This is Day 4 of my Portu-Spain Adventure travel blog series through southern Spain and Portugal sharing my travel experiences along the way. We left Cordoba for Granada Spain, where we explored the city, toured a palace, and enjoyed the festivities of a yearly cultural fair in celebration of the Spanish culture. You can see day 3 here or start from the beginning of our trip in Madrid.
Portu-Spain Adventure Travel Blog Day 4
On day 4 of travel, I got up early to walk around one final time across the Roman bridge and walk the streets in Cordoba. I rushed back to the hotel to check out and got on the bus that would head south on a 3-hour drive to Granada, Spain. Along the way, we stopped at a roadside restaurant, bar, and souvenir shop that was once an old train station. They had a variety of souvenir trinkets, olive oils as well as olive-infused soaps and lotions. I bought some souvenirs, grabbed a drink, and then we all got back on the bus to finish up our travels for the day.
In Granada, we checked into our 5* Eurostars Gran Vía hotel. After freshening up we headed out to explore the city. We stopped for a quick snack in an area that had outdoor cafe seating surrounded by small wine, cheese, meat, and pastry shops. Sitting outside under umbrellas we enjoyed sipping sangria. Many of the small restaurants offer a free tappa with a drink order so we shared a noodle and chicken dish that the server brought out to us. We spent a few hours walking around the city exploring the shops and restaurants.
Some of my favorite foods in Spain include tasty meats, fresh bread, salty olives, and varieties of artisan cheeses. The aroma in the small shops as you walk in makes you instantly crave a charcuterie board of everything. With the fresh ingredients and rich flavors paired with the wonderful selection of wines, I understand why the locals stop in daily for a snack.
We spent the end of our afternoon at Alhambra Palace with a guide who shared the rich history of this amazing Moorish monarch fortress. Originally built in the 9th century, it was created for military purposes by the Nasrid Dynasty, the last Muslim to rule in Spain. It was restored with renewed interest in the 19th century after Washington Irving’s visit there inspired his writing of the “Tales of the Alhambra.”
This spectacular palace sits high on a rocky hill overlooking the city on the river Darro. It is best to take a bus or car up the hill when you visit unless you enjoy walking uphill at a steep incline. Surrounded by forests its reddish tones, green gardens, orchards, and intricate ornate interior spaces leave you breathless.
It was hot at the Palace and as with all of the tours so far, it was packed with tourists and guided groups. After a few hours, we walked down the steep hill back into the city rather than riding the bus. It took about 25 minutes to walk downhill through the plush green forest and into the city through the Grenada Arch. The arch was built in the 16th century as a defensive tower that protected the valley.
Passing through the arch felt like walking back into civilization through a time capsule. The streets were bustling with people, traffic, and activity. The quiet of the Alhambra forest, the birds chirping, and the sounds of the wind through the rustling trees were instantly replaced with the city noise.
The Corpus Christi Fair
We finished our evening by joining the locals at the La Féria de Granada festival also known as the Corpus Christi Fair. This lively festival dating back to the 15th century was originally a religious celebration for the end of the Islamic realm of the Nasrid Kingdom. Today it has morphed into a celebration of cultural traditions, such as flamenco music, dance, bullfighting, and traditional dress. It is one of the most important events for the city attracting thousands of visitors each year.
The week-long festival is located at the fairgrounds with more than 60 tents, carnival rides, traditional flamenco decor, beautiful festive lighting, music, and a variety of traditional Spanish food from local vendors. The music played loudly from place to place as dressed-up locals laughed, ate, and celebrated. Many of the women walked under the festive lights wearing beautiful colorful flamenco dresses.
We explored the festivities, ate, and drank although our 9 P.M. arrival was said to be too early for many of the big events said to last all night. We were all exhausted so after about 2 hours we decided we didn’t want to stay that late. After sharing a ton of wonderful tapas and walking around a bit we were satisfied with this great opportunity to experience the Spanish culture of that region alongside Jose and others from our group. Around 11 PM we took an Uber back to the hotel to get some sleep from yet another very long day.
The Creative Push Vlog on YouTube
You can watch the Portu-Spain Adventure Travel Vlog Day 4 in this video.
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Thank you for reading, if you liked this story please share it with others and stay tuned for the remaining 8 days ahead. If you are interested in booking this southern Spain and Portugal trip feel free to check out my friend Jose Aznar’s site Worlds of Spain!
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There are more stories on the way!!