It’s the end of yet another weekend here in Spain, come and gone again with the same extraordinary swiftness that seems to afflict nearly all of my time here. Another weekend full of travel, the past three days just seemed to rush by as I spent them exploring the incredible cities of Córdoba and Granada.
But before I say anything else, I think it’s best if I cut to the chase. There’s something that’s been weighing on my mind since I arrived in Granada, a single lingering thought I’ve wanted to voice since the very first hour I spent there Friday evening. Seville, mi ciudad preciosa, I’m talking to you, and since there’s no easy way to say this, I’m going to be blunt: I chose the wrong city.
If this news is shocking to you, please understand that, at least in this regard, you are not alone. I myself could barely believe how hard and fast the realization hit, barrelling into my consciousness like a freight train and leaving no room to question whether my sudden feelings were authentic. Those instantaneous feelings were the truth, are the truth, and the truth is that I love Granada more than I have ever loved you.
To say that Granada is an incredible city would be an understatement. There are quite a few incredible cities in the world (Seville, take pride that I count you among them) and yet none could hold a candle to the one where I spent my past weekend. To be fair, a large part of my affection for Granada probably stems from a variety of factors, and not all of them unbiased. It’s not like it’s your fault, Seville, for having such uncomfortably warm weather year round when I much prefer the cool days and brisk nights that Granada had to offer. You can’t help the fact that as a proud New Englander, my heart leapt at the sight of all the colors and falling leaves decorating Granada, while the leaves on all your trees remain stubbornly green and attached. And let’s face it, Granada had not one but two kickers: a giant, AWESOME castle sprawled over a mountain with gardens and fountains and unparalleled views of the city below, and free tapas. FREE. TAPAS. As in you buy a two euro glass of wine and they bring you an appetizer. For free.
Even then, Granada just had so many unique things to see and do. I went to a gypsy Flamenco show in a former cave-turned-restaurant (and thereby answered the not-so age old question of what caves do when they retire), watched a free concert in the center of Plaza Nueva, drank cinnamon sangria while sitting cross legged on a pile of seat cushions in a Middle Eastern themed restaurant, bought elephant pants and Turkish lamps and even met four of my future husbands (street musicians, string quartet, Coldplay covers, enough said). I danced to Bob Marley and sang (terribly) in the streets, and I wore my jeans and a sweater and left my sandals on even when the thermometer dipped below 50 and even though my toes were freezing, just because it felt so good to feel the cold. Granada made me feel like hugging my friends and laughing, like drinking hot tea and snuggling by a fire and watching the stars. And that was it, really, perhaps the best part of all: Granada was every part the bustling city by day and yet at night, I could still see the stars.
So Seville, I’m sorry you had to find out like this. I’m sorry we couldn’t last. Granada took my breath away like nothing before, and I know that should I ever come back to Spain, I’ll be headed straight to the mountains without a second thought.
Love and apologies,