Hmmm...where to start? How about starting with my first very full weekend in Spain? I will warn you that I can only really sum up my Spain trip in one word....AMAZING! Most likely I will be saying it a half dozen times when I talk about my travel....because it was the most memorable and most amazing trip I have ever been on. I hope....actually I know....that I will be back there again...and I mean that as in next year! I'm already planning it...if not as soon as winter break from nursing school! (eek....I just said nursing school!)
I loved everything about Spain; the lifestyle, the history, the culture, the people, and most importantly the FOOD! I was warned before my travels that the food in Spain was bland, however I found the food to be anything but bland! (As you know I'm such a foodie! So being in SpainI felt like I had died and gone to food heaven!!) My friend, Alberto, told me the best way to find a good restaurant was to seek out the restaurants not on the main roads and that were also filled with locals, not tourists. So that's what I did my whole travels and it turned out to be the best advice! Everywhere I went the food was AMAZING....sigh...I'm already purchasing cookbooks to bring some of that Spain goodness to my kitchen!
I'm not too sure where to start, so I suppose the best place to start is when I arrived to Madrid Spain on Friday July 1st. I was so nervous and so excited at the same time. I was nervous for two reasons; seeing my friend Alberto for one, and two I am in Spain!! Wholly-cow-ness! Spain!! Alberto picked my Americana bootey up from the airport and quickly set out on our first destination: Granada.
From Madrid to Granada it was about a 5 hour car drive, shockingly after spending 13 hours on the plane the 5 hour car drive should have seemed exhausting...but it wasn't in the least! You know me, I can be very chatty and luckily Alberto is the same way, so there was never a dull moment! We arrived in Granada and checked into our hotel, a Best Western! Who knew there would be a Best Western in Spain.....call me naive but really I only thought that was a Washington hotel! Guess I was wrong!!
After dropping my luggage off in my room, we headed out for my first Sangria (in Spain) and tapas!! One thing that I loved about Spain is the tapas that were served with the drinks....so yummy! If you aren't sure what tapas are, the definition is "small servings". I honestly didn't know what they were until I arrived in Spain, I thought it was a particular dish! Lol! Oopsey again! :) Granada at night is beautiful!! The castle was lit up and the vibe of the city was warm and welcoming. I loved how late people stay up in Spain, my kind of country!
We got lost in the maze of streets and found ourselves at a local park where people were singing and socializing....heart that!! Did you know that they have actual gypsies in Spain? They have good and bad gypsies ... I always thought they only existed in books and movies! Lol! A couple more drinks later and it was time to call it a night....I was starting to feel a little jetlag! Off to bed I went because the next day I was going to a hamman bath house!!
The hamman bath house, Aljibe de San Miguel Banos, was also...AMAZING! Peaceful, relaxing, and just what I needed! A bath house has several indoor "pools" with different water temperatures, cool to hot tub hot. So depending on how you feel, you can move to the different pools to cool off or warm up. The tea was flowing for us and they also provided massages...as you can imagine I was in heaven....if you ever get there you must go!
Below are some pictures, it was so difficult to narrow them down, so hopefully I did good! We toured all around Granada, drinking cervezas and snacking on tapas....taking in the breaktaking sights, the castles, the churches, the food...sigh...yes that's right people castles!! Just another day in Spain with castles! Lol! The thing is, they are in every city! So wish we had that here, such amazing history!
Granada was a cute city, a little dirty in some areas, but definitely a must see! Next stop: Segovia! My favorite cities in Spain were the smaller cities, Segovia was one of them! It looked like a city where you should retire in, just enough little shops, restaurants, and history. Lots of mazed streets, but the two most impressive sites was the medievel wall and the "Cinderella" castle...aka Alcazar. (It's official name!)
Most of you are my friends on FaceBook so you have gotten to see so many more photos, and to those that do not have a FB account...so sorry I can't possibly upload all of my amazing photos on here but I will showcase my favorites at least!!
So as a preview of everywhere I went, here is a map of my entire travels that I will be blogging about in the next few days...or more...cuz really it's me we are talking about! Lol! To zoom in on the map there are plus and minus signs in the upper left hand corner. The only city in Spain that doesn't appear on the map is Toledo...not too sure why it wouldnt allow it! But what ev, when I talk about Toledo I will show you a different map!
I will admit it took me a little while to get my photographer finger going the first weekend...but get ready because I will have so many more photos to showcase and stories to tell! My juiciest stories I'm sorry to disappoint can only be told over a cafe con letche and a chocolate croissant....Spain style! So if your in a Spanish mood....lets get together!