While visiting Spain, I found myself with two extra days between my visit to Ribera del Duero in the north and Sevilla in the south. There were so many places that I wanted to go as I hadn't been to Spain in many many years. Looking at the map, Granada seemed like the perfect place to go for a couple days and it was the best decision I made.
From the moment I got into a taxi at the train station, I began to fall in love with Granada. It was 10pm at night and the city was alive. People were walking along the streets and the lights were lit up (afterall, it was early December so the holiday season was in full swing).
Sometimes all you need is a weekend getaway to escape the weekly grind. My recent getaway to Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in Solvang, California, the heart of wine country, was the perfect destination. After a long week, we left Los Angeles after dark, and after traffic, to drive up to Santa Barbara. Two hours later we drove down a dark country road and found the driveway into Alisal Guest Ranch.
We settled into our private guest cottage, one of 73 in total. With no telephones or televisions, it was a well-needed escape from reality. Only a few minutes from the touristy streets of Solvang, Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort is a secluded hideaway that has been a full-service guest ranch since 1946. From horseback riding and a petting zoo to two 18-hole championship golf courses, a huge spa and fitness center and tennis courts to a 100-acre spring-fed lake for kayaking, canoeing and fly fishing to, of course, wine tasting, there are activities for everyone!
Aside from all of the history and beauty of Granada, there is one more thing that makes it unique......FREE Tapas! Granada is one of the last spots in Spain in which tapas are served for free when you order a drink. Tapas come in a variety of sizes and can be hot or cold. And, with each successive drink, the tapas get more elaborate.
'El tapeo' is what the Spanish call going from bar to bar to eat tapas and it is one of the best ways to get to know Granada. It's a great way to try out the specialties while exploring the streets. Tapa crawling is much more than having a beer, it's an art. It's a way to understand the Granadian way of life, to understand the people and their traditions.
Tapas Crawls can happen in any area of the city and I started mine on the Campo de Principe in the Realejo, Granada's old Jewish Quarter.