Sunday, June 2, 2013

Granada: Albaicín Neighborhood

After getting some rest after our late night out, we ventured back to the Albaicín neighborhood for some amazing Moroccan cuisine. We walked up the steep hill once more and searched until we found a cozy Moroccan/Arabian restaurant furnished with pillows, colorful tapestries covering the walls, candles on the small wooden tables, and colored crystal light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. To complete the ambiance, some tables indulged in hookah while incense perfumed the air. I had the best hummus I’ve ever tasted, a spinach and cheese empanada concoction called “briwat,” and some Moroccan sweets for dessert. It was possibly one of the best meals I’ve had in Spain, as it was something new and different I had never tried before. After our breakfast/lunch/dinner, whatever it was, we explored the neighborhood shops that lined the streets. Each shop sold pretty much the same things, like Arabian scarves and ceramic elephants, and I was surprised they could all stay in business. We literally looked in every shop and compared prices to find the best deal (I bought a paisley pashmina scarf for 10 Euro and later found some for 8 Euro and others for 12 Euro, quite the pricing scheme). We even made friends with one of the shop owners, and he gave us all small free gifts. He gave me a bracelet, and explained (all in Spanish of course) that he loved making new friends and making people happy with the lowest prices and supplementary gifts. He asked us our names (first names only of course), and later managed to find one of my friends on Facebook! (Kind of creepy actually, there are a lot of “Kelseys” with brown hair on Facebook, not to mention he had no idea where she was from). He was harmless though, and it was nice to talk to locals and practice our Spanish. The Albaicín, while a bit scary for me because of its exotic nature, was actually one of my favorite experiences in Spain.

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