No Pasa Nada, Just Get Lost and Dip Your Feet into Everything this Crazy World has to Offer
I learned a new saying that goes “No pasa nada en Granada” which basically translates to “don’t worry about anything in Granada”. I can easily say that I carried this motto with me for the remainder of my travels. For the last three cities I took, my time was a lot less thought out than my previous destinations. Rather, I just kind of went day by day with ideas in mind but let the pieces fall into place as time passed.
Granada instantly invited me from the moment I arrived in my hostel. I met some amazing people straight off the back: a group of three friends who were traveling from Canada who play professional basketball in Austria and Germany, a woman from Canada who was taking some time off to explore and an Australian woman who had resigned from her job to do a seven month tour of the world. Needless to say, they had some pretty sweet stories and have definitely amped up my enthusiasm to continue traveling for the rest of my life. While there we checked out the night life, the infamous free Granada tapas (with the order of a drink) and climbed the hills to explore the caves. Our walk up the hill was incredible and took us to a whole other world I would have never known existed. The caves is an area in the side of a mountain where people have their houses literally in the side of the hill. It is definitely a community all it’s own, but is one of the coolest sites to see. Plus it has one of the best outlooks on the city. We even got to see a man training his falcon – admitingly I thought he was trying to hunt it as he swung some tool around, but as he cheered, we knew it was a pet and not a prey. I’m pretty sure he somehow convinced it to come at me and another girl as it swooped right near our heads- needless to say we got the h out of there real fast!
Another way to get the best view of the city was to go to the Alhambra – Granada’s most historical site. I had attempted to get tickets online weeks prior to my travels but they were literally sold out for months with the approaching summer season. Luckily they sell exactly 180 tickets each morning, the biggest problem with this is that they go like hot cakes. This meant getting to the ticket office two hours early in an attempt to get an entry. Luckily we had talked with some people who told us of a less known electronic ticket line. So, bright and early my new Aussie friend and I trudged up the hill at 6 in the morning and were the first in our secret line. We knew at that point there was literally nothing else that we could do to get those tickets. You can only imagine our anticipation as the ticket kiosk opened- I held my breath that my card would work. Thankfully our early morning was not for nothing! We got our tickets and couldn’t help but cheer a little as we exited the booth. The Alhambra was huge and breathtaking. Its sites were unbelievable and the detail of the architecture was unlike anything I had ever seen before.
After my tour I quick moseyed my way to the bus station onto my next destination, Sevilla. A new place meant new stories and new faces. I ended up meeting a couple from Texas and a girl from Wisconsin (can you say small world?). Not sure of where all to go, I took advantage of the free walking tour offered by the hostel and explored the area learning about its golden age, the gypsy culture and the evolution of the city as we covered an immense amount of ground. The Plaza de Espana and the gardens right beside it were easily my favorite sites-I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon just walking and exploring the area some more. If there was one thing that I learned from Sevilla it was to get lost. Not that I needed to try and get lost, I was pretty good at that all on my own. Rather, it is meant that the best way to explore a city is to get lost in it. The streets of Sevilla tended to have multiple names which would change as the street progressed. For a directionally challenged person, you can only imagine how well that worked for me. Luckily I figured out how to use my GPS on my phone without internet so that I could look for my destination and measure my success by how close (or far away) my little blue dot was getting from my desired location. Getting lost though was the best way to learn the city. By the time I left I was navigating with impressive ease. After my few days there I caught the night bus and was off to my final mini amazing race destination, Lisbon.
I have to admit from the start, Lisbon was a lot less of a tourist location for me and much more a vacation horrah. As I waited to check in I lounged out by the terrace and pool area where I met a group of four Canadian girls who had decided to work and travel for their first year out of high school rather than go direct to university. In a sense, they adopted me as the fifth friend as we enjoyed the incridble dinners put on by the hostels cook, lounged out by the pool and even tackled surfing for a day. Yes, I hung ten in Lisbon! Okay well let’s be honest, I went tumbling through the waves majority of my attempts, but I did manage to stand a few times! No fear though I wasn’t just a Lisbon beach babe, I explored the culture as well! My last full day I went on a walking tour and did a Fado tour at night. Fado is a style of music infamous in Portugal and is a HUGE part of their culture. Dipping my feet into the culture (and the water!) was the best way to conclude my mini amazing race. After the experiences I had had over my three weeks, you can only imagine how difficult it was to hop on a plane back to London and leave my mini amazing race lifestyle behind…for now that is.
If I learned anything from the final legs of my amazing race it was, “No pasa nada (don’t worry about anything), just get lost and dip your feet into everything this crazy world has to offer.”