My final week in Granada has been a bittersweet experience… Amidst a mad scramble to study for exams and pack my bags, I also had to come to terms with leaving the city and the friends I’d come to love over the past four months. Despite not having much time, I still managed to take a few walks around the city and see my favorite parts one last time.
First, I wandered up into the Albayzín, whose incredible views and narrow cobblestone streets make it my favorite neighborhood in Granada. From here, I had the perfect vantage point to watch the sunset over the city.
For dinner that night, I headed to a little bar in town which my friends and I had frequented over the semester. Mundo Manila might just be the best vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Granada, and we’d gone there for dinner so often that we’d started greeting the waiters with two kisses.
The next day, I took a final run up to the Alhambra to watch the sunset. I love the view from this vantage point out over the Albayzín; the houses stack on top of each other like little white blocks, and the city stretches out behind them in the background.
On the way down from the Alhambra, I stopped at another one of my favorite lookouts which has an incredible view of the Albayzín.
The next night, my friend from school arrived from the states and we went up to the Mirador de San Nicholas to see the amazing views of the Alhambra. We stopped for a drink and some tapas at a little cafe just under the mirador, and had this view from our table; incredible!
The final night of the program, we had an amazing cocktail reception at Carmen de los Chapiteles, a hotel with an incredible terrace and gardens just beneath the Alhambra. It was so nice to unwind with peers and teachers, sharing stories about the year and plans for the future.
Although I said a lot of hard goodbyes this week, one of the hardest ones for me was to my host mother, Amparo, who has been so caring and kind to my roommate and I this semester. At our last lunch together, she gave us each a beautiful taracea mirror that she had made by hand. There were so many tiny details, and she left us notes on the back about our time together. I was sad to leave her house, but I know that I’ll be back soon to visit.
Although I keep using the word “goodbye,” I know that’s not really what it is… The friendships I’ve made in Granada aren’t something that can be left behind at the end of the program; I’ll carry them with me for the rest of my life. I’ll keep telling the stories and reliving the memories that I made here, and I won’t forget the amazing city I’ve come to call home. With all this in mind, I’ve constantly reminded myself and others this week that it’s not “adios,” but rather “hasta luego.”
A big thank you to IES Abroad, the city of Granada, and all of the amazing people who made this semester so great. Ya os echo de menos.
With that, hasta luego,
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Hallie Bates, and I'm currently a junior at Bowdoin College in beautiful Brunswick, Maine. I'm an Anthropology major, Spanish minor, and am also pursuing a pre-health track in order to one day attend medical school. I love to run, and can't wait to explore the trails in Granada and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains. I'm excited to get to know a new city from the inside out, and want to visit as many quirky coffee shops as possible, immersing myself in Spanish language, culture and cuisine.</span></p>