Spain is the sort of place that never really made sense, but in the very best possible way. This is the country that gave us the Spanish Inquisition—also anarchy. This is where devout Catholicism mixes with surrealism, modernist cuisine with traditional tapas. Christianity and Islam traded places, shared space. And the effects and influences of all those things are right here for us to see.
Wherever you are on the ideological spectrum, however, some things are constant, it seems. There are some stereotypical expectations. It’s true, there are free tapas everywhere. Yes, they do actually take siestas, which is a civilized damn thing to do as far as I can see. Flamenco, yes. They do that also. But in Granada, they do it old school.
Granada is one of the oldest, most complex, magically surreal places in Spain, and one of the most beautiful. The city is tucked against the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Andalusia in southern Spain. It’s not like Barcelona. It’s not like San Sebastián. It ain’t Madrid. Any reasonable, sentient person who looks at Spain, comes to Spain, eats in Spain, drinks in Spain, they’re going to fall in love. Otherwise, there’s something deeply wrong with you.
This is the dream of all the world. The dream is to live in Granada. Work in the morning, have a one-hour nap in the afternoon and go out at night. Go out and see your friends, eat tapas, drink red wine, and be in a beautiful place.
This field note is excerpted from Anthony Bourdain’s narration of the episode.