I got out and walked the neighborhoods of the old city in Granada. I don’t think they’re quite as charming as Sevilla, but still, they’re not like anything you find in the US. They’re hundreds of years old, with seemingly endless, winding, cobblestone streets. Tapas bars and markets are almost everywhere. Fun place to get lost in wandering around taking photos.
So Granada is THE place for tapas. I mentioned in an earlier post that the tradition of tapas started when a medieval Spanish king ordered that food had to be included with every alcoholic drink. Every bar and restaurant I went to in Granada did this. The drinks aren’t all that expensive either, usually a euro or two, and could be wine or beer. One doesn’t get to decide their tapas. There is no menu, it’s whatever the restaurant happens to be serving. Most of the time, it’s ham or cheese on bread. Sometimes it might be some chicken wings, or even a small dish of paella. I think if you were vegetarian you could ask not to get any meat and that request would usually be honored. I kind of liked the variety of the tapas and not knowing what was coming. It was almost always good.
Other food news… I learned how to make Spanish tortillas. In the States, I think we associate the term tortilla with a flat corn shell used to wrap meat, cheese, lettuce and other stuff in. In Spain, tortilla refers to something that’s more like an omelette. It’s made with eggs and potatoes (huevos y patatas). One of the hostel receptionists in Granada, Ester, claimed to make the best tortillas. I took her up on the offer to show me how to make them. It basically involves cooking potatoes in olive oil and then mixing in some eggs with salt and pepper.
Daniel, another Spaniard working in the hostel, told me I had used too many eggs. I thought I didn’t have enough. Despite it’s appearance as an omelet, most of the tortilla should actually consist of potato. I adjusted the ratio of egg and potato in my recipe, but kept the seasoning. The result was near perfect. I had compliments from native Spaniards on my efforts. Just look at how beautiful that is…
That wraps up my week in Granada. It’s a really beautiful place, with the surrounding Spanish Sierra Nevada mountains and awesome views of the Alhambra. Some drawbacks to the week there were that it was very, very cold. The city is much higher above sea level than Sevilla, so it was freezing most days, and the hostel was more setup for warmer weather. I pretty much was in three to four layers of clothing all day long, even if I was inside. Granada is also a small town, so it really only takes four days to explore everything. I did have a good Christmas day, and the people at the hostel, especially the staff, were awesome. If I came back, I’d likely do so in the Spring or late Fall.