Granada was a whole adventure in itself. I made my way to the South of Spain where I had my credit cards and cell phone sent to my friend Alana’s house in Granada where she teaches English at a high school. I arrived after an 8 hour bus ride from Valencia and found my way through the small streets to her apartment. The house comprised of Alana and her three roommates: Luke from Liverpool, Steven from Scotland, his girlfriend Melissa from England and Mike from Oregon. Aside from Melissa, they all came to Granada to teach English and also as a way to make traveling a possibility. Each person had such vibrant personalities that gave no way for boredom. Alana was the sunshine of the group where frowning in her presence was just not possible. Luke was the comedian in every sense from the things he did to the things he said. Melissa was speed-talking mastermind, always having an endless amount of ideas. Steven was the laid back guy always smiling and chiming in with hilarious retorts. Mike the adventurist who always was on the go with another adventure to go on. When hanging out with this bunch, you automatically felt like family; everyone was so keen to help each other out whether it meant family dinner nights or helping with interview questions or needing advice on apparel. It definitely was a treat to spend a week here, it served as a break from meeting new travelers everyday where we usually spent the first few hours with repetitive questions like, ‘where are you from? Where are you headed? Tell me about yourself”. I felt like I had known all of them for so long because of the bond that automatically took place. The kindness this whole house permeated with made leaving all of them a moment I dreaded.
I spent the majority of my time with Alana and Luke. They took me around to see Granada and I automatically could see how so many travelers had told me Granada was their favorite city in Spain. It was vibrant and lively resembling a hippie town with tons of young folk and a place where wearing shoes about was simply an option. So hippie that an area called ‘the caves’ existed on your walk up to a viewpoint of the city, consisting of a series of caves and houses built by squatters who refuse to pay the government for the land they live on. There was a mixture of two cultures that took their stakes in making Granada as a whole, from the traditional Spanish houses that varied in color with borders, balconies, and flower pots, to the Moroccan markets packed with colorful lamps hanging from shops and an overabundance of Hookah shops decorated with cushioned seats. It was magical.
The simplicity of it all was what I loved and all of us had such similar mindsets that it was just a constant flow of laughter, adventure, beers and tapas. We would sight see during the day or choose to spend some days laying about the house planning our Summer travels and blasting music. At night, it was GAME ON. Alana, Luke and I served as the trio with absolutely no sense of limits, often partying until 8pm the next day. One night, we had even taken in a fourth person from the club. I can hardly remember the intro or how we even found David, but we followed him to an after party and then brought him back home the afternoon after to continue the party that all of us still craved. Just to give you a gist of what this after party consisted of, it involved Julia Child and depression cooking videos, fur coats and all of us squatting in the kitchen because it felt like the best place to be at the time.
During my time in Granada, a festival called Day of the Cross took its place. Basically, the entire city gets LIT where people are pouring throughout the streets, cups of alcohol spilling and dropping as people stumble throughout Granada in herds to celebrate a religious day. Luke, Mike and I started the day with filling two six liter water bottles with almost three bottles of rum and some coke and headed off to meet with the rest of the group ( who were so prepared they brought disposable cups and bags of ice). We lost our minds that night, Luke forgetting what day it even was and me eating sh#* and having to ice my numb foot with a nice cold beer. At one point Luke and I got separated from everyone and headed home to charge his phone in order to party more. We met up with Mike later that night and of course, we continued the insanity of it all. Luke taking Mike’s bike and saying he was going around the block turned into Mike and I standing around for fifteen minutes, questioning why we would let drunk Luke take the bike. But he returned and 12 am turned into him and I passing out at 7:30 the next day with a phone in hand as we attempted to the very end to keep partying.
I can’t even summarize just how much Granada has made my time in Spain a time I will never forget. I just feel I have met the greatest group in existence nd once again am so thankful for the encounters I have had, the adventures I had taken and the mentalness of it all (yes I know I just made up that word).
BTW guys, I’ll never forget the chargers and cup pully system we made or the imaginary laptops I was picking up in the club OR giving a donkey beer to drink. Y’all know what I’m talking about.