The GoGlobal Blog

First Impressions

First Impressions

¡Hola! Finalmente estoy en Granada.

First of all, Spain is beautiful. When we first landed in Madrid, we got to see this beautiful sunrise made up of layers of orange and gold and yellow with the silhouettes of the mountains in front of it. From Madrid we went to Málaga, which is a coastal town with a lot of palm trees. We didn’t see a whole lot of it because we were all basically vegetables from jet lag and travel, but we did get to go to el centro and see a really beautiful cathedral and a building from when Málaga was a port for this region.

From Málaga we drove to Granada. It’s probably one of the only hour and a half road trips in the world where you see a beach at the beginning and snow-capped mountains at the end. Granada. Is. Beautiful. It’s in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and almost every home and building has views of the mountains and the Alhambra. Granada is a medieval city, so many of the buildings are extremely old, and much of the city retains a lot of its history from when it was home to los arabes, los judios, y los católicos. A lot of the buildings are white with red tile roofs, and it actually looks like paradise. Much of the city was constructed before cars, so the streets are very narrow and change direction a lot. The streets also don’t have prominent signs, and nothing’s on a grid, so it’s somewhat difficult to navigate. I do not envy the drivers around here at all.

There are a few things I’ve noticed so far. Spaniards are all about second breakfast: you eat a small breakfast, then halfway through the morning everyone has another cup of coffee and a snack. Siesta is also serious business. Everything shuts down and everyone goes home to eat lunch and take a rest. Right now it’s siesta time, and it’s practically silent outside. Lunch is the biggest meal here, and it’s very important that everyone gets to eat with their families (not unlike dinner in the States). Dinner is a lot more casual, and people often go out for drinks and tapas for the evening meal. Vegetarians are uncommon here, and if you say that you want something vegetarian, it usually ends up including ham. However, my host mom is an excellent vegetarian cook, which works out well because my roommate and I are both vegetarians.

Spaniards have a very odd relationship with their floor. You can’t put things like bags on the floor because it’s bad luck, and you can’t put clothes on the floor because the floor is considered to be dirty. No one goes barefoot in the house for the same reason, but people clean their floors all the time. It’s very rude if you walk around without slippers or shoes on in the house, but my roommate and I keep forgetting that. Whoops.

Let’s hope I remember to wear my slippers and be very clear about not wanting ham on anything I eat. ¡Hasta luego!

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