|Flamenco... pretty intense!|
A Colorado resident and recent college graduate, Jesse is still bright-eyed and bushy tailed after 2 of a 3 month European backpacking adventure. A self-described "yes man", Simone and I instantly liked him, as someone who had the rare combination of being both interested and interesting. We happened across a medieval themed tapas bar, where we drank sangria in front of swords and full suits of amor. When our tapas appeared as bagel sandwiches with ham, both of them were exuberant, having being deprived of bagels in Europe/Greece for months. Before coming to Spain, I pictured tapas as some bread and cheese, or something uniform across bars but in Granada, it's the ultimate lottery and you never know what you're going to get. Earlier in the day, we met up with three locals at a global tapas bar Babel, where our tapas where cheese risotto, pad Thai, fajitas... Large, gourmet meals, free with your beverage. The previous night, had been three courses of fried fish dishes. And here, you can barely buy bagels if you tried, but they magically appeared under our noses!
|Corn risotto and fajitas tapas- they don't joke around in Granada|
Anyway, a finance and economic major, jesse entertained us with an update on the current status of marijuana legalization in Colorado. Supposedly, you can call up delivery pizza places for marijuana-infused, custom-foods delivered to your house. Although Jesse doesn't smoke much himself, he seized a business opportunity to as an advisor/support person for budding pot growers, sometimes earning $1000 per client. Between being this business savvy and selling his car, he took off on this epic adventure, already having covered most of France, Germany, Netherlands, hitch hiking in Poland, Slovenia, Portugal (one of his favorite so far which makes me excited), Croatia and probably much more before coming here. Next stop for him will be the Spanish Canary Islands where he's considering trying to find a gig working on a super yacht, which made Simone and I quite envious as we elected to stay bundled in our winter coats and scarves, even inside. Speaking of warmth, we decided bid goodbye to Jesse, who exited the bar with an exuberant "hasta Luego, señor!", and head back to our warm beds.
|Alhambra from Paseo del Tristes|
After some shopping, we met Jesse to take advantage of the free tour time for the royal chapel, where king fernidad and queen Isabella are buried (the famous founders of columbus' journey) then we headed up the "sacred mountain" to find some more "gipsys", walking by beautiful overlooks of the city as we made our way up.
|Simone and Jesse in gypsy kitchen|
Per request of Simone, we went to "el museo del cuevas" (museum of the caves) where they promised to enlighten us on the history of gypsies and flamenco. Eventually, we learned something but not before reading posters on the geographical history of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the mating habits of frogs, history of cave living around the world, iron making, recipes of gazpacho soup, and other very random pieces of knowledge, that seems to be very loosely, if at all, linked to what we sought to see. But it was pretty interesting because the displays were spread out in 11 different caves to showcase how they live, cook and house the horses. After getting our fill of knowledge, we followed the river down El paseo de Tristes (sad street, misleadingly advertised as one of the most beautiful streets in the world), we adventured toward a new area of town for more tapa hopping. We found a "good joint" where we joined locals, who brought their whole families, including napping babies, to enjoy the Granada versus Barcelona soccer game. After a couple more stops, we bid goodbye to Jesse, after making him promise to let us join him on a future yacht adventure, if it works out. I grabbed my bag and trudged to the train station, somehow getting swallowed by a nun, candle-lit Christmas procession, complete with caroling. Then took the night train to Barcelona, which is not as romantic as Jason Aldean makes it sound in his country song. Riding a fully illuminated car for 11 hours is definitely not as enjoying a picnic under the stars watching the trains go by. But it got me to Barcelona! Woot!
Here's the album link to Spain photos thus far, if you are interested.