5th Country Revealed - Spain
The fifth country revealed in my new Bon Voyage series is…… Spain.
I’ve been to Spain twice. Each trip was unique and incredible.
I first made my way to Spain with a friend for a two-week trip in 2009. We arrived from France, then made our way to San Sebastián in Northern Spain. I was taken with the elegant art Nouveau buildings lining the cobblestone streets, beautiful coastline filled with surfers, lively bars and restaurants, and captivating culture. I knew after that trip I wanted to explore more of Spain.
I returned in February 2018 upon finding an incredibly cheap airfare to Barcelona and knew I had to seize the opportunity for another voyage to Spain. I found an insanely cheap ticket to Barcelona and impulsively purchased my ticket. I was traveling solo for the first time in 5 years!
Once I got to Barcelona, I was immediately present and in the travel state of mind. I thoroughly explored Barcelona: Gaudi architecture, walks to the coast, the Gothic Quarter and El Poblenou, navigating the metro system, and frequent stops for tapas with plenty of beer. I walked 11 miles over the first full day. Despite Barcelona’s offseason abundance of tourists, I had a great time.
On the third day, I flew to Granada in the Andalusian Region. My initial plan was to spend 3 nights there, but after I stepped foot in such a magical place, I quickly decided to spend the majority of my trip there.
Granada is nestled in the foothills of the Spanish Sierra Nevadas. It’s among the most charming cities I’ve ever visited with an abundance of cultures, diverse neighborhoods, boho vibes, Moorish Architecture, and alluring street markets. I could live there I loved it so much and I was pleasantly surprised by its affordability.
Granada is home of the la Alhambra, a palace-fortress complex built in the 14th century during the Nasrid Dynasty. The Alhambra is located right on the edge of the city among green forests with amazing views of the Sierra Nevadas in the background.
My favorite activity was wandering and getting lost in the Albaicin, the old Moorish quarter full of labyrinths of narrow cobbled streets winding up steep hills and lined with traditional white-washed houses. At the pinnacle, there were incredible views of the city and the Alhambra. It was so peaceful and the cloud formations were beautiful. As I ambled the street, I came upon several buzzing city squares with locals hanging about, which prompted me to stop for more beer and tapas.
This trip reminded me of the importance and power of a respite and escaping my comfort zone. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed solo travel. I always learn so much about myself. It was another great trip. I look forward to another visit.