Before coming to Spain, I spent plenty of time reading through travel books, so some things I expected. For instance, I knew about the tapas and the siestas in Andalusia, and the lack of tips in restaurants and cabs. I knew about the fascinating mixture of Catholic and Muslim influence here in Granada. However, one thing I did not ever read about was all of the wonderful “street art” around the city.
Now, I call it street art because that’s what it is. While in the States, graffiti most often consists of “stick-it-to-the-man” messages or curses, here it is actually artistic. It’s hidden behind every corner, every winding passage, every cobblestone nook. Some of it is so far out of the way, you very literally have to be lost to find it. Much of it is small, taking up about as much space as a doorway. And all of it actually looks like someone with artistic talent took the time to do it.
For some reason, this street art helps to define the way I see Spain; it’s the quiet, proud, and nonchalant that truly leaves the impression. There are breathtaking sights everywhere in Granada, from one of the most visited monuments in Europe, the Alhambra, the impressive Catholic Cathedral, and even the Sierra Nevada mountain range that lines the sky. However, all of those things you can see in one day here. It’s the rest of it that takes time, the smaller things that make a place feel like home, and perhaps nothing more so than the art that surprises and accompanies the city as it winds its way around your heart.