Last summer, on our trip to Granada, we stayed in this cute apartment in Albayzin (rented through Airbnb) with the amazing views to Alhambra. For me, it was one of those trips when I was just happy to be away, in a nice town. A special trip of the kind in which nothing really is special and in which one of the best things is just to sit there watching the rooftops and palaces shining in the moonlight. And drink wine.
I’ve visited Granada a few times now and I guess that’s one of the secrets for this kind of good trip – familiar enough to feel comfortable and fascinating enough to not feel too comfortable. First time I was there just for sports (orienteering, hiking and skiing in the Sierra Nevada) on our sporty road trip through the Spanish countryside. The second time, we visited a friend studying there, and the Alhambra, and enjoyed the tapas and wine and flamenco in the rainy cold March weather (which caused me the most awful travel flu ever).
The third time, in June last summer, I mainly concentrated on drinking wine and tinto de verano, eating tapas and finding the already known and new (for me) gems in and around this lovely town.
It’s hard to say why exactly I like this place so much that I come back over and over. Some of it, and maybe even most of it, is because of the combination of mountains, a lively city, amazing food and music culture, of tapas and flamenco, and the Arabic influence.
Or maybe it’s just because everything’s so beautiful there. Just look at this.
During summer the city can be extremely hot and on our visit, at the beginning of June, it was moderately hot, because of which the visit to the mountains was extra nice. During winter, on the other hand, it can be cold, even snowy, and then especially the hammams are a nice option.
There are these places which just have to be visited; places like Verbier. For me, it all started years ago, when getting really into freeskiing and learning of these legendary places like Chamonix, Verbier, St. Anton etc. Where mountains are big, where extreme is the real extreme, and where the after ski is really deserved.
I still haven’t done any proper ski bum season in the Alps, as I planned some years ago, and for which I tried to learn French and German without much luck (but someday, baby, someday). There came other dreams and other plans, but still, the places were always there, especially in my dreams. And then I moved to Switzerland. Not for bumming really, but at some point I ended up bumming in Verbier, for a while at least.
It was, or well should have been, the FWT finals on that weekend in the end of March; Swatch Xtreme Verbier 2017. Unfortunately, for the lack of snow and for the strong winds, they could only run the junior race during that weekend, and we had only the weekend free to stay there. Nevertheless, it was a good trip. Drinking very good wine, eating very good burgers, and meeting the legends, the world champions and other weekend warriors, and dancing the night away. It was lovely and krhm. very Scandinavian, as Verbier is, and I sure need to get back there for some more of the good vibes.
Below you may see Bec Des Rosses, which you should know if you know anything about the hardcore freeskiing. I don’t think I’ll never ski it myself, but en place it really impresses, and scares, even the mere spectator, giving that funny feeling in the stomach, just by watching it from distance… And I can only imagine how it feels to really ski it down; huge respect for the ones who can do it. Nevertheless, the other slopes and off piste areas of Verbier offer nice moderate challenges for us who are more for the comfortable kind of skiing.
Verbier is about high-level extreme, but it’s also about high-level life quality. So if you are like me, or even less interested in the skiing, the wine and food and party scene are also more than nice to keep you entertained. Just remember to save some money first.