Anita and I very much wanted to visit Granada while we were in the south, so when I received a notification from Amovens about a lift leaving Aracena at 9am Friday we jumped on it quick smart. We’d usually have work on the farm on a Friday but our workaway host granted us a long weekend in exchange for working an extra day the following week, so we packed our bags and soon got on our way.
When we arrived in Granada we stopped for a quick lunch in the park before continuing on through town to our very central Airbnb for the next two nights. Our friendly host was there to greet us at the door before showing us around the apartment and giving us the keys as she took off for work. We too headed out behind her as we wanted to explore a bit more of the town before nightfall, so locked everything up and hit the streets.
A few hours later we returned to the apartment, but as the door swung open we were shocked to find the entire apartment full of thick white smoke. I quickly ran in to find the bookshelf on fire, so ran into the kitchen, grabbed some water and threw it on, only to watch the flames flare up even higher. It was then that we realised it was an electrical fire, so Anita shouted at me to fetch a wet towel. By this stage the flames were licking the ceiling so I moved as quick as I could. After smothering the fire with several wet towels we were finally able to catch our breathe and fully process what had just happened. If we’d arrived even ten minutes later the whole apartment would of been engulfed in flames – our belongings included. We messaged our host and opened all the windows and doors to air out the smoke. Even then, there were speckles of black plastic soot coating everything inside. By the time all the smoke had cleared we still hadn’t heard back from our host, so after triple checking everything was safe, decided to lock everything up and head out for our tapas crawl.
The first place we visited was Bar Poë, and after ordering our drinks were asked what plates we’d like from a list of options. Although the dishes weren’t authentically Spanish, they were still delicious and free! We got rather comfortable and after three drinks and plates each decided it was time to move on otherwise risked getting settled in at one place all night. The next on our list was Los Diamentos, an authentic tapas bar in every way thinkable. The bar was packed wall-to-wall with boisterous locals, and with fresh, delicious seafood tapas slid at you with every beer, it was easy to understand why. We really enjoyed the atmosphere there; loud, buzzing and just full of friendly faces. We had another three drinks and plates before deciding we’d had enough, so stumbled back to the apartment to talk to our host about the events that unfolded earlier that evening.
She was understandably quite shaken up when we got back and told us that she’d left work as soon as she got our messages. She poured herself a much needed drink and us a not-so-needed one too, and we spent the rest of our night helping to calm her nerves while also fumbling our way through some Spanish as she also practiced her English.
The next morning we were blessed with the most amazingly beautiful day; perfect for our planned four hour hike through the mountains. We packed our bags, jumped on a bus, and headed out to the town of Beas de Granada – the starting point of our hike. The hike was more long than difficult but with incredible weather and sprawling views of the snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada the entire way we didn’t mind it one bit. We walked and walked before finally decending back into Granada and back to the apartment for a shower, short siesta, and yet another night of tapas tasting.
We took some dark and inconspicuous laneways to a place called Bar Abila II, arriving right as they opened. We again were able to choose from the menu as we ordered our drinks and then eagerly awaited our food to arrive. It wasn’t long before the bar was completely packed with locals, and as soon as our first plates hit the table we could easily see why. We originally intended to visit another bar after one or two drinks, but the food, service and atmosphere was so very good that we decided to stay there for the entire duration of our “crawl”.
After dinner we visited the popular Los Italianos for one of their special cassata ice creams, then stopped to enjoy several of the incredible street performances that were going on that night. There was singing by a supposedly well-known Spanish pop star from the window of a shoe store, an energetic show of gymnastics by a group of young girls, and a guy playing a flashing violin along to a DJ set. The entire city of Granada was just buzzing, but as the night went on we grew tired, so we slowly made our way back to the apartment and eventually back to our bed to retire for the night.
On the morning of our last action-packed day we took ourselves on a tour of the many works of street art that decorate the walls of Granada. We found so many impressive pieces in some more obvious and not-so-obvious places. After a few hours of walking we took ourselves up to the famous Alhambra Palace and spent some time exploring the area with it’s beautiful buildings and gardens. We broke for some lunch in the park and after a much-needed coffee and cake, made our way back uphill to the Mirador de San Nicolas for the most beautiful view back over Alhambra and out to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the distance. Although beautiful it was unsurprisingly crowded, so we grabbed a beer and headed to a more quiet but equally beautiful spot that we stumbled across on our walk a day or two earlier. We spent the afternoon relaxing in the sun and taking in one last view of Granada, then headed back to the apartment to catch our return Amovens back to Aracena.
We managed to pack so much into our three days in Granada, and despite our close encounter with a flaming bookshelf and some soot-stained clothes, loved every second of it.