It’s difficult to know where to start with the last ten days of my life in Spain. Time feels like it’s evaporating. Lately, I’ve been stopping at different moments to think about what I would be doing at that time if I were at home in Kansas City. My lifestyle here is very different; it’s certainly more relaxed, even though my days have been so full.
Last weekend, I travelled with a few friends to the Sierra Mariola mountains. I’ve been wanting to go to the mountains ever since I arrived, so I was thrilled when we planned a very short notice adventure. The entire weekend was so much fun, and it was really interesting seeing the less cosmopolitan side of Spain. I felt a distinct increase in how much we stood out as foreigners in the small towns we stopped in. Also, the regional dialect here, Valenciano, was much more prevalent. We took a train and a bus to get to Bocairent, a small and historic town nestled at the base of the mountains. We took a hike right outside the town and were rewarded with a spectacular view.
The next day, we took a hike from the campgrounds we stayed at to the tallest mountain in the Mariola range, Montcabrer. We got a bit lost at first, but ultimately it added to the experience. The ascent took about two hours. I still don’t know how to describe the feeling when I reached the top. The view, hidden until the very end, was breathtaking.
Our hiking day has been one of my favorite experiences in Spain so far. I was also thrilled to get out of the city for the stargazing. The stars are spectacular, when you can see them! It was so clear we could see the Milky Way running through the sky. It was a weekend of pure magic.
On another high note, I went to Granada this weekend with the ISA group. Granada may be my favorite city I’ve been to in Spain. There’s a diverse mix of culture that creates such a distinct atmosphere. Also, the city is in the mountains, which thrilled me to no end.
I can’t really talk about Granada without talking about La Alhambra, a Moorish palace/fortress that was primarily built in the 14th century. There are spectacular gardens, fountains, engravings, arches….everything. If you find yourself in Spain, you need to go here. Photos can’t do it any justice. Also, it’s up on a big hill, so you get a panoramic view of Granada.