After an amazing tour to the top lookout views of the city of Granada, Spain our tour guide recommended that we get lost in the Albayzín to fully see its beauty.
A little background…
The Albayzín (Arabic) or Albacín (Spanish) is the oldest part of the city of Granada. When I say old, I mean old; it is thought to be older 1013, but records are unsure. The people that built the city were nomads coming up from Africa, so they built the city without plans–very different from the Roman Empire with their square plans so the roads all line up. The streets are tall and narrows to protect the people from the sun. In a sense, the old Arab city is a maze. A big maze.
The moors came to Granada in search of water and resources, which is why to this day Granada is abundant in its fountains. They are a reminder of security that water gave these people, and I assume the people loved to hear the sound of the water all around the city. To this day you can still drink out of many of the fountains of Granada.
Back to getting lost in the Albayzin. I had time on a Sunday and I was feeling adventurous, so I thought, why not? My host mom packed me a lunch and I set out on the 40 minute hike to get there from my house. Now I am terrible with directions to begin with, so I knew getting “lost” here would be easy. My strategy for once I made it to the city was to pick a direction and just head up. I will admit many times I picked a winding road because that is where the people were heading so I thought it would be a safe bet that they could lead me to so incredible views.
I wandered for about an hour in various sizes of colorful roads and paths that were covered in flowers and vines. Many times I would be walking up a long narrow road that would suddenly split into two larger paths. Old houses or Carmens (as the locals call them) cover the city. As you go up there are many cafés and restaurants to rest at after the trek up the cobblestone roads. After a while, I heard music and entered a plaza where people were enjoying their lunch and relaxing. The view is what stopped me. I realized I had made it to the highest part of the city, just overlooking the Alhambra. It was breathtaking, and just like a tourist, I had to take a million photos.
I stayed up there for about another hour just soaking everything in. I ate my lunch sitting on one of the walls that over looked the city. I still am in awe that I am living here.
The world awaits…discover it.