Hola everyone! Hope you’re all doing well, how is it march already? Is it me or does time fly when you’re abroad? This month I thought I’d tell you all about how Granada treats its environment. But, firstly as it’s my first blog on Granada, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about my new home, in case you’ve never heard of it before.
- It is situated in the region of Andalusia, in the very south of Spain
- Granada was the last Muslim kingdom of Spain, and the Arabic architecture is still very much present.
- It’s home to one of the 10 wonders of the world – La Alhambra, which is a huge castle constructed over many years, it’s a place filled with history, beautiful architecture, and religious and artistic value!
- It’s located next to the Sierra Nevada, I literally can see it on the walk from uni!! And 30 minutes to the beach… skiing and beach trip in one day anyone?
- My two favourite neighbourhoods are Sacromonte and Albacin, the views that they offer and the atmosphere on the streets is just so enchanting with gypsies singing and a view of the Alhambra. Here is a link to one of my videos of this atmosphere: https://youtu.be/44pCEPuhzQQ
Also in Sacromonte, many people live in cuevas (some sort of cave that has been transformed into a house inside, I spoke to one of the owners who told me that there might be no wifi, but they’re naturally very warm homes.
In these cuevas you can also watch flamenco shows, here’s a link to the first flamenco show I attended: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haVcvkZvKb8
- Also did you that the very famous Spanish poet, playwright and director Frederico Garcia Lorca who wrote La Casa de Bernada Alba is a granaíno? (someone from Granada is called granaíno/a)
Now onto el medioambiente …
Before arriving I never knew that the water in Granada would be special… You know how when you go on holidays, your parents tell you “don’t drink from the tap”. Well, in Granada, the locals say that the la agua del grifo es mejor que la agua embotellada (tap water is better than bottled water).
Granada’s water is very much present everywhere in the city such as fountains, ponds and rivers. There are even stories, and songs based on Granada’s water.
The Alhambra is also a place where you can see that the presence of the water is very much essential, it gives a fresh atmosphere to the castle.
According to the locals, their water is so good because it come straight from the mountains, springs or mountain reservoirs. I must admit that it’s always nice and fresh from the tap. There is a real sense of pride attached to their water.
Transporte publico – Public transport
In terms of transport, and reducing both emission and consumption. Granada is encouraging people to get out of cars and onto bicycles and transport, therefore at the end of this month they’re inaugurating Granada’s very first tram line “Granada Metro” which will connect Granada with its surrounding villages and will cost about 0,97 cents per trip. I’m personally quite excited to be able to see more of the region for such low price!
This sensibilización medioambiental (environmental awareness) is also seen on the streets of Granada, parks and schools. As you can see in the pictures below:
For example, my univesity here has a programme called eco-campus where they offer : guided tours to natural reservoirs, debates, conference and outdoor workshops to raise environmental awareness!
Like most cities, Granada is persistent with its environmental awareness as there are a few problemas medioambientales (environmental problems) such as air pollution seems, I recently saw a headline that stated that Granada is one of the areas with the highest levels of air pollution!
As you can see the term for air pollution in Spanish is : “contaminación del aire” and you can also use “contaminación atmosferica”
This is one of the reasons why the junta of Andalucia regional government of Andalusia has introduced Granada Metro “para que el coche se quede aparcado”. (so that the cars stay parked)
Can you think of any other measures the council could introduce to reduce air pollution in Granada?/ ¿Podéis pensar en otras medidas que la junta debria inroducir para reducir la contaminación atmosférica?
Here are a few suggestions in Spanish – try and work out their meaning:
- Anda en bicicleta, camina, usa el transporte público y comparte tu auto con compañeros de escuela y trabajo.
- Evita el consumo de tabaco.
- Cuida los bosques, no hagas cosas que puedan provocar incendios ni destruir las zonas verdes de la ciudad.
- No compres artículos desechables y plásticos que no son biodegradables
¡Naranjas, mandarinas y limones por todas partes!
One of my daily sights on the walk to and from uni is an orange, lemon, or olive tree, these trees and many other make Granada look so green and beautiful! For me these have become a sign of “I’m defnitely in Spain”!!
Olive tree – un olivo, orange tree- un naranjero, lemon tree- un limonero
Recently, I was looking into volunteering opportunities in Granada and came across this form of eco-tourism where people who have houses and bungalows in the rural areas of the region of Andalucia (where Granada is situated) offer accommodation and food in exchange for help with their gardening, farming and collecting fruits and vegetables. They offer stays from 1-4weeks, which I think is great, because not only you get a break from the city life, also you’re helping the community whilst getting to discover another part of the region, and needless to say that it’s an opportunity to expand your medioambiente vocabulary. I’m definitely going to book myself a week in one of these bungalows as soon as the weather gets a bit warmer! One of the places that offers this type of eco-tourism is a village called Alpurajas which is situated on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada.
Sierra Nevada As I said earlier, Granada is home to one of the biggest natural parks in Spain – Sierra Nevada and it has two of the highest peaks in the Iberian Peninsula! I’m lucky enough to say that I only have to walk 10 minutes from my house to see the mountains! Not only does great water come from these mountains. But, this year Sierra Nevada is also holding the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships which is predicted to generate more than €16 million and 1,500 jobs! Some photos from my last trip to Sierra Nevada.
That’s it from me on Granada and the environment. Until the next blog post.