During my time in Spain, my favorite day was when we toured the Alhambra palace. It was extraordinary. The Alhambra is known to be one of the most unique palaces in the world, perched upon a hilltop in Granada, Spain. It is a famous monument of Islamic architecture that extends over 142,000 square meters. We explored the various courtyards, water features, gardens, and arches. The decoration was focused on the inside, appearing simply from the outside. Carved stucco and mosaic tilework were used for wall decoration. Our tour guide told us stories about the families that lived there in the 14th century and explained the palace’s mixture of different architectural styles. She explained Alhambra’s various styles of Arabic writing. One of the most notable examples translated to “There is no victor but God.” It was like nothing I had seen before. One of the most memorable things she told us was that the ears of law-breakers were cut off in the square and nailed to its walls for all to see. We ate lunch at a cute restaurant in Alhambra that overlooked the magnificent city. 

In Malaga, Spain, we went to a cooking class, where we made a few traditional Spanish dishes. This included chicken paella, spanish omelet, salami dip (with honey and mayonnaise), and sangria. Everything was delicious! I have really enjoyed trying paella in Spain and was looking forward to learning how the dish is prepared. Unfortunately, making paella was a little more time intensive than expected. It also required a lot of seasoning, which most likely explains why it is so favorable. The good news is that making sangria was simple. We just used red wine, lemon Fanta, two spoons full of sugar, orange slices, a cinnamon stick, and rum. I am excited to bring back what I have learned when I return home and prepare these dishes for my family to try.

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