October 1, 2014

Granada, Spain - A Vibrant Historical Southern City Which We feel like Immigrating to

Spain, Granada: The Tomb of Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II
The ancient Moorish city of Granada, home to 3 UNSECO world heritage sites: The Alhambra, The General Life and the historical district of Albayzín. When I planned our itinerary to Granada, I imagined it to be a small city, with narrow winding  roads and charming buildings. There are no direct connecting train or plane routes to Madrid, making it a not so accessible city. The best way in and out of the city is by bus or by car.  I was impressed by the broad straight roads, the bustling shopping & diners and lots of young energetic university students. We were surprised by the amount of young people at Granada as most of historic tourist cities are made up of mostly elderly tourists and bored folks running the souveniers and eating establishments.

The main reason for the presence of young people is due to the University of Granada. Upon reading up more on the University, we realize that the University of Granada is actually one of the top University in Spain and is a very popular destination for exchange program students from Europe and US. Once you venture out from the more touristy old district of Granada,  you will find the newer sections to have shops and entertainments catered for the students: Which translate to cheap beer, good food and night spots.

We visited the usual touristy spots, including the tomb of Queen Isebella I and King Ferdinand II, the royal couple that united modern Spain and drove the Moors out of Europe. In order to explore the youthful side of Granada, we decided to pay a visit to the University of Granada, by doing our usual unfit run around the campus in one of the evenings.

The main campus of the University of Granada is located on the North West corner of the city, near to the railway station, in the newer section of the city. They have satellite buildings littered all over the city, which makes cycling one of the favorite mode of transportation for the students.

Streets of Granada. Wide and Clean

A monument of Virgin Mary at Plaza del Trifuno

Statues of famous Spainards litter the city
Carrefour is very impt during our trip... 7pm and it's still bright

The university park marking the entrance
to the University of Granada

Students practicing Taiji.. To my surprise!

Map of the University of Granada... With an Avenger
logo sprayed on it...

Young people chilling around the campus

Students training on the soccer pitch

Closer look of the soccer pitch

A great view of the Alhambra from the Railway

Buying or renting a property in Granada?

Banks, pharmacy, restaurant, bus stop, all
represented in this picture
Big bronze head of one of the Moorish
Kings who ruled over Granada
and the flag of Spain behind

Suggested walking/running routes
for some of the important sites in

The narrow streets of the old city
From a runner's perspective, Granada is a pretty friendly city for runners. There are 2 areas which you can explore. One is the University of Granada whereby there are many student friendly pavement for them to cycle or walk in order to travel from one part of the campus to another (The buildings are spread around the city). Another good place to run is along the small river of Rio Darro, where there are many parks and open spaces along the river and have minimal traffic junctions, for those runners who cannot stand waiting for a traffic light. For runners who love a good slope, you can attempt the roads leading to the hills which Alhambra is perched on, with spectacular views of the city from the top.  

River Rio Darro
Granada is a very liveable city with its combination of youthful spirit, rich cultural history, beautiful cityscape & environment, and cheap & good food. Of all the cities in Spain, this is probably one of our favorites, and we will love to spend more time here. Alcoholic contemplated taking a master program at the University of Granada so that he has an excuse to stay here for an extended amount of time. Nevertheless, we need to bid our farewell and continue on our journey to the Capital of Spain: Madrid.  
City of Granada, viewed from The Albahama Alcazar
Add caption
Took a "footie" instead of a "selfie"

Location: Granada, Granada, Spain


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