My Last Afternoon in Granada

Soledad Tejada
May 31, 2019

Living in the center of Granada is inextricably tied with living in the shadow of the Alhambra—an old Islamic city complete with breathtaking palaces, extensive gardens, and a complex defensive system of imposing towers and walls. On any given day, walking to Plaza Nueva or along Paseo de los Tristes you can see the Alhambra and the Generalife—the beautiful almunia (aka summer palace) which served as a lavish country home for Nazarí kings starting during the 13th century. The Alhambra is part of what makes living in Granada such a magical experience. Even when you are not within its amazing architecture, the grand presence of the palace makes itself known. The intricate woodwork and tiling within its walls are amazing feats of craftsmanship and mathematics, relics of a vast history. A trip to Granada is not complete without visiting the Alhambra and the Generalife. Tickets are easily available on the alhambra website, and though it’s a good idea to book in advance, if you log onto the site at midnight extra tickets for the next two days are often made available. Though I managed to snag tickets to visit on my own, during a field trip with the IES Abroad course Islamic Art and Architecture—hands down my favorite class—I was also able to visit regular access and restricted areas all for free.

Given the importance of the Alhambra, in a self-aware extremely romantic move, I chose to spend all of my last afternoon in Granada in the Generalife. With the stress of classes over and most of my classmates having left already, I had enough time to journal, read, and chat with passing visitors. As I walked along the shaded paths I could see the city laid out in front of me. While visiting the Alhambra is amazing in and of itself, it was a different experience to come to this place after four months of living in Granada. I realized I had come to feel some ownership over this space which over the past semester had slowly become mine. I knew the stories of these elegant towers, the names of the arches that arced perfectly over entrances. I had walked the small cobbled streets between the plazas, clapped along to the flamenco music that wafted up from Plaza Nueva. With the process of re-entry still looming above me, I am so grateful for that last afternoon, in which I had time to reflect on how unbelievably lucky I was to be sitting at five o' clock, writing in a torn journal on top of the world.

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Soledad Tejada

Hi! I'm Soledad, a junior studying American Studies with a concentration on the culture and design of public space. I'm originally from Brooklyn, New York. In my free time I love singing, playing music with other people, cooking (and eating) new foods, and dancing.
2019 Spring
Home University:
Yale University
Brooklyn, NY
American Studies
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