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The Diversions of Andalucía
Let's be up front about this: We EXPECT you to have fun this month. No one should go to Spain just to see the inside of a classroom. So here are some ideas for your evenings and your weekends:
- Tapas -- These are little appetizers that are served with drinks, usually without your asking. If you like something, it usually comes in a slightly larger size (a media-ración) and a full portion. Over on our Facebook page we explore the various things that one might drink with tapas. This could take hours if shared with friends. (Spain's legal drinking age is 18.)
- Bull fights -- they are part and parcel of Spanish life. They know their toreros like we know our basketball stars.
- Flamenco -- it's a show, so don't worry about your own level of rhythm. The music (especially when fused with other styles) continues to be hot on the charts among the college students.
- Futból -- you know, "soccer." Granada's team just made it to the big leagues to play with Real Madrid and Barcelona, and the city is VERY excited.
- The Beach -- Granada is on the Guadalquivir River, so you want to take the bus to a real beach, a Mediterranean beach. Motril is the closest, but Almería and Málaga are almost as close.
- Museums -- speaking of Málaga, it's the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, so while you are there, why not check out his home, which is now the Picasso Museum. (And right outside is an Irish pub.) But there are museums in Granada too: Casa de los Tiros is just 75 meters from the CLM, and the Federico Garcia Lorca Casa Museo is a short taxi ride from the CLM (and possibly a 10 minute walk from your host family).
- Hiking/Biking -- the Sierra Nevada is right outside the door, and although ski season closes around May 1, there is plenty of cool outdoors to enjoy.
- The Alpujarra is a series of villages high in the Sierra Nevada. The university offers a guided bus tour that tells the history of the area as it stops in Lanjarón (from which Granada's bottled water comes), Papaleira, and Capileira (where you will eat a meal featuring jamon serrano (which originated here) and local chorizo (think sausage). (31 euros, and you sign up at the CLM consejería.)
- The hammam is the traditional Arab bath -- a central feature of traditional Muslim life. About 1000 meters from the CLM, Granada has one of the best preserved hammams from the days of Islamic rule (called the bañuelo and dating to the 1000s), and once you have seen that you can go to a modern recreation of the Arab baths. With your UGr ID card you get the bath/massage for 23 euros.
- Race for Women (and fight breast cancer) -- This 5k run was held in Granada the second Sunday of June.
- Flamenco Dance Classes -- The Escuela Flamenca Mariquilla offers an option if three or four people want to take a short series of flamenco classes.
- Explore Barcelona, Madrid, Lisboa or Paris. You can catch a flight from Granada to Lisboa, Paris, or even Rome on a discount airline (like Ryan Air, Jet2, or Easy-Jet) for an absurdly low price (last we looked, Rome was just a couple hundred dollars round-trip). It is a matter of timing. Use Vueling.com to help you plan ahead.
If your Spanish is good (or you want to practice on the headlines), Granada's daily newspaper is online. Click on "Ocio" and you'll find plenty to enjoy.