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The Expat Files: Molly in Granada

expat granada spain

This week’s Expat Files takes us down to sunny, beautiful southern Spain and to one of my favorite cities, Granada. I don’t know about you guys, but I am in dire need of some sunshine, spring, and charm, all of which Granada oozes by the bucketload. Molly has been an expat in Spain for 15 years, from Barcelona to Granada, she has all the insider tips of what to see and where to go like a local on her blog. Check out what she has in store for us about beautiful Granada.

1. Describe Spain in 3 words

Endless blue skies

expat granada spain

2. What’s your favorite food in Granada? Where’s the best place to find it?

Granada has lots of fabulous food. Free tapas, lovely local produce but if I can only choose one thing. It has to be Pionono cakes. They are full of flavour but don´t look very interesting to the eye really. The pionono is a small golden coloured cake only available in Granada. They are made with combination of eggs sugar and cinnamon. The piononos of Santa Fe are named after the Pope Pius IX. When he visited Granada in the late 1800s this cake was made in his honour. So his name Pio Nono in Italian is how there are still named today. They are sold in shops and cafés throughout Granada. The most famous one is called Casa La Isla.

3. How did you end up living in Spain? What made you decide to move to Spain? Why did you ultimately chose Granada?

I was living in Barcelona when I first moved to Spain for many years. I moved to Spain to pursue a job in which I could use Spanish. I left Barcelona to move to Granada as my boyfriend wanted to move back to his hometown.

expat granada spain

From Barcelona to Granada

4. What do you think is the most beautiful spot in Granada? Where’s the best view?

Everyone comes to Granada and sees the views of the Alhambra from the Mirador de San Nicolas. It is the most typical spot. So I will share a lesser know spot. The viewpoint in front of the Hermitage of San Miguel up high in the Albaicin quarter.From here you see the whole of the Alhambra grounds as well as the entire city of Granada. This location allows you to see a panoramic view of the whole city. You can pick out the Cathedral and even see the Sierra Nevada mountains.

expat granada spain

 5. Name one thing to do or see in Granada that is not in any guidebook

When it is hot head to the swimming baths called Baños Sierra Elvira in Atarfe to swim in natural water. Each pool is filled up fresh everyday. The waters have healing properties and in hot weather this is a great place to cool down. They are open from May to September usually.

6. Name one think you don’t like about Granada

I see quite alot of dogs in the city which aren’t on leads. Some are strays, some belong to people. This is an issue that doesn’t really help the city’s image, particularly in the city centre and the Albaicin quarter where tourists are visiting daily.

expat granada spain

7. Name one funny cultural mishap or misunderstanding that’s happened to you while in Spain

I had many these. 15 years in Spain and there have been alot of moments Lost in translation! Last September I was in Marbella shopping in the large Corte Ingles there. I went to see the Jo Malone counter (a fragrance & cosmetic brand) They have a concession there. Of course this is a well known British brand but the saleswoman was Spanish. No problem as I speak Spanish. So I was testing the latest fragrances and she was telling me all about their new creation Wild Bluebell. They had alot of photos of lucious carpets of bluebells covering forest floors dotted around the stand.

She began to tell me that the scent had been launch now in time for Autumn as these flowers only came out in Autumn. As I could remember as a child walking through bluebells in Nottingham in Springtime I knew this wasnt correct. I tried to explain to her that Bluebells are a sping flower. She insisted that she had been on a Special training course in the Jo Malone corporate offices and they had told her the correct information.

Sometimes when these things happen you just have to agree to disagree. I smiled sweetly and let her spray my wrist with the scent of Autumn Wild Bluebells.

Be sure to keep up with Molly’s adventures in Spain on her blog and on twitter!

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12 Responses to The Expat Files: Molly in Granada

  1. Charli l Wanderlusters March 9, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    I think the autumnal bluebells are actually much more fragrant than those that bloom in the spring 😉

    A great insider account of life in Granada.

    P.S those Pionono cakes look deliciously addictive.

  2. Elizabeth March 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    Piononos are the nectar of the gods. Also, Liz, how does one become a part of your ‘Expat Files’? I am sure you have plenty of people in line already, but I’ve been working really hard on a blog here in Sevilla, too…so if you are ever interested, get in contact! 🙂

  3. Cassandra March 10, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    The image of a group of employees gathered together in a conference room to learn about the autumnal flowers of a another country is too funny!

    Also, you’ve put the pionono on my radar, gracias–er, grazie!

  4. Mike March 12, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    I really love this series! I’m glad Molly likes Granada as it’s one of my favorite cities, having studied there.The common these I’ve realized in all of these is that none of the expats have any shame in the cultural mishaps, which is awesome!

  5. El March 19, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I agree about the dogs! i had a few moments in Granada where I felt a little bit uncomfortable. But of course it didn’t ruin my visit there 🙂

    • Alison May 7, 2015 at 12:46 am #

      I am considering moving to Granada with two pet dogs. Will the local dogs be a problem, as mine will be on a lead when out and about

  6. Patty May 2, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    The Pionono cakes look delicious! Is that a foot shaped ice cream in the first photo? Hah! Great blog!

  7. Ira May 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    I spent two nights in Granada. I found the Arab section very interesting with the small shops and streets. I went in August so the heat took a lot out of me and I was pretty whupped by 5 PM. Fortunately there are lots of tapas places where you can get small dishes and cold beer or a glass of wine at very reasonable prices. I would recommend a week in Granada to really feel like you´ve appreciated what it has to offer. I would also recommend finding accomodation in the Albayzin area of Granada.

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