Southern Spain’s Winter Wonderland

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Quickly realizing how much we steal from the Spanish language. Nevada= Snowfall; Montaña= Mountain

This weekend the hubby & I decided to leave Sunny Spain and head up to the lookalike “Swiss village” of Sierra Nevada! Okay, so you might be confused because Sierra Nevada is still in Spain, but no one would guess once they’re up there! From Granada, we began our ascent up the mountains.

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Crazy to think we would be way up in those mountains in less than an hour.

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Easily one of the most beautiful drives I have ever taken.

The change of scenery (and temperatures) throughout a mere 29 kilometers was delightful.  From the bottom it is dry and arid, then turns into a lush green, and finally a winter wonderland! We had plans to hike around the mountains but when we reached the Sierra Nevada ski resort, we had no intentions of going elsewhere.  After almost a year away from home, this was as close as we could get! The snow made us nostalgic.  We bundled up like Eskimos just the way our parents taught us our whole lives. We tucked in our shirts tight, added a few itchy scarves, and layered up to the point of suffocation.  Let me remind you that it was about 30 degrees. That’s nothing for an Ohio winter, but about all we could bare after the Costa de la luz lifestyle we have been used to.  After haggling some Wi-Fi we booked a small studio apartment on booking.com for the night and quickly checked into our room at “Inside Plaza Apartamentos.”  It was located right in Plaza de Andalucía, the main square. 

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Plaza de Andalusia- the most liveliest area in the town.

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Beautiful views from the ski lifts.

Tip: when traveling Europe, don’t ever accept the rate given at the reception counter.  Nine times out of ten you can go to booking.com and get it at least 30% cheaper!

We spent our first day frolicking in the snow, blasting each other with snowballs, and people watching from the warmth of a Spanish café.  For dinner we chose an Italian Restaurant, Ci’vediamo.  It was a beautiful and quaint restaurant where we thoroughly enjoyed our candlelit dinner.  I chose spaghetti arrabiata, which is a spicy tomato sauce, and Casey had the pesto with linguini. Italian food is usually poor in Spain, and we were so impressed we asked our camarero (waiter) if the cook was Italian.  His response: “No he is from Malaga, but he is almost Italian.” Whatever that means… he still gets an applause from us! After dinner we trekked out into the blizzard and made our way to a beautiful lodge for a few copas de vino (cups of wine).  The next day we woke up hoping to see the beautiful mountains outside of our balcony.  However, all we saw for the next 24 hours was white due to the crazy blizzard.  We decided to brave it out and go skiing for the first time.

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The view from our hotel on day 1.

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Having a blast in the snow. It reminded me of when we used to go sledding on snow days in high school together. 🙂

I guess all of our lives in Ohio we never considered the snow to be anything pleasant.  Snow conjures images of shovels, gray slush, and windshield spatulas for most of us in the Midwest.  We quickly realized we had been missing out on a lot during those long dreary winters of our childhood! Although certainly not an easy (or cheap) activity, skiing is a blast once you’re actually going down the mountain.  After a few meters off the lift, Casey and I both tumbled on top of each other and laughed hysterically for a few minutes.  About fifteen more tumbles later we found ourselves at the bottom of the hill.  We probably should have taken lessons but anyone who knows me knows I am a bit stubborn and persistent.  I found the “pizza” method from Youtube to be the most effective.  That is, making a bigger pizza slice with your skis slows you down, while a small piece speeds you up.  I may or may not have been yelling at myself “BIG PIZZA JULIA, BIGGER PIZZA” the whole way down. Cheesy, greasy, warm pizza was an easy focus point up on those freezing mountains.  Naturally we headed back to the same Italian restaurant for a fresh Caprese salad and a Margherita pizza before heading back home.  I won’t get into the drive home.  I will just say it renewed our appreciation to be living in Sunny Spain this year.  Although, Spaniards aren’t used to driving in snow, so you can only imagine… Overall, we had a blast and will definitely be back to tackle the Sierra Nevada Mountains again!

The Ohioan came out in us on the drive home.  That Audi took an hour to drive 9 kilometers (approx. 6 miles).

The Ohioan came out in us on the drive home. That Audi took an hour to drive 9 kilometers (approx. 6 miles).

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2 responses »

  1. Being from Ohio, I know the feeling of those long, dreary winters (currently experiencing it now!). This sounds like a wonderful experience for you. Those mountains – minus the snow – remind me a little of the mountains I often drove through when I visited Mexico. Gorgeous and how I miss them!

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