This weekend, the Tufts-Skidmore program took us on a trip to Granada! This was our third and final trip of the fall semester, and it was also my favorite one. Earlier within this semester, we had gone on a day trip to El Escorial to see an historical monastery. More recently, we had taken a trip to Segovia where I got to lose my breath going up the 152 steep steps of the Alcazar (Segovia´s very famous palace). Nonetheless, I find it safe to say that Granada took my breath away even more. It was also the longest of the fall trips, lasting three days and two nights.
The weekend getaway started early on Friday at our usual meeting spot: outside Madrid´s Hard Rock Café. After a pretty long bus ride, we arrived at the hotel, dropped off our belongings, and dispersed for lunch. We then went on a tour of Granada to learn the basics of the city we would be in for a few days, like differentiating a regular home in Granada from a Carmen. Throughout all this, I was fortunate enough to see the beautiful Granada skyline at every stop the tour guide made. All of this was indisputably beautiful, but my favorite part of the entire trip was my first night in Granada, in which I got to see my first-ever flamenco show. On a fairly small stage in a place known as “Los olvidados — espacio flamenco,” out came a tocaor, a cantaora, a bailaora, and toward the end of the show, a bailaor. The four of them used their bodies to create music, and it was one of the most interesting things I had ever seen.
As if things could not have possibly gotten any better, the following morning, we took a trip to a park named after Federico García Lorca. With the tour guide, I learned interesting facts about Lorca and his life outside of his written literature. After posing next to some impressive flowers, I stopped by a restaurant with my friends for lunch, ordered some tasty octopus, went on to the next gem Granada had to offer me: The Alhambra Palace. At the Alhambra, I was able to take the most precious photographs, some of which you will see throughout this blog. It is extremely difficult to put into words the Alhambra, just as it is difficult to express any other authentic experience. The tour guide pointed out the countless Arabic influences that are within the Alhambra, which made the entire trip to Granada even more special.
Every good story must come to an end. Alas, at the close of my visit to the Alhambra and as the sun set, my last night in Granada began. My friends and I had been so tired from the walking that we decided to order a couple of pizza pies and eat them at the hotel in our jammies. In the spirit of spooky October, we shared stories and stayed up long enough to watch daylight saving time end. The morning after, we went to see famous Granada graffiti and bid our farewells to the precious city. After lunch, we hopped on the bus and headed back to Madrid, even beating the anticipated Sunday night traffic. I could not think of a better way to have spent my weekend
Nicole—or Nico for short—is an Afro-Latina from the Bronx, NY who dabbles in poetry, prose, photography, and vocalism. She has published two books to date, both written in English and Spanish. She is currently attending Skidmore College with hopes to obtain two bachelor’s degrees for Spanish and Linguistics. Her ultimate goal is to someday open a school for deaf children in the Dominican Republic. She uses her writing to discuss taboo topics, like what it means to be a woman of color today’s world and how that shapes her perception.