It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  While I risk sounding like a cliché, this sentence sums up my exact feelings as my final week in Granada winds up.  I have had an absolutely incredible month.  I have met the most amazing people - many who I know I can call lifelong friends and I have done and seen some extraordinary things (the best of times).  But, all good things must come to an end and now it is time for me to leave Granada (the worst of times) but before I leave, let me share my final week in Granada with you because it was just as good as the weeks before.

Let me start by saying the Vegemites (Australia’s trivia extraordinaires) have been victorious. On Monday night when we entered Hannigans & Sons we had one goal and one goal only not to lose, and lose we did not. With a lucky Lord of The Rings round and a fluky Sex and the City round, we had it in the bag and once all scores were counted, we came second!! I stand by the fact, that if we had one more week here in Granada we would have been Trivia Champions, but we will never know… I have loved going to trivia each Monday night. It has been such a fun thing to do with my friends and we have met some cool people along the way.

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Last week myself, Tiffany (another girl who is staying with the same family as me in Granada), her friends and my friends all went to watch Beatriz, our homestay sister, dance Flamenco. She was amazing, and it was so exciting to experience an integral part of Spanish culture. For this reason, when Beatriz asked Tiffany and I if we would like to come to a flamenco class she was teaching on Tuesday night, we jumped at the opportunity. The class was a lot of fun, and although my rhythm was at times completely out, I left the class knowing how to dance a little bit of Flamenco. This is only another example of how Carmen and her daughter Beatriz have welcomed me into their family. I am going to miss having lunches altogether and chatting about class, Spain, Australia and whatever else comes up. I have learnt so much about Spanish culture from being with a family, and they have made my time in Granada so so special. I am definitely going to miss them a lot.

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Tuesday sadly brought with it the conclusion of our culture classes. Instead of Mariangeles, Antxon took us to visit the Sacromonte Abbey. It was a semi long walk to the Sacromonte Abbey with many many uphills. However, despite my lack of fitness, the walk was a very beautiful one, where we were able to enjoy the beautiful views of Granada. We had a guide when we arrived at the Sacromonte Abbey. It was so interesting to hear about the history of the Abbey and to see the ancient books, which were previously used. We were then taken to the chapels in the caves, which I found quite incredible. I am constantly amazed with how many beautiful and interesting places there are in Granada, and in the cities that surround Granada. It must be so amazing to constantly live amongst so much history and beauty.

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A high number of people from our group were leaving to go back home or they were continuing their travels in Europe before the end of the week. For this reason, Maria Jose (the lady who runs the study abroad programs at CLM) organised for us to have tapas altogether after class on Wednesday. It was so nice to come together again as a group before we all parted ways. After some drinks and tapas we all said our goodbyes and thankyous. So much effort goes into the planning and running of these programs and I am so appreciative to everyone for putting such an awesome program together.

FINAL GROUP PICTURE

A few of my friends were going to Cadiz for Carnivale on Friday. So, we decided to have a farewell dinner at an amazing Mexican restaurant close by to where we all lived. Afterwards a few more of our friends joined us at our favourite, Café Futbol for cakes and ice-cream. It was a lovely end to an amazing 4 weeks.

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Our final class Spanish class was on Friday. I had such a bittersweet feeling in that class – I just don;t want this life-changing experience to end! I feel so much more comfortable speaking Spanish now, and have such a better understanding of the language and culture. I have met some great people through the Spanish classes as well. All in all it was a big shame to say goodbye.

My flight out was very early on Saturday morning. Because of this I had to say my goodbyes to my wonderful host family on Friday night. I could not help fighting back a few tears when I said goodbye. I really do not like goodbyes and was incredibly grateful for everything from the last 4 weeks. Carmen and Beatriz were so wonderful, and really did welcome me into their home. I know I always repeat myself by saying this… but I’ve had the most amazing time in Granada and in Spain. I absolutely love this place and can’t stress enough how incredible it is. Everyone should travel to Spain, and try and live here for a while if they have the chance – the language is amazing, the culture is beautiful and the food is tasty – what more could you want?