Granada: A Little Piece of Home

Plaza Larga: 2021, 2018, 2016…

We spent a month in Granada in 2016, and again in 2018. If Paris is where we fell in love with France, Granada is where we fell in love with Spain. Fairytale views from Calle San Luis #12 had a lot to do with that. So did finding our favorite produce stand, butcher shop, and bakery. The Albaicin’s spider web streets surprised and delighted. A cafe, bar, plaza, tienda, or spectacular view might appear around any corner. It took about a week for Granada to feel like another piece of home.

Other adventures led us to happily put down roots in Oliva. Twists and turns in our storyline don’t bother us. Like our friend Marina says, “Problem? Solution!” The twists and turns always take us somewhere interesting. It’s a matter of not allowing problems to create more problems. So, here we are again in the Albaicin. Our produce lady’s pears are beautiful!

We had barely checked into our room at Montes Claros when Donna asked, “Does Granada still feel like home to you?” I was standing on the balcony looking at a very familiar view. In truth it felt like we’d never left. It was like meeting an old friend. Getting reacquainted wasn’t necessary. It was just a matter of catching up.

A tapas crawl with fellow expats, Scott and Patty, jogged our memories. A purchase of a beer, wine, agua con gas, or a latte with ice brings meatballs, bread with cheese and onion jam, or eggplant with honey to your table.

Our evening’s final destination was the frequently closed La Polleria. Spain’s new dessert craze is genitalia shaped waffles dipped in a shiny glaze of chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. The girl behind the counter smiles sweetly and asks, “Dick, or pussy?” It seems as if the former is more popular than the latter. Donna stood outside on the sidewalk shaking her head and muttering, “That’s just nasty.” La Polleria makes an indecent waffle.

The Botanical Garden…

What does a person do in Granada? We wander around. There was breakfast on the Plaza de la Romanilla. While we were eating lunch on the Paseo De Los Tristes a bass player knocked out a killer version of Take Five.

The next morning we had coffee at a cafe with a spectacular view of the Alhambra. Then there was stronger coffee and cookies in the Arab Quarter. Of course we shopped. We also looked for a hole in the wall falafel shop. In 2018 we spent an hour discussing world politics with the shop’s owner. His falafels were better than those claiming to be the world’s best. Falafels and politics are always open to debate though. We never turned the corner that brought us back to his shop.

The corner we turned took us to the University of Granada Botanical Gardens. What we would call a gentle drizzle had locals pulling out umbrellas and wrapping coats around their heads. It seemed like perfect September weather. We peered at kaffir limes, Chinese oranges, hops, mugwort, and prickly pears.

Then we found the Botanico Cafe across the street. The food coming out of the kitchen looked good. The pasta pockets filled with Gorgonzola and pear were even better than expected. The puttanesca with buffalo mozzarella was excellent. That the kitchen baked us a fresh batch of the apple crumble they had just run out of? Perfect!

The old saying is true. “Home is where the heart is!” It’s always a case of following your heart through the twists and turns. Your heart usually knows where you are going better than you do.

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