Tag Archives: Granada

8 Summer-tastic Things to Do in Granada

Take one look at the epic scenery surrounding Granada and you’ll be itching to get out there asap. For nature and adrenaline sports lovers, it’s pretty much an unbeatable location. Trust me – 5 years after living there I’m still discovering awesome things to do in Granada!

At first the only activity on my mind was snowboarding in the Sierra Nevada ski resort. I couldn’t believe that a resort so massive and developed existed within an hour’s drive of the beach. After two or three visits I stopped having to pinch myself – it really wasn’t a dream. When spring came we could ski in the morning and sunbathe on the beach in the afternoon! (a feat we affectionately named ‘From Piste to Playa’).

But when summer started (for which you will need to be very well-prepared in order to survive), I discovered that there were even more thrills to be had. Granada, the Sierra Nevada and the surrounding countryside form the perfect adventure playground.

What to do in Granada? There is too much to cram into one blog post, but here, at least, are some of the best things to do in Granada in summer:

Things to do in Granada in Summer!

1) Hiking

things to do in granada, spain, los cahorros
Los Cahorros, Monachil, Spain

Where to start? There are miles and miles of breath-taking countryside to amble your way through in the Granada province. The numerous routes vary in difficulty.

A popular and easy route is Los Cahorros in Monachil, a small town just outside of Granada capital. The trail is flat the entire way and runs alongside a rocky stream. There is a long drawbridge beside a waterfall which feeds into the stream below. In the summer it’s great to cool off here so bring your swimwear along! There is also a bit of ducking and dodging required at times, since the path flanks a rather jagged rock-face, but there are handles for you to hang on to as you clamber your way around.

For something a bit more vertical, you may want to explore beyond Monachil and climb Mount Trevenque. As one of the lesser known Granada attractions, you won’t find many tourists here. The terrain here is very rocky but not too steep until the last quarter, when you’ll need to work hard! It’s best to go with a guide as the route is quite long and high; that way you don’t have to worry about getting lost or – in the worst case scenario – stranded on the mountain for the night! I’d recommend Wayne Hurst, a native English-speaking guide who has lived in Monachil for the last several years. He knows the mountains better than anyone! A trip to Monachil is one of the most popular Granada day trips.

things to do in granada, spain, hiking mulhacen
Summiting Mulhacen – mainland Spain’s highest point.

If you’re after the ultimate challenge, head for La Alpujarra in the Sierra Nevada and have a crack at summiting Mulhacen – mainland Spain’s highest mountain at 3478m. Generally, climbers split the hike across two days. Day one is all about getting to the isolated refuge – a 20km hike along the Camino de la Sierra unless you opt for the minivan which will drop you at the top of the hill about 5km away. Day two will leave you breathless. There are two or three ways to the summit, all marked with little rock piles. I went last year and took the steepest route, but we made it in good time. The 3-4 hour return leg down to Trevelez was the hardest on the calves and knees. My advice: walk back along the road to Capileira!

2) Rock-climbing

things to do in granada, spain, rock climbing, los cahorros
Can you make out the climbers at the bottom?

Personally, I’ve never been rock-climbing in Granada – I’ll admit, I’m too scared – but man alive have I seen some gnarly rock faces being scaled like they were mere garden fences.

Most recently, in Monachil (yes, again), during our walk through Los Cahorros we passed a few climbers beginning an ascent. I couldn’t tell how high it was from the bottom as there was an overhang. It wasn’t until we took the high road on our way back did we realise the sheer size of the rocks they were climbing. Talk about balls. These guys’ cojones were so big they had their own safety harness.

I’ve no doubt there are plenty of other rock-climbing spots near Granada, but I know Monachil is very popular. If you’d like more information, Wayne is your man.

3) Mountain Biking

things to do in granada, spain, mountain biking, quentar
Mountain biking 12km up to Quentar, Granada.

Cycling is taken very seriously in Granada. Just about every day you’re bound to see a herd of skin-tight, brightly-coloured lycra-wearing dudes pedalling laboriously into the city after climbing God knows how many kilometres of dusty road. I am in awe of their fitness and will to endure such suffering.

But I know how good it feels to get to the top. Back when I had an awesome bike before it was stolen (grr), I would, occasionally, push and pedal my way 12km up to Quéntar, where a huge, turquoise-blue reservoir – mirage-like when you turn the final corner – is the perfect place for a swim. It is also the site of an enormous dam and the view from the bridge is quite simply epic. On a very rare occasion – perhaps once or twice – I resisted the temptation to cool off in the lake and carried on to Güéjar de Sierra, a Granada town 1,100m high and very close to the Sierra Nevada ski resort. From here you can see the peaks of Veleta and Mulhacen (see above) but alas, there is no swimming.

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Embalse de Quentar (Quentar Reservoir)
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Damn! It’s a dam! (Quentar, Granada)

For rockier and more challenging terrain, Monachil, again, is your best bet!

4) Kayaking

If you visit Granada during summer it won’t be long until you are desperate to cool off. Lucky for you, Granada’s wild landscape is dotted with great, glass-like lakes. One that will immediately spring to mind for anyone who knows the area well is Embalse de Bermejales (Lake Bermejales). For me, the fresh water here beats any of the beaches in Andalucia – the temperature is perfect and neither your skin nor eyes are irritated by salt from the sea. You can hire kayaks and water bikes from the local campsite and spend an hour or two rowing/pedaling/drifting to your heart’s content (any more than that and you will melt to death).

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Kayaking in Embalse de Bermejales

You can even go kayaking in the sea, along the stretch of coastline between Nerja’s Burriana beach and Maro which features dozens of secluded caves, caverns and waterfalls. Technically, the area belongs to the Costa del Sol, rather than Granada’s Costa Tropical, but we are talking a matter of a few kilometres.

Here is a great post written by local Andalucia and Granada travel expert John Kramer who explored the route with his kids and clearly had quite the adventure!

5) Paragliding

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In case you missed it, two weeks ago I went paragliding! Thus came the inspiration to write this post. As you can probably guess it was incredible, except the bit when I nearly chundered on my pilot.

Not only is it a wonderful experience, but it’s also surprisingly easy (and cheap!) to go paragliding in Granada. There are several operators you can find online but let me save you the trouble and straight up recommend Roman, who is not only a very cool and funny guy – he’s got years of experience too. He takes clients paragliding over Cenes de la Vega, a 15-minute drive away from Granada, and if the wind is too strong to fly the day you go there will be no charge.

If you’re looking for things to see in Granada, you can see them all from up there! Read more about my experience and details on paragliding in Granada here.

6) Paintball

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Yes, you will sweat buckets in those overalls you have to wear but paintball is that much fun you really won’t care. Plus, it’s cheaper and quieter in summer!

Last year a large group of us booked an afternoon at Color Paintball about 35km outside of Granada, as part of a raging stag weekend. The setup was insane! There were three huge installations with plenty of places to hide or sneak up on unsuspecting opponents, and another indoor installation for when the heat became too intense. It was here that the rest of us were allowed to unload all of our remaining pellets on the stag as he scurried unarmed along a massive wall and back again in front of us! It was great until Kike, our guide, handed a fully loaded gun to the stag after we ran out of amo. Things took a sudden turn for the worse then.

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Stag Unit.

Color Paintball offer a great deal, which includes barbecue and beers. For 30€ per head we got a mountain of chargrilled meat, 3 beers each and 300 pellets (more than enough) to play with. There were 4 games and since we had the whole place to ourselves each one lasted about half an hour.

Paintball with Color Paintball was bags of fun and the drive from Granada is beautiful!

7) Quad Biking

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Another very apt activity for stag parties yet one that has so far eluded me in Granada. I know the opportunity exists, as I’ve seen quad bike convoys operating in La Alpujarra and near Quéntar when out on bike rides, but it’s probably not what you would consider normal Granada tourism.

Quad-biking is obviously not for the faint-hearted and a great degree of care is required when you’re traveling along at speed. But I can’t imagine there are many better places to do it than in Granada, which if you haven’t realised by now, is basically an adrenaline junkie’s wet dream.

Here is a list of companies that take groups out on quad bikes both in La Alpujarra and Guadix/Quéntar.

8) Rock-jumping

things to do in granada, spain, playa de saloreña, peñon, salobrena beach
Would you jump off this “peñon” in Salobreña? Didn’t think so!

Rock-jumping; cliff-jumping; “tombstoning” (as I believe it is commonly referred to in the UK); or just plain insanity – jumping from great heights into deep rock pools or lagoons is a common pastime in the Granada province of Andalucia, if you know the right spot.

You can do it in , the small beach town less than an hour’s drive from Granada capital. Here there is a giant, lone crag – about 40-50ft high – called El Peñoni. In recent years el peñon has become the go-to site for rock-jumping, despite how blatantly dangerous doing so appears to be. Obviously there are different heights you can jump from, and the water is deep enough even if you jump from the top (I’ve seen kids do this) but there is always a chance you could land badly and seriously injure yourself!

Alternatively, you can hurl yourself into the paradise-like, waterfall-fed lagoon of the Junta de los dos Ríos, where Rio Verde and Rio Negro meet in the Andalucian sticks, if you can get there. This is one of the most beautiful yet most difficult places to visit in Granada. We attempted to find it a while back and failed completely. However, we did come across another smaller lagoon with two waterfalls which we subsequently had all to ourselves for the day. We couldn´t complain.

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Diving into our very own secret lagoon somewhere along Rio Verde, Granada.

For more information on Rio Verde, check out my full post here.

What are some other things to do in Granada in summer to get the adrenaline pumping? Have I left anything out?

things to do in granada, spain, hiking, los cahorros
River walk in Los Cahorros, Monachil, Granada.

This post was written in collaboration with Deal Checker. Like always, opinions are my own. Would you expect anything less from me!?

Taking to the skies: Paragliding in the Sierra Nevada

Just when I thought I’d done it all in Granada – skiing, snowboarding, hiking, snorkeling, cliff-jumping, paint-balling and quad-biking (to name a few) – along came an opportunity like this.

I’m not sure why paragliding in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains had never occurred to me before; I love adrenaline-pumping sports/activities and I’m pretty sure I’d seen paragliders hovering in the distance on several occasions. But I never felt inspired to actually do it.

Not until a couple of weeks ago anyway, as a friend and I drove for miles (in a convertible!) through the rolling Granadino countryside on the way to a farmhouse for a gut-busting beer and barbecue party.

We passed countless vineyards, olive groves and massive boulders. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Deep greens and blues offset the sandy colour of the rocks to create the most spectacular scenery. And up there, in the distance, were two paragliders, undoubtedly enjoying an even better view than ours.

“They’ve got the right idea” one of us said. “Yeah. Let’s go next week?” the other suggested. “Yes. Let’s”. And that was that.

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A view you can typically expect to find somewhere between Granada and Jaén… (Source: Wikicommons)

We needed a pilot. After a bit of searching and a couple of friend-of-a-friend recommendations, I found Roman, a French guy who’s been doing tandem paragliding (‘parapente’ in Spanish) and living in Cenes de la Vega (a small town 10km outside of Granada towards the Sierra Nevada) since 2007. We picked a day and just had to hope the weather would hold out – hardly unlikely in southern Spain at this time of year!

Sure enough, the weather was perfect the day three of us drove up to Cenes. Roman met us at a nearby petrol station and led us to the ‘drop-off zone’ (a bit militant sounding don’t you think?), where we boarded a van and were driven to what I assume is called the ‘take-off zone’, at about 1300m. It was a short ride from Cenes, which has an elevation of around 750m.

We were among a large group of pilots and other clients, all just as excited as we were. Unfortunately, when we arrived the wind was a little too strong. But waiting it out wasn’t necessarily such a bad thing – we could amble over to the peak of the mountain and take in the unbelievable panoramic views.

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This would be amazing to snowboard off…

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Up above a pair of giant eagles hung in the air. Their claws must have been big and sharp. Sharp enough to tear through a flimsy parachute, if one got in their way.

Have I ever mentioned I am prone to having irrational fears?

Probably not, but there we are.

After 15 minutes we heard Roman calling us to come back. The wind had died down. Showtime.

I was first. Helmet and jacket on (it can get cold up there even in summer), strapped in and I was ready to go. The rules were simple: once the chute was up, I would walk a couple of paces and start running when Roman said so.

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And I’m pleased to report that is exactly what happened, despite one of my testicles being painfully squished against the safety belt in the process.

With one great swoosh we were launched into the air. Thankfully my wronged bollock managed to right itself pretty quickly, but the rush of adrenaline had an adverse effect on my comprehension of Spanish, as I struggled to understand Roman´s very simple instructions of how to sit properly. Eventually I got it, without resorting to English (which Roman speaks very well).

Predictably, our sweeping bird’s-eye view was absolutely incredible. To the left was the Sierra Nevada – slithers of white still occupying its highest creases – dead ahead was Granada in all her glory, Cenes tumbled down the hill towards the city to our right and behind us were vast swathes of beautiful countryside stretching as far as the eye could see.

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La vista.

For 10 minutes we glided at about 100m. Things were going swimmingly until Roman asked how my stomach was doing. Until that point I’d felt fine, but suddenly I was feeling very queasy. The problem was how we increased our height by spinning around in circles to catch the wind current. This triggered lots of stomach sloshing.

I desperately tried to ignore the increasingly burning need to puke, but after another 10 minutes I couldn’t think about anything else and had stopped enjoying the experience. Also I really didn’t fancy decorating Roman’s equipment (and potentially his face) with a regurgitated tapa lunch. It was time to come down.

Landing was easy; keeping the vom down wasn’t. But I managed it. After a quick high five I calmly walked over to the bags, sank to the ground, buried my head between knees and remained very still for about an hour. It was hardly an encouraging sight for my friends who were next up, but minutes after I’d touched down the wind picked up again.

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Little did I know that later the message on my t-shirt would take on a far more literal meaning.

 

 

We waited for what seemed like hours (prolonged by my steadfast feeling of sickness) until eventually Roman had to call it. Unfortunately, on this occasion, neither of my friends would be able to fly. The wind was too strong and the light was fading.

But as a token of good will, Roman offered to take the three of us up  another day that week (since my flight was so short), which was mightily kind of him.

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Game off.

I neglected to go again – 20 minutes had been enough for me – but my friends returned a few days later and flew in perfect conditions.

Despite nearly – and literally – marring my experience paragliding in the Sierra Nevada, I had a great time and would definitely go again. I’d thoroughly recommend paragliding with Roman. His rates are very reasonable and his customer service outstanding. You can get in touch via his website (andaventur.com) or his Facebook page.

Paragliding Spain, done!

Getting There

The busiest and best-connected port of entry within driving distance of the Sierra Nevada is Malaga Airport, but flights to Granada Spain from London City airport do exist, believe it or not! And they’re reasonably priced if you book in advance through British Airways.

From Granada, you’ll need to either hire a car or take a taxi up to Cenes de la Vega. Check out this interactive Google map for exact directions.

tandem paragliding in spain, sierra nevada, granada

Special thanks to Roman for hosting me. Like always, I’m keeping it real and all opinions are my own.

Your Chance to Win TWO Spanish Courses!

Here in Granada there seems to be an ever-increasing number of Spanish schools. It’s no surprise, really; Granada is such a popular place to come and learn Spanish because of the abundance of highlights it presents; diverse culture, free tapas, alpine skiing, peaceful beaches and of course the mesmerising architecture, to name but a few reasons.

If you’re thinking of coming to Spain– or more specifically, Granada –to learn Spanish for a short period, you’ll doubtless want to make the absolute most of your time here; experiencing Granada to the max and meeting people from different countries who are all just as eager to learn Spanish as you are.

That’s where Escuela DeLengua comes in.

Not only does Escuela DeLengua offer comprehensive, year-long, intensive Spanish courses, but also unique, practical courses that focus on both traditional and environmental themes. Currently, the school is offering full scholarships on two such courses.

One: Learn Spanish Through Flamenco

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How long? 5 days

When? 20/04/15 – 24/04/15

Where? Escuela DeLengua, Granada + local excursions in the afternoon

Minimum level of Spanish required: A2 (Basic)

Accommodation included? No

Group size: 5-10

Ordinary course fee: €210

This special course will take place in April, lasting one week from Monday 20th to Friday 24th. There are five spots up for grabs on this one, and anyone fitting the necessary requirements has the chance to enter up until 10:00am on February 27th (so hurry!), when the raffle will close.

The course consists of activities, workshops and of course, Flamenco shows. You don’t need to be an expert on Flamenco to participate; just interested in learning about the topic and improving your Spanish!

Accommodation is not included with the course. Find more details on course requirements and how to enter here.

Two: The Spanish, Environment and Sustainability Course

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La Cortijuela, Sierra Nevada, Spain

How long? 8 weeks

When? Any time between 13/04/15 and 27/11/15, except August.

Where? Escuela DeLengua, Granada + local and nature excursions

Minimum level of Spanish required: B1 (Intermediate)

Accommodatio included? Yes

Number of scholarships available: 2

The course, lasting a whopping 8 weeks, will consist in daily one-to-one Spanish classes and analysing the sustainability of the school itself, in order to later be able to devise a plan of action that can help improve the school’s carbon footprint, and finally putting that plan into practice. These ideas could be related to recycling, the consumption of electricity, water usage whatever aspect will reduce the school’s environmental impact.

The second part of the course will consider environmental issues on a more general scale, that is to say, the analysis of the sustainability of the city of Granada. Thus, participants will have the opportunity to analyse some of the most fascinating and beautiful places in Granada, and once again work on strategies to improve sustainability, whilst at the same time experience firsthand the culture and natural beauty of the city.
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The Solar-powered energy source of la Diputación de Granada
Granada’s location makes it the perfect place for such a course, given its proximity to the coast and biologically diverse Sierra Nevada national park. We get a lot of wind and rain here, making it an area of interest for renewable energy resources. The course will allow students to explore the city and beyond over the duration of the 8 weeks.
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Last year’s course at Carmen de Victoria, Granada
 I participated in a similar course myself last year, the difference being that mine lasted just a week. However, a week was long enough to recognise the passion and enthusiasm for teaching Spanish at DeLengua, and the value of learning Spanish on a course that is also educational in a wider sense.
This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone with a keen interest in sustainability and significantly improving their Spanish skills.
The offer runs until March 31st. Read here for more details of requirements and how to enter.

How I Fell For Granada

Let’s turn back the clock:

It’s puente weekend at the end of February, 2011. Less than a week ago I didn’t know the first thing about Granada, besides that it was a city somewhere else in Andalucía and it shared a name with a UK-based TV broadcaster (naïve, ignorant, blah blah yes I know). Then, as our cherished puente approached, a teacher I worked with in El Puerto de Santa María suggested I visited for a long weekend, and take advantage of the region’s very own ski resort. ‘A ski-resort in Spain?’, was my first thought. Surely not…

One Google search later and I was booking my bus tickets and accommodation for the weekend. This was potentially a dream come true for the year ahead: stay in Spain, continue learning Spanish and go snowboarding regularly. A lot was riding on this trip.

I begin the weekend by sauntering up to the Alhambra’s public viewing area to take in the fabulous views below. The bustling El Mirador de San Nicolas– Granada’s most popular lookout –sits atop the historic and maze-like barrio of El Albaícin across the valley. The flashing (of cameras) is relentless; the view must be even better where they are.

The Alhambra Palace, Granada, Spain, winter, sierra nevada
El Mirador de San Nicolas
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El Albaícin seen from the window of the Mexuar in the Alhambra Palace

Inside the palace, entry to which isn’t free but an equitable €15, is the intense and fascinating history of Moorish Granada, embossed within intricately carved walls, ceilings, marble-glazed fountains and centuries-old, storytelling paintings.

Such architectural ingenuity, I later discover, extends to the rest of the city; the Cathedral, hidden within the maze of pedestrianised streets side-streets, is as large and impressive as any in Spain, and an arched doorway to a cluster of official-looking offices are cast in the archetypal Moorish style.

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Granada’s Cathedral

That night it becomes evident that the nightlife is a pretty big draw too. I meet a friend who is determined to show off the city’s gastronomic prowess. The bubbling and Moroccan-faced Calle Elvira off Plaza Nueva is the choice of locale, and we eventually settle on trendy looking tapas bar Babel (C/ Elvira 40), which promises ‘a world fusion of flavours’. “What do you recommend?” I attempt in my best Spanish. “The octopus or the chicken fajitas” the cheery waiter replies in English. “But why not try both? All tapas come free with each drink!” He has a point. In fact, any tapa in any tapas bar comes free with each drink. Thus, dinner, along with three swills, costs me about €6.

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Tapas: Shawarma de Pollo, Papa Yunnani y faláfeles

I soon discover that filling up on tapas is especially important if you plan on having a night out in Granada. Bars and clubs stay open until dawn and it’s generally considered bad form to call it a night before 4am. It’s tempting to plough through and see where the night takes us, but we think better of it; tomorrow, we are going skiing.

The Sierra Nevada mountain range provides the striking backdrop to Granada, and serves as the region’s year-round adventure playground. Summer attracts climbers, hikers and mountain bikers to the rolling hills of Las Alpujarras, whereas winter brings multitudes of skiers and snowboarders, who either make the 45-minute drive from the city or travel epic distances to spend the day carving their way through the 3,393m high and 118 piste boasting ski-resort.

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Sierra Nevada Ski-resort

We are going in April, when conditions are slushy but almost warm enough to ski in just a t-shirt. We don’t, choosing instead to sweat profusely beneath our numerous layers before the day climaxes with a litre-sized jar of beer and a platter of €1 priced mini baguettes at 100 Montaditos (Plaza de Pradollano).

My second evening is almost a mirror image of the first, except this time I allow myself to carry on into the morning, at which point I have got very lost, my phone battery has died and I’ve lost everyone from the hostel.

After an hour or so of stumbling around in the dark, I  still haven’t found my hostel, but I do come across a signpost for El Mirador de San Nicolas, the viewpoint that has alluded me until now. So off I go to watch the sun rise over The Alhambra, and decide, there and then, as a local drunk man attempts to speak to me in entirely incomprehensible Andaluz between swigs of his flat and lukewarm-looking litro, that I would make no mistake about it: I am going to live in Granada.

Life is what we make of it. Nothing’s forever.

Circle time: I’ve been going through a rough patch.

I hadn’t realised until going home for Christmas, but I’d lost my way here in Granada, a city I have known and loved for quite a long time now. I just wasn’t excited anymore. I wasn’t waking up extra early to spend half an hour sipping a relaxing cup of café con leche on my terrace before going to work, or eavesdropping on random crusties in the street to amuse myself and brush up on my comprehension of andaluz. I could count my Spanish friends on one hand, and probably the number of minutes per day I’d spend speaking Spanish on the other.

Not good.

I needed to change; to break the mould a bit; to get out more; to burst the ‘guiri bubble’, as it were. But most importantly, I needed to rediscover where I live and start appreciating it again.

Hence the lengthy period of inactivity on this here blog of mine. Well, that, and a fruitless, exasperating 3-week wait for Vodagroan to get their act together and install internet in my new apartment. They didn’t in the end– and I won’t go into why or else the point of this post will be lost –but let’s just say they are a bunch of silly knobheads and I won’t ever be knocking on their door again.

Now I am back online and raring to blog, after using these last few weeks to collect my thoughts and turn my stagnating expat life around.

So…

I’ve got a new job (on top of my teaching job), a new place (with a proper contract!), a new housemate, a few new Spanish-speaking friends, I’ve returned to studying Spanish (properly this time) and I’m single again. Oh, and I’ve started eavesdropping on crusty Spanish hippies again too.

It feels fantastic, if a bit peculiar.

I’ve been here almost four years, and I suddenly feel born again. My enthusiasm for all things Spain and learning/speaking Spanish has come rushing back, and I am determined to make the most of what time I have left in Granada.

The recent deluge of snow we’ve had will undoubtedly play a key role in this over the coming weeks. Right now, the Sierra Nevada is covered in an almighty white coat, all the way from top to bottom. I’ve never seen it look so brilliant. I’ll be getting a much closer look this Saturday hopefully.

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Granada with a light frosting. (Credit: Nick Player)
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Granada’s Sacromonte bario looking even more spectacular (Credit: Nick Player)

I’m relieved to have turned a corner, and grateful that I realised I needed change when I did. I suppose it goes to show that we can all get too comfortable and monotony can set in, no matter where we are in the world. At first it can feel like continuity; progression; healthy routine. But if we are not careful these routines become stifling and hugely damaging to our overall experience of a place we probably won’t call home forever.

Life is what we make of it, and nothing’s forever.  That’s my motto from now on…

Proof that it snows in Spain!

Snowfall in Granada’s sky-scraping Sierra Nevada mountain range is hardly surprising at this time of year, but to see it bucket down at ground level like it did yesterday is most unusual.

As a group of us were making our way back from Almería along the winding A-92 highway, the clouds descended and raindrops slowly turned into snowflakes. Five minutes later, our outside environs were blanketed with a layer of snow, creating a stunning scene that we are rarely treated to here in the south of Spain.

snow in andalucia, spain, nieve, granada

snow in andalucia, spain, nieve, granada

It was almost as though we were driving through the Alps or along the TransCanada highway; the coated pine trees that stood either side of us do not grow in abundance in the Sierra Nevada like they do at ground level, and the steep hillsides beyond completed the picture perfectly.

snow in andalucia, spain, nieve, granada

My thoughts turned to the Sierra Nevada ski resort, which has suffered the worst start to a season in six or seven years. “Oh the powder! Think of the fresh powder up there!” I exclaimed to my travelling companions, none of whom give a toss about powder. “Never mind”, I conceded, and drifted back to my happy place.

sierra nevada, spain, snow, powder
Hiking the villén ridge in the Sierra Nevada

Of course ten minutes later the snow had turned back into rain and the scene had suddenly disappeared, but those ten minutes were more than enough to instigate a case of ski-bum fever, which is, of course, the reason I ended up in Granada. Now I am relishing the day I finally get to dust off my barely used snowboard, pile into a friend-filled car and go have myself a day of awesomeness up in the snowy (and powdery) mountains.

Sod’s law that it should snow on a Sunday though, meaning that by the time next weekend comes around this fresh dump (ski-bum jargon) will but all have melted or frozen. But disenchanted I am not, for this, I am sure, is a sign of things to come!

It seems at last the season is officially underway…

snow in andalucia, spain, nieve, granada