Wow. Wow, wow, wow. Some days I still can’t believe I’m actually in Spain getting to do and see so many amazing things. That thought hit me again this weekend when I went to Granada to help shoot video footage for a project some people here at the center are working on.
I learned how to record audio, shot some great photos to accompany the video, got to tour lovely Granada and it was all in a day’s work!
I love my internship.
We left Thursday morning and it took us about two hours to travel from Málaga to Granada. Here’s a map for all you visual people (like me).
I absolutely loved seeing the countryside during our drive. There are mountains! Big, tall mountains. The Sierra Nevada Mountains to be exact.
I never would have guessed there would be such diverse terrain in this area. Málaga is right on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, but drive north an hour and you’ve got beautiful hills and olive groves, drive another hour and you’ve got snow-capped peaks.
This Kansas girl is used to flat, dry land as far as the eye can see. New experiences abound everywhere in Spain.
Here are a few shots I took as we walked around the city.
It’s just like Holes!
And let me tell you, Granada was just about hot enough to feel like the desert in Holes. Málaga has been hot, but not compared to Granada. Málaga usually has a nice breeze blowing in off the Mediterranean which keeps it about 10-15 degrees cooler than inland cities like Granada.
Plants are a big deal. Obviously.
Plants may be big, but doors are not. This was seriously the front door to a house.
I just had to throw in a picture of the tapas we had. The cheese was amazing. And the wine. Not the olives. I don’t like olives. But I like olive oil.
I don’t understand myself sometimes…
This guy is the reason we went to Granada in the first place. He is a graffiti artist with a pretty cool testimony.
And if I knew Spanish, I would tell you about it.
But I don’t, so I won’t. Sorry.
I’ll just show you more photos.
So that was graffiti in Granada.
It took us all day to get our footage and photos. Half of our team went back to Málaga at 10 that night, but myself and another girl stayed behind to go to feria.
Now, I don’t exactly know what a feria is other than it’s some sort of Catholic thing and people dress up in flamenco dresses (well, women dress up, I should say) and go dancing. There’s also food and rides. Kind of like the Kansas State Fair.
Minus the Pronto Pups.
And the giant butter cow sculpture.
If any of y’all have been to the Kansas State Fair, you know what I’m talking about. If not, you need to go. It’ll change your life.
My friend scored some real flamenco dresses for us to wear to the feria and they were super fun!
I might have looked Spanish for the night, but I still felt like a guiri (pronounced similar to the English word giddy). Guiri is the slang word Spaniards use for non-Spaniards.
Forgive me. It was dark and I am totally, completely, 100 percent against using my built-in flash, so the lighting is horrible in the following photos.
But you get the gist.
You must have a flower in your hair for feria.
Real Spaniard women wear their flowers directly on top of their head, dead center.
I opted out of that. I like my flower where it is.
My lovely friend.
Welcome to feria. There are lights everywhere.
This was cool. There were people in giant hamster balls running around on the water. If I hadn’t been in a super tight flamenco dress, I would have tried it out myself.
These are legit flamenco dancers. Notice the flower dead center on the top of their heads.
Now… story time.
We got to feria at 1:00 in the morning. We left at 3:00. We didn’t get back to our hostel until 5:00.
We took the wrong bus.
It was a disaster.
The city runs special buses during feria that are just for feria, so I guess we assumed that as long as we got on one of the feria busses, it would take us back to where we got on.
We ended up way far away from our hostel in some really quiet part of town. We got off the wrong bus and walked for a long time until we found another bus stop. We thought it was the right bus stop.
We walked some more. And some more.
And some more.
And then we saw a bus. We flagged it down, hoping it would be the right bus.
The bus driver told us to wait at a nearby stoplight for the right bus that would be coming by there in just a few minutes.
Red flag anyone?
Why would we wait for a bus at a place that was not a bus stop?
Because the bus driver was wrong.
We waited at that stop light for over half an hour.
That same wrong bus passed by again twice, but still no right bus.
And then finally, finally!, we saw a taxi.
We ran out in the middle of the street and waved our arms and flagged that blessed taxi down.
Surely it would be able to take us to our hostel, right?
Or so the driver said.
He had to go switch out his car. That’s all I got out of the conversation.
And then he drove away.
I almost died.
But then my friends kept walking. They were following the taxi.
What in the world?
Turns out, the taxi driver only had to go a couple of blocks and meet up with another driver who was going to take the car for his shift.
Thank you Jesus, praise the Lord. We had a taxi.
We got back to the hostel we were staying at at 5:00 in the morning.
And the hostel is a whole ‘nother story in itself.
Let me show you.
This is a picture I took of a stairwell in the hostel earlier in the day. The building was 400 years old and in the middle of being renovated.
Now, as cool as it was to be staying in a building older than my home country, I saw a fiasco looking for a place to happen.
And boy did it ever.
Let me set the scene for y’all…
It’s 5:00 in the morning. I am deader than a doornail tired (so tired in fact, I’m mixing idioms) and I haven’t peed for hours.
My bladder is about to burst.
(Sorry, but it’s the truth. I’m not ashamed to tell you that I was about to pee my pants.)
I have to make it up six flights of stairs before I can get to a bathroom.
In a tight dress. That means no running.
So I waddle/skip/potty-dance up the stairs and have to fiddle around with two separate keys to unlock two separate doors.
Finally, I get the doors open and try to quietly find my way to the bathroom.
Mind you, it’s 5:00 in the morning. People are sleeping. It’s dark. I’m in a strange hostel with furniture placed in places that I don’t know it’s been placed in. I’m bumping into things, knocking things over, the whole shebang.
I really am trying to be quiet, but I gotta go… if you know what I’m saying.
I find the bathroom.
I go in, shut the door and flip the lightswitch.
It doesn’t work.
Yeah. That’s right… the lightswitch doesn’t work.
Sweet Jesus, help me.
I take 0.43 seconds to evaluate my options.
Girl’s gotta pee.
So I feel my way around the bathroom like a blind person until I find the toilet. I make sure the lid is up (gotta cover all my bases, otherwise things could have been bad-news-bears) and I shimmy the zipper down on my dress.
I’ll stop there and save y’all from being scarred for life, but let me just throw one more kink in the wrench (yes, I know that’s another mixed idiom, but it’s what I’ve always said, so it stays) by mentioning the fact that there was no toilet paper.
I’m done now.
I’m done with horrible natural human function stories. (I’m sorry, that was gross too wasn’t it?)
This hostel just kept getting better and better.
After the bathroom disaster, I wanted nothing more than to go to sleep on a rock.
I wanted to go to sleep on a bed.
But the bed might as well have been a rock as hard as it was.
My pillow was covered in stains and hair (not mine).
I had to shove a nightstand in front of the door to keep it closed because it kept swinging open on its own.
There was a vicious cat fight outside my window at 6:00. I’m pretty sure one of the cats died from the sound of things. I was six stories up and I had earplugs in and it still sounded awful.
And that was my hostel experience.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad it happened. I love having crazy adventures like that. Plus, I feel like everybody needs to have one or two bad hostel stories in their lifetime. Now I’ve got mine.
Welcome to the Ritz Carlton.
We have dirtied your pillow and carved your mattress out of cement. Compliments of the house.
Also, we will provide you with gruesome animal noises just as you are about to finally fall asleep in order to provide you with the finest luxury experience.
Thank you for staying with us, we hope to see you again soon.
I may be exaggerating just a little bit, but like I said, it wasn’t that bad all things considered. The view outside my window was even kind of pretty.
But it sure felt good to get back to Málaga the next day.
All in all, I had a great trip to Granada, and I will definitely remember it for the rest of my life.
Now… bring on more adventures!