Like a lot of houses in the Albayzin, ours features a rooftop terraza. We go there to hang out the laundry, watch the sun set, and watch our neighbors hang out their laundry. This winter, we went up to the terraza to embrace a brief, ephemeral storm of snow that descended unexpectedly on Granada one February morning.
According to WeatherUnderground, Granada is located 1,870 feet above sea level. The Sierra Nevada mountains, just 45 minutes away by car, attain a height of 11,411 feet. Even in May, snow covers the mountains, while 25 miles away people walk around in t-shirts and sandals.
With so much snow so close by, we were determined to do something that few in our family had ever done before: ¡vamos a esquiar!
Early one morning we managed to rent a car, drive to the ski area, rent ski equipment, ride the gondola up to the ski lift, take the chairlift to the top of the slope, and get off the lift, all without falling.
Three in our party took a ski lesson, while a fourth displayed her chops on the slopes. It wasn’t long before all of us were careering down a hill, ostensibly a Green beginner’s run, at breakneck speed. J. managed to complete every run in a straight line. A. chose a gentle S curve. M. ended up on the next slope over and D. offered encouragement to all.
As if that weren’t enough, A.’s fifth grade class spent an entire school week in April riding a bus up to the Sierra Nevada ski station every day for lessons and skiing.
We hung on to the rental car and one Saturday, drove to Héutor de Santillán to go to a birthday party located at a small farm where a classmate lived. The children wrapped bread dough around sticks, covered it in aluminum foil and cooked the whole thing over an open hearth. They looked at the chickens, hogs, goats and piglets. They ran through the groves and orchards, rode on a horse, drank soda pop, and ate all manner of animal products.
After three hours, we felt we had spent a sufficient amount of time at the birthday party. Shocking our Spanish friends, we departed.
Around 10 p.m. that night, we began receiving What’s App photos of the children bouncing in the back of a 4-wheel pick up heading down the ravine towards Granada. By the time the party officially ended, we were fast asleep.