Category: Photos


Finally 21… Pics and Video from Ronda, Málaga, Birthday

So I’m 21 already.

Sure, it’s a bit less meaningful in a country where the age of majority for everything is eighteen, but still… ¡Hay que celebrarlo! I had a really fun weekend. I went to Ronda and Málaga with my study abroad group. Ronda is an old town founded by Celts and later transformed by Romans, Moors, and finally Catholics. The best part of town is a series of three bridges built by different resident cultures. Ronda was hot and we endured (yet another) multi-hour guided tour of the city. I am starting to prefer time running around less touristy parts of the city with a small handful of friends.

Málaga was great. It’s a beach town on the Costa del Sol of the Mediterranean, so the climate is a bit different from mountainous Granada – more humidity, and palm trees! It was foggy for most of our visit but it finally cleared up an hour or two before our departure – enough to feel like we’d really gone to a beach town. I saw a lot but definitely want to go back later when the weather is more remeniscent of summer.

I snagged a quick video of the cathedral bells at noon in Málaga:


I got back to Granada on the afternoon of my birthday and went out to celebrate with a few friends for a couple of hours before the bars closed (it was a Sunday night, so the typical Spanish epic all-nighter was unfortunately not an option).

As for photos, my WordPress plugin that auto-imports my Picasa album is acting up for some reason, so I have to embed this crappy slideshow. I highly suggest clicking through to the actual album to see higher-quality pics:

21st Birthday in Ronda and Málaga


With the folks in Andalucía (w/ lots of photos)

I got an early birthday present this week:

My mom and stepdad came to visit me in Granada! We spent the week running around Granada, both touristy attractions and more typical parts of the city. We got to walk through the Albaicin, toured the Alhambra, had tapas with my Spanish host parents, and took a day trip to a wonderful bed & breakfast in a tiny pueblo in the Alpujarras (Alps).

Jean Claude, the cook/owner of L’atilier (our B&B), made us some amazing vegetarian food – our dinner was the best meal I’ve eaten in many years, possibly ever. Our friends Beth, Lee, Dave and Cory had highly recommended L’atilier to us and practically insisted that we go – and for very good reasons. Thanks, guys, for making sure we got to experience such wonderful cuisine and hospitality! 🙂

Having my folks out for the week was so much fun… It was great being able to show them my new stomping grounds and share the city with them. They’re spending the next few days in Amsterdam before returning home. (My Amsterdam trip will be in early May.)

I got a lot of great pictures during their visit, I will post them after the “read more…” link since there are so many (Facebook and RSS readers, this means you’ll have to follow the link to the original post to see all the pictures.)


Paseos & More (with pics)

The real semester has started up here, and with it comes the sad reality that I’m not here on a five-month vacation. 😛

Classes in my program (Hispanic Studies) are mostly taught by University of Granada faculty who normally teach Spaniards. The classes happen at full-speed Spanish, and don’t normally stop to cover aspects of Spanish language except for a few obscure vocabulary words. My most interesting class by far is Hispanoamerican Culture & History. I haven’t been able to take history classes since my junior year of high school, so I am happy to be back in one. My class schedule is pretty similar to that of an American university, except that Study Abroad students here never have class on Fridays.

For the last few weeks, I’ve gone out to different districts of the city on my own to explore everything a bit more. The whole city center feels pretty familiar now, and I’ve started to venture a bit into a couple of areas off the tourist map of Granada. This morning I went with my friends Megan and Korie to one part of town that seemed more suburban and modern – it had a big view of the Sierra Nevada, which made me feel almost as  if I were in Colorado!

Other times I’ve explored more of the Albayzin and Sacromonte districts. It’s great how so many neighborhoods here have such distinct personalities in a small area.

I’ll post a few odds-and-ends photos from the last few weeks here – a little bit of everything from different paseos I’ve done, plus a couple of other things that don’t fit anywhere else.

Paseos & More


Photos from the first week in Granada

We’re getting pretty well settled here in Granada… Much easier to blend in a bit and feel more like a local. I’m learning the streets more and have a better sense of direction…

Today we went for a tour of the Albayzin – the historic Muslim quarter of town on a huge hill next to the Alhambra. It’s a beautiful, quieter part of town that has less roads and more footpaths. Very hilly, too. We saw a lot of great stuff and I got my first good look at the Alhambra, too.

Getting home from the tour was a bit difficult… There was a huge Gaza protest going on in the street. We wanted to  check it out, but at the same time I knew that abroad, Americans can be seen as “OMG Israel can totally do whatever the hell they want.” So we tried to lie low walking through the enormous crowd, not wanting to look very American. Hopefully with the new presidency our foreign policy might come out of the sewers so we aren’t seen as supporters of genocide.

OK, I digress. The photos:

Granada, semana primera