My first Blablacar ride went without a hitch. The road to Granada was a chatty one with a lovely driver who practiced her English, while two snoring Aussies cradled their backpacks behind us. There’s something about driving on the open road during summertime with the yellowed fields flowing under the blue blue sky, cruising toward the horizon line with the sweet relief of air con; in a weird feeling of filming a movie that is my life.
Company is key and that is why I cannot recommend blablacar.com enough; the semi-awkwardness of sitting as a passenger in a stranger’s car whilst you conjure up conversation. My favourite part is when you hit a discussion nugget, where the person speaks passionately about something that they love, or when you learn something interesting or new. There is always an opportunity to enrich your mind.
The drive was only a couple of hours long and the two Aussies and I were dropped off as far as cars could venture into the town centre. Hauling The Beast along in 39C heat did not phase me in the least. The temperature was comfortable, it was home.
At a fork in our pathways, I waved goodbye and found my hotel perched at the edge of a communal square. This was a small but self-indulgent treat of enjoying a room to myself at a very reasonable price. Entering my boudoir it looked like I had walked into Cookie Monster’s secret sex den, with cobalt walls and shaggy cerulean pillows puffed about on my bed. After a busy day, I slipped into the routine of what Spanish NJ does and had a much needed siesta.
The Granada streets are a mishmash of cultures that you would be forgiven for thinking that you were strolling through markets in Marrakesh. Colour, cushions and trinkets line shops in sneaky passageways that beckon you to have a nosey, once you’ve caught a glimpse. Buskers accompany these shades of enchantment with musical notes winding around the maze of paths.
Along the cobbled one-lane vehicle squeeze shared with pedestrians there are prospects to cross the bridges and have a looksee over the babbling brook. I parked up in a bar that was the most quaintest thing I had seen in a while; an ancient stone building with arched windows adorned with bright flowers looking out, as a little old man furiously plucked notes from his guitar’s strings with his case stretched open before him. I needed to be a part of that scene. Buying a drink, I was gifted with one of the treasures of Granada, free tapas! As I sipped on my tinto de verano, I snacked on marinated olives and bread. Bliss.
That evening, I walked as far as the daylight allowed me. I was not one to be discovering some alleyway in the dark, on my own. I did favour the bustling scene as the night came alive and the glow from the shops reflected on the crystal charms. It was that kind of sense of Christmas magic and wonder, as I felt like a little kid again.
I spent just three nights in Granada, a city that has a little piece of my heart. Coming up I’ll fill you in on the marvel that is The Alhambra, the gypsy caves in the hills, being mesmerised by a flamenco performance and being freaked out by potentially overstaying my welcome in Europe….. all in one day! Until then, X