Greetings from Spain!
I am sorry this blog is way past due but I will explain why in my next post. I have so many amazing stories to share first! What an amazing past couple of weeks it has been. I've experienced and seen once-in-a-lifetime things the past few weeks.
First off, I visited the famous Alhambra. For those who don't know what the Alhambra is, it's one of the most historic landmarks in Spain. It is located right here in Granada. Granada is a city with a great deal of Islamic influence, mainly because of places like the Alhambra. It was originally constructed as a fortress in 889 and later converted into a royal palace in 1333. Originally designed as a military area, the Alhambra became the residence of Islamic royalty and of the court of Granada in the middle of the thirteenth century, after the establishment of the Nasrid kingdom and the construction of the first palace, by the founder king Mohammed ibn Yusuf ben Nasr, better known as Alhamar.
To spare you from the history lesson, and put it into easier terms, it is this beautiful palace located high in the mountains. The architecture of this historic palace is unreal. Inside there are beautiful gardens known as "general life" where the Granadine kings went to relax. The view from the Alhambra is unreal, overlooking the whole city of Granada and the Sierra Nevada mountains. Pictures can never capture the true beauty of this historic landmark. It was crazy to walk through the marble walkways with individual carved artwork on the doors, the most beautiful gardens of flowers blooming all around you, and to think royal Islamic kings walked these very gardens daily. Walking through history: a pretty amazing experience.
So in my last blog I told you to stay tuned because I was going hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Let me just start to say it was one of my favorite things I've done here thus far! Talk about a view. We took a bus to the Sierra Nevada mountain — not exactly the ideal bus ride for people prone to motion sickness. When we finally got to the mountain, we started off by walking through the town. People live in these beautiful little houses that almost look hidden in the mountain. Finally we got onto the terrain of the mountain. Hiking through these mountains was so refreshing and beautiful, you just felt free. Like I've said before this world isn't so small after all. There are so many things in life I want to see and I couldn't be more grateful for my opportunity to experience things like this. The world is truly a beautiful place and I'm fortunate enough to be seeing it with some really incredible people!
Just when I thought hiking the Sierra Nevada was an incredible experience I blinked and there I was doing another once-in-a-lifetime thing. Our group had an excursion to Nerja Beach (p.s. I strutted my Wagner shirt to Nerja!). We were all really excited to sit out and enjoy some sun, never thinking we were going to do something as crazy as we did. The beautiful beach with an iconic photo for a typical computer screen saver. As everyone always says about beautiful beaches, "the water was so blue." As my friends and I jumped into the freezing cold "blue" water of Nerja Beach, our friend Dylan told us about how the weekend before when he came to Nerja, him and a few other of the boys in our group jumped off the cliffs at the end of the beach. There were a lot of crazy things on this beach—women walking around topless, men walking around bottomless, but me jumping off a cliff into the Mediterranean might be the craziest thing to happen on that beach.
I pondered the thought and the risks for a good minute and a half then fell into peer pressure when all my friends loved the idea. Walking to the end of this beach, I thought I was going to faint, I was so nervous. Not to mention the fact that the sand was so hot I was slowly burning away the soles of my feet. When we finally got to the rocks, it was time to climb up. Dylan helped all us ladies climb up the rocks. A few of my friends opted to go to the higher cliff and jump off, but I was fine jumping off the smaller one. Don't get me wrong when I say smaller — by no means was it small!
Three of us watched our friends walk to their death on the taller cliff. Dylan jumped first, all the girls took a minute to compose themselves before jumping. Once they jumped all you heard was "HOLY CRAP" over and over. Now it was our turn to jump off a cliff into this freezing cold water. The adrenaline was running fast and strong through my body. I was the last to jump. I took one deep breath, ran and jumped! Talk about going into shock, the water was so cold! It was one of the most amazing experiences ever. As we swam to shore we all just laughed with relief that we did it! I was so proud of myself, of course not being the strongest swimmer, I still did it! I jumped off a cliff into the Mediterranean. That will never stop sounding cool.
It was two weeks of adrenaline, memories and unforgettable views. I will never get use to this, these unforgettable, crazy experiences. I don't think I can find the right words to describe how beautiful Spain actually is. I hope all of your summers are just as unforgettable. To keep up with my words of wisdom, I leave you on this note... just jump. As Nike says, just do it. Indulge in everything life has to offer.
Until next time.. Adios!