By Anabelle Harden
Spain piqued my interest from the time I first visited as a high schooler. I couldn’t forget the picturesque mountains sitting in the distance of colorful alleyways and cobbled streets, and the sounds of guitars drifting around every corner. Three years later, as a junior in college, I decided to make Spain my home for four months.
The city of Granada, Spain sits in the south, in a region called Andalucía. When I first arrived here, I was welcomed by others in my program as well as my Spanish host mother, Mercedes, in whose home I would spend countless nights. I was surprised to find out that she only spoke Spanish. Suddenly, I realized, I would be immersed in a language I had not spoken for a while.
Mercedes lives in a small and rather cute apartment with her dog, Kora. She has two children, both of whom are studying and do not live with her anymore. I sleep in her daughter’s bedroom, and my housemate (another student partaking in my program) sleeps in her son’s.
Each day, Mercedes provides us with breakfast: two pieces of toast, on which we then put butter and jelly, orange juice, as well some (rather strong) coffee. Lunch is different every day: lentil soup, a fried egg with rice and tomato sauce, Spanish tortilla, and sides such as tomatoes in olive oil or tuna-and-tomato-filled bread. Regardless of what we eat, I always leave lunch feeling full and satisfied.
For dinner, we are expected to find our own food. Each night, my friends and I find a new tapas restaurant to try. With every drink purchased, the bar gives you a free tapa. Therefore, Granada is the ideal city for cheap and delicious eats.
When I’m not spending time eating my heart out, you can find me wandering the cobblestone streets, sitting in the picturesque plazas, watching flamenco performances, hiking into the mountains, and, of course, attending classes at my program’s center in the middle of Granada. I would recommend this place to anyone who has any interest in Spanish language, culture, food, and life. This small city is the perfect place to get to know, inside and out.