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March Break Abroad: Welcome to Granada

March Break Abroad: Welcome to Granada

Day Highlights

We boarded the bus and said adios to Seville. It was a great two days getting to spend time in the city, and visiting various neighbourhoods throughout Seville, but it was time to head off to our next destination. So we took off and worked our way through the rolling, hilly landscape.

Our first and only stop between Seville and Granada was a highway rest stop, and to our surprise...Tim Hortons! It was like Canada was calling to us and bringing us a little piece of home. Not many of us answered the call, opting for pastries, sandwiches, or other delicious items from the shops, but the iced caps and cold drinks were refreshing and nostalgic to take in.

After this quick stop we were back on the road to explore Granada and Alhambra.

Day 6

The first stop on our list in Granada is the Alhambra. The Alhambra is one of the best preserved examples of a monument from the historic Islamic world. The facades of the building that look like stone is actually a combination of plaster and marble dust that is mixed together to look like stone. As we walked through the palace, we were able to gaze into the ornate details of the plaster walls, The connection between decorative man-made structures and nature was present in the patterning on the walls as we could see pinecones, water, and trees being represented in the patterning.

The natural elements came to life as we walked through the orchards and gardens. Welcoming us into the Palace was a small orange orchard where our guide described how many foods that are now so prevalent in Spain were actually introduced to Spain by the Arabs, including oranges, which were brought from Asia, as well as sugar cane and cotton.

We made our way through the gardens and into the Generalife, which used to be a summer home for some of the rulers of the Emirate of Granada. While the details and ornamentation of the summer home was now as intricate as the Alhambra, it was still fascinating to think about the kind of escape these rulers would have taken when they housed themselves here during the hot summers. Looking out from the top of the hill, we could see panoramas of Granada, so the sight alone would have made this a dreamy summer destination!

After the Alhambra, we were off to check into the hotel. It was time to drop off our bags, and get ready for exploring one of the older districts of Granada. We got on our comfy shoes and our Tour Director, Dani, led us into the outskirts of the Albaicin, where many of the Arab influences of Granada’s past can still be seen in the streets through clothing and food.

The group had the opportunity to explore these winding and hilly streets independently, with many opting to follow the artistic route by visiting some of the artisanal crafts and painting venders, or the clothing route by visiting some of the handmade clothing shops, or the food route (where you’d find each of the chaperones!) by exploring any of the tapas restaurants that filled the whole area. With so many options to choose from, many students walked away with bags in their hands or full bellies.

After exploring these markets and shops, it was time to head back to the hotel for dinner, and some free time around the hotel. We called it an early night because bright and early tomorrow morning we’ll be back on the road to visit Toledo and create a home base in Madrid.

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