España, Part 1
Monday, December 27, was the first day of our trip. It was also my brother's 17th birthday!
We woke up early, had some breakfast, and hit the road for Granada, which is about an hour away from our hotel in Estepona.
Granada is the biggest city in the Andalucia region of Spain, so I was very excited to go. Once we drove through the winding streets, figured out where to park and how to pay for it, we got in the incredibly long line to get into Granada's most popular tourist attraction: La Alhambra.
La Alhambra is a group of beautiful Muslim and Moorish palaces that were built primarily between 1300 and 1500. The grounds are kind of like an arboretum, so there are flowers and orange trees everywhere and everything is blooming and very well taken care of. There are also little cafes and gift shops scattered throughout, which are great places for the multitude of stray cats to weave in and out of.
We walked around for several hours and just wandered through the palaces. They were stunning! Every detail was so ornate and elegant and just beautiful. I can't imagine how long it took to build and decorate each of these magnificent buildings. The views weren't too shabby either. :]
My dad and I in the rotunda:
I managed to spot a few quatrefoils!:
My favorite picture from La Alhambra:
Looking out at gorgeous Granada:
Once we finished at La Alhambra, we went across the street to a tiny neighborhood cafe for lunch. We didn't recognize much on the menu, so my limited Spanish allowed me to tell our waitress that we each wanted the daily special and a Coke. The meal was delicious! My dad got a huge plate of spaghetti as an appetizer, and we each had the main course of fish with a onion, tomato, and caper sauce with rice and vegetables. I enjoyed being in a place that was obviously authentic and a regular spot for the people who live in Granada. I can't think of a better way to experience a culture than to do what the locals do.
Once we were finished with lunch, we headed back to Estepona, where we walked around the downtown area. The town is so cute! It was incredibly busy and still decorated for Christmas, so I enjoyed walking in and out of the shops and picking out places we wanted to go when we came back to town.
Once we were back at the hotel, we stopped in at the restaurant for yummy desserts and drinks to celebrate my brother's birthday!
Next stop: Màlaga