We’ve just arrived in Granada via a 5-hour bus ride from Madrid.
Very comfortable bus, only cost us about 18 euros each. We will be spending the next month living as part of a Granadan family. We’ve rented a room (bedroom, with a desk for Craig to work) in the apartment of a woman named Marisa, who seems determined to make sure we are comfortable and happy. She’s already cleared a shelf on the fridge for us. She doesn’t speak any English, but I was able to gather that we must eat tapas and drink wine every day if want to be Granadans, and we must go to the hammam because it is sweet. (she kissed her fingertips and mimed walking on air.)
Paris and Madrid went by in a whirlwind and I didn’t get a chance to record all my impressions. Here are a few of my thoughts about those cities:
- Whoever said Parisians are rude needs to update their information. Everyone there was very friendly and helpful to us, in spite of our total inability to say even the simplest words.
- Paris is truly a romantic city, full of art, fine food, classic architecture, and fashion. Gorgeous.
- Our apartment in Paris isn’t for everyone. But if you don’t mind climing 6 flights of stairs and want to live in a charmingly tiny but comfy ‘starving artist flat’ in the middle of a really sweet neighborhood, it’s delightful.
- Madrid is all about food. And a special kind of creative chic, a little bohemian compared to the classic feel of Paris but just as special.
- I can highly recommend the Room007 hostel in Madrid, the location, cleanliness, friendliness couldn’t be beat. You can rent a bed in a dorm or get a private room for two, and they have free walking tours of the city, outings for tapas and flamenco, and lots more.
- Why is it that Spain is full of Peruvian and Mexican restaurants, France is full of Moroccan and Algerian restaurants, London loves Indian food, but there are no Native American restaurants in the US, England, France, or Spain? We all colonized their lands. Why are these people forgotten? I want fry bread! Not to mention entrepreneurship opportunities for natives, and the chance to share their culture with us and feel proud of who they are.
We’re here for a whole month, with my internship in Madrid in the middle of it. We haven’t even begun to explore Granada, but I’m already looking into what comes next. I’ve discovered that we can take a glorious train ride through the Sierra Nevada mountains to Gibraltar, and catch a ferry to Tangiers, Morocco from there. Then we can take a train from Tangiers to Fez. ALL for less than $100. I’m pretty stoked about that adventure, it seems epic in every sense of the word.
But first I need to get my passport renewed, and the earliest appointment I could get at the Embassy was for February 13, so I may be stuck in Spain (or at least in the Schengen countries) a little past the end of the month.