Last month, I had the pleasure of spending a few days in the city of Granada, Spain. There was a car involved (of course), and you can read that 2017 Subaru BRZ Performance Pack story over at Automobile Magazine (and in the upcoming May 2016 issue!); I also did a companion ‘cool facts’ story because I could. But this post isn’t about cars, at least not beyond the observation that the vast majority of cars in the city was made up of drab and aging compact hatchbacks. Given that Spain was in a recession almost the entire time between 2009 and 2014 and had an unemployment rate of over 20% as recently as last year, its not surprising that the rolling stock of a midsize regional city isn’t the latest and shiniest.
What stood out more were the graffiti-covered store gates in the city center and the literally empty restaurants. Admittedly, it was unusually cold and the middle of the week, but the complete dearth of nighttime activity and shortage of daytime commerce all told of a city that was stiff suffering economically. I can’t say I spent enough time in the city to make an accurate judgement, but
One salvation for Granada during the crisis years, which was the last of the Moorish emirates to fall during the Reconquista, was surely the presence of the Alhambra palace complex. Built by the Moors, Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (and thus a major tourist attraction) that features copious unique architecture and structural art. Bur rather than torment history and risk publishing alternative facts because I was only half-paying attention to the guide, I’ll just post a link to the wiki and then tell you to flip through my shots in the gallery at the top.
Also, fun fact: there is also a “Sierra Nevada” mountain range in Spain. This produced an amusing moment on the drive back from the track in the aforementioned BRZ. My drive partner and I were startled by a billboard advertising the something under giant “Nevada” letters; We initially thought that the Nevada tourism board was, for whatever reason, trying to drum up some how Spanish tourist action, but we quickly realized it was pushing a nearby shopping center.