Dear Spain, don’t let me go: A collection of love letters to some of my favorite places in a country that will always be in my heart
The white homes of the Albacyin, stacked into the hillsides of your mountainous terrain like building blocks, are a labyrinth walk through history itself. The still occupied homes built into the earth of the slopes make me question what is really necessary in the lavish lifestyles many of us live today but take for granted. The view of the Alhambra settled on the horizon is unbeatable when it glows at sunset, with colors of red, pink, orange and gold shooting every direction. I just stare in awe and try to imagine what it would’ve been like to be watching that same sunset a few centuries back, from the summer home, Generalife, staying cool on a hot night. And tapas for lunch? A few bites with every glass of wine has me feeling pretty warm by the end of the meal. And then later, an afternoon walk through the “little Morocco” market takes me across continents with the explosion of colors in the glass lamps and the tea shops and hookah burning in the windows as the tourist laugh and smile, soaking in every minute of their Iberian vacation. Feeling stressed or tense? Don’t even get me started on the Arab Baths… I don’t have much experience in spas in the US but I doubt they could compare to the steamy, soothing, silent atmosphere that makes me question the existence of time travel with the ancient looking interior palace-like designs. Thank you for your cheap taxis on a rainy night and an energetic nightlife (that I have yet to experience but look forward to on my next trip). With every visit, I look forward to the next. Hasta luego Granada, hope we see each other again soon.
I have scribed countless odes of affection and appreciation to you already but with every passing day, blue, sunny skies and walks on the beach I find myself more and more happy to be here and sad to have to leave. In a perfect world, if I had no where to be, I’d have a cafe con leche, zumo de naranja natural and media tostada con aceite every morning. After that, I’d run errands in the energetic but tranquil city for the rest of the morning before sitting down for la comida with my family. I’d have a siesta now and then or chat with some friends on the beach. In the evenings I would walk the length of the port then onto the sand until the shore ran out. When the sun goes down, I’d stare in awe as the sea glimmers gold and the sky turns a quiet and purple. The children are still running around, chasing the pigeons who look for lost snacks. Their parents are trying hopelessly to round them up and brush off their sandy bodies. On the weekend, I’d go out with my friends and we’d share a bottle of wine or a pitcher of sangria before dancing until the sun rose again. Or maybe I’d opt for an early night and I’d wake up and enjoy the fresh morning air with a walk by the sea. Surely, so calm it could be a blue satin sheet, stretching all the way to the horizon, where sailboats pass in the distance, so small they resemble children’s toys. On Sunday, we would all get together for paella mariscos and swelter in the heat while relishing each other’s company. Then Monday would roll around and I’d do it all again. Asi fuera la vida…
But Alicante, honestly, sometimes I despise you. It’s so cruel how you torture me with such delicious scents floating out of every eatery in town. All I want to do is walk down the street but I am lured in by the heavenly sweet and savory scents. And the bread? Why do you make it so well? Thank god for your Spanish olive oil to accompany your irresistible carbs. And then of course I should also thank you for the comfortable, walkable city size and paseos for a run in the evening to balance out the calories taken in on a daily basis. Sometimes the castle even tempts me to challenge myself for a climb to sweat it out (aún intento realizarlo). You are so underrated it hurts, Alicante. As I type this I am enjoying one of those aforementioned perfect mornings. Cafe con leche and media tostada con aceite on the Playa Postiguet, people watching and taking in the fresh morning breeze. Tell me again why I have to go home?
I think I will call you home one day soon. Maybe not as soon as I’d like, but I’d like to think it’ll happen before I hit the big 2 5. A big city with a small city feel. Cobble stone streets or shiny new skyscrapers, you have it all. Fit for anyone, you offer a sprawling green park, a palace, some impressive churches, museums for days and a shopping center fit for even the most lujosa life. Your inland location is no Alicante, lacking a pristine coastline, however, your central location and international airport gives way to easy mobility. Hopefully I’ll be teaching English whilst continuing to improve my Spanish. A piso in the centro, maybe some cool roomies, and I’ll be set.
In just a few weeks, I look forward to a stroll through Retiro in the morning. Maybe I’ll sit at the pond or the crystal palace with a book for a few hours. In the afternoon, I’ll grab a calamari bocadillo and re-visit my favorite museums, maybe even checking out some new ones. In the evening, what most excites me awaits. REY LEON. Finally, I am gonna see it! A short trip it will be, though surely satisfying.
Gosh I haven’t even mentioned my other favorite, Ronda…Guess I’ll save that one for another day.
Spain, we have about two and a half months left together, let’s make it great.
All my love,