Updated: Jul 25
I am really enjoying living so close to Spain. A trip to see my aunt and uncle is only a three-hour flight. I spent the last week in southern Spain hanging out by the beach and eating tapas, I actually went to take my CCSE test (the Spanish government portion) for my Spanish citizenship. I am 99% sure I passed, but we will find out in a few weeks.
Spain reminds me so much of home and New Mexico. I love it. And I have to say, my Spanish is really improving by visiting! Spain is beautiful in February, the temperatures bounced between 50 and 70 degrees and I even got a sunburn. Hooray for some color in my skin! Our little adventure into Granada even took us up high enough to see snow. If an opportunity ever comes to live in Spain-- I will jump at it!
From Málaga, Granada is about an hour drive. Granada is a must-see city in Andalusia. If you are in Southern Spain, I have to recommend seeing the Alhambra. This palace and fortress was originally built in the 800s and has changed hands between Muslim and Catholic conquistadors. The architecture is absolutely magical, I love the Arabic writing and the negative space built into the ceilings. The way they have used the gardens to accent the ruins is incredible. Christopher Columbus actually met with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel here in 1492, where he got the blessing to sail to the new world. I loved learning about the history of this place.
Granada is famous for its tapas. When you think Spain, you think tapas, but the experience in Granada is different because when you buy a drink, the tapas automatically come out as a free part of the experience. So if you were wanting to drink your way through the afternoon, you could get an incredible meal with it! We had some awesome tapas, the group favorite was the finely sliced jámon over bread with olive oil from Poetas Andaluces. We went to the street called Pedro Antonio de Alarcón, which was recommended to us by a local as a place where the tapas and drinks are cheap! Keep in mind that most things in Spain are closed from about 1-5 PM for siesta, so you have to go before or after. I ate tons of olives, tomato, garlic, jámon and avocado on my trip. Spanish cuisine is absolutely my favorite. I love the way they prepare food in smaller portions and just enjoying picking off of multiple plates.
Now I would equate this experience with going to Disneyland or an amusement park. I have never been so enamored by food! This market is located in the middle of downtown Málaga, and is a beautiful way to spend a Saturday morning. First, we had breakfast at a little restaurant inside the market, we enjoyed some bocarones (sardines), grilled fish, and sangria. Then went spent an hour or two walking the market isles.
I have never been so impressed by a food market, the meat and produce was so clean and fresh. There was garlic strung overhead, dragon fruit with spoons, apples in perfect rows, giant salmon steaks, and crazy looking meat cuts. It almost felt Dr. Seussish. In front of many of the stands you can try the garlic stuffed olives, nuts or fruit. I will never forget this experience! If you are ever in Málaga, make time for this incredible adventure. All of the food was super cheap and this market was filled with locals. I spent 10 euro on a giant bag full of fresh goodies.