Adiós Granada

Dag lieve, geweldige, fantastische, mooie, gestoorde stad

Dag prachtige, sjansende opa’s
Dag luchten van een kleur blauw die nergens anders voorkomt
Dag bizarre sterrenhemels
Dag zonsondergangen en maansopkomsten op San Miguel Alto (wat ben jij mijn favoriete plek op aarde)
Dag mooie, rauwe natuur met je bergen
Dag amandelbloesem
Dag geur van seringen op een zomeravond
Dag nachtelijke zwempartijen
Dag huis bij 45 graden
Dag Sierra Nevada met je sneeuwtoppen die ik op elk moment van de dag kon zien
Dag rivier, m’n love at first sight
Dag spontane avondwandelingen van 20 km
Dag Alhambra, altijd uitkijkend over de stad
Dag San Nicolas met je gypsy muzikanten
Dag Carmen de los Mártires met je vergane glorie
Dag Realejo met je streetart en je kroegjes
Dag Albaycín met je verdwaalsteegjes
Dag buurtje met m’n heerlijke stamkroegen
Dag alle duizend pleintjes met jullie fijne terrasjes
Dag tapas
Dag lieve, bijzondere vrienden. Till we meet again!
Dag prachtige, favoriete laan, ik zal je naam nooit onthouden
Dag tralies voor m’n raam
Dag spontane flamenco optredens midden op straat
Wát heb ik genoten van je.
Adiós Granada. Hasta pronto!
Hallo Nederland, ik weet nog niet wat ik met je moet. Het wordt vast ook mooi op jouw manier.

Paragliding – Parasliding

Ticking off on that bucketlist big time! I couldn’t have thought of a nicer place than Sierra Nevada to do my first time paragliding (or parapenting as they call it here). Weather conditions were perfect: 25 degrees, full sun and nice thermal.

In the morning I woke up jumping up and down like a child going on a school trip. Not nervous at all. But as we were driving up the mountains, I was getting a little nervous looking down. This was pretty high up, what had I gotten myself into? Nobody to blame since it was my own idea.. We needed to park the car and walk uphill for another 15 minutes with all the gear. Looking around at this amazing nature just immediately calmed down my nerves. Snow is already on the Sierra Nevada which gives it a special look on a sunny day like this.

As soon as we reached the spot we would jump from (which isn’t actually jumping but running), the guys were already spreading out the chutes. We got hooked up, put on helmets and a GoPro and then got the instructions on how to run.

The next part I’d rather not tell because my take off wasn’t that smooth and I actually was Parasliding 😉 When you start you have to run as fast as you can and you cannot stop until they say to. I found that pretty hard as I had straps around my knees that bothered me during running. But then we also had a tailwind which prevented us from being lifted up. And then… I went flat on my stomach for several meters. That’s when I got a little nervous it might not work.

Luckily my friend could start with good wind and she went up smoothly which gave me my trust back. Second take off was perfect and we caught the high thermal which made us go pretty high up. Really the coolest thing ever. Feeling what the birds must feel. It’s a very calming experience, just the elements of nature (and I ignore the fact that there was a man on my back). Landing was very smooth as well so here I am, wanting to go again tomorrow!

Shooting Stars

Driving up to Sierra Nevada at 2500 mts for the Perseid meteor shower is rewarding and beyond. It threw me back to childhood when I used to lie down in the grass and watch the stars with my dad. Never stopped counting, simply cannot stop looking at them. They still have the same magical effect on me. Probably I have never seen so many stars before. Not even on that very special night in India drinking ginger cocktails on the beach in Goa. It makes you quiet and feel insignificant. And extremely happy. 

Tonight was cold, clear and very windy. Next time some preparation would be a good idea. Like the Spanish did, bringing chairs, fleece jackets, torches, blankets, sleeping bags, loads of food (duhuuuh). Wishing I could have stayed there for the full night. Which by the way almost happened by accident as our car was completely locked in by other cars for some hours.

Once in a Blue Moon

Another night on the hill at Ermita de San Miguel Alto. Best spot in the city to watch a full moon (after watching the sunset on the other side). This time it’s a blue moon. That means the second full moon in a month. Happens ‘once in a blue moon’ or about every three years.

Lying on your back, looking at the dark starry sky, listening to the sound of crickets, the singing of the men at a flamenco show in Alhambra, bats flying around, people walking up the next mountain with torches, good company, laughter, connection. Perfect setting!

Sunset Ermita de San Miguel Alto

My absolute favourite spot in Granada is Ermita de San Miguel Alto. Sunset, watching the moon rise from behind the mountains, all magical! You have a 360 degree view over the city. This is what I missed so much when I was living in Amsterdam. With these temperatures it’s a bit of a challenge to climb up but it’s só worth it! 
While you walk up there you can see the characteristic cave houses where the gitanos (gypsies) and lots of artists live for free. People are self-sufficient so they use solar power and grow their own veggies etc. 

Tapas in TL-verlichte zaken zijn de beste!

Als je een plek zoekt waar je op de echte Spaanse manier tapas kunt eten in Granada, ga dan naar Los Diamantes. Bij voorkeur de vestiging op Calle Rosario 12 waar je weinig tot geen toeristen treft. Aan een statafel bij het immer sfeervolle TL-licht kun je goed zien wat je eet. Een stuk of wat cañas erbij en je komt de avond prima door. Deze ‘navajas’ oftewel scheermesjes zijn overheerlijk en het is dan ook grotendeels seafood waar Los Diamantes bekend om staat. Zorg wel dat je op tijd bent want het is er altijd afgeladen vol met luid pratende Spanjaarden.