I never left, it was a very eerie feeling. Realizing that the city keeps living and life there goes on even after you have left it. Either way I grabbed my backpack and got off the bus and first made my way to a little bakery because I was hungry. I got a coffee and one of my favorite pastries with chocolate in the middle. First thing that I noticed while walking around in Granada again, was how small it was. After living in Barcelona it just felt so tiny, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Then I took a quick walk by my favorite cathedral and it first sight it put the biggest smile on my face. It is just so grand, it would always leaving me gazing up in its beauty. I used to purposely cut by the cathedral everyday on the way to class.
But along with the happiness of seeing the cathedral, it was soon gone when I discovered that my favorite bar/restaurant was closed and now something new. Two years ago, my closest friends and I would go there every Thursday after siesta time to meet for buckets of beer and patatas bravas. It was a tradition and I couldn’t believe it was gone. I told Jen and Shan and they couldn’t believe it. Another one of our favorite places was closed, Mundo Manila. We would go there to get these giant beers and it had this cool hippie feel which I loved. I guess it would have been pretty ignorant of me to believe that nothing would have changed in the two years since we have left, but it still was pretty sad.
On a brighter note, for lunch I went to my favorite tapas bar, Antiguallas. It was my favorite basically because they gave you so much food and they had just amazing French fries. I would always go there and the bartender would always recognize me and give me and my friend’s free shots. Well when I walked in my favorite bartender happened to be working and he instantly remembered me! It was a great feeling. We talked about what I had been up too and how he was doing. It was great to see that at least something was the same in the city since I had left. He gave me a free shot for old time sake and then we got a picture together. It was a great moment and I told him that this place was always my favorite.
After lunch I went and checked in at my hostel, Granada Inn Backpackers. Which is in a perfect central location and I had a great time there. I would recommend it. The staff were friendly and helpful and my bed was quite comfortable!
I met up later with my La Crosse friends who were finishing up their last week studying abroad in Granada. We went tapas hoping and later went to Chupiteria 69, a shot bar, on the same block that I used to live on. Then we went to Camborio which was one of my favorite clubs since it has fantastic views of the Alhambra all light up at night. It was a great time but it was not the same without my old friends from two years ago. I really did miss that old group.
Well after that first night I did not see my La Crosse friends again that weekend, which was kind of disappointing but I made the most of it and made some friends at the hostel. It is so interesting the people you meet and hearing their stories. I also did a lot of walking around by myself. Seeing some of my old favorite spots and just enjoying the city. I went up to the Mirador de San Nicolas to take in the magnificent views of the city and the Alhambra. I also walked up to the Alhambra as well. It felt like just the other day I was touring these spots for the first time. It truly felt like I hadn’t left. I bought the kids back in Barcelona two snow globes which Mireia ended up loving but Robert not so much, whoops. I bought the parents a little magnet of Granada since they have a collection of magnets from all different cities. I couldn’t resist and bought myself a Universidad de Granada sweatshirt. I didn’t see a problem in owning two considering one was back in America!
Friday night I stayed in, to be quite honest I was dead from the night before. After another day of walking around Saturday I decided to join in on my Hostel’s sangria party, if you could call it a party. I pretty much was hanging out at a table by myself with a beer and my phone and three other kids sat literally right next to me and asked me to join them. And who says making friends is hard? The two dudes were from Manchester and the girl was from Canada. Then a girl traveling by herself from Boston joined us who was also Janel and a dude from Latvia and Germany. We went to some bars that night and I swear I did not pay for one drink. No complaints there. It was one of the best nights I have had out since coming back to Europe and luckily I wasn’t too dead the next day.
On Sunday I grabbed lunch with my new friend Janel and then I rested a little until I had to head to the baby airport. I was quite tired and had to endure one hell of a landing since it was raining in Barcelona. All of sudden the plane did this massive dip and a lot of people started screaming. I instantly grabbed my arm rests. I never used to be afraid of flying but now I always get this weird feeling before taking off and landing. This experience did not help with that, but oh well I survived.
It was a good weekend! It brought back some old memories but I hope one day I can go back with Jen and Shan, now that would be the dream.
Time to celebrate Christmas in Barcelona! Bring on the holidays.