I live in Granada, I call it Granáland, and if there was a certificate for the excellent summer survival skills, I would probably have it hung on the wall along with other rare acquired skills in Southern Spain. After three, defeated, and barely survived, three years of the hellish summer season, I can confidently say that the extreme heat makes me want to pack my bags and live in Greenland.
Don’t get me wrong! Granada is a beautiful city. It is a land with a full year of mostly sunny days. It’s charming and can be everything for lovers of not-ending summer. It has the most unique history in Spain. No wonder many Expats choose Granada as a place for their next chapter or a long-term stay. It’s a magical place with a spell that makes people want to stay or even come back. I know what I’m saying, I came back too!
Nonetheless, there are certain things that I wish I was told about before moving in. Even so, probably I would have not cared less about those tips and followed my dream. Such a rebel. But here I am, while experiencing an emotional-physical breakdown, describing a subject only a few can understand – passing seasons.
If you’re passionate person about seeing the first red leaf in Autumn, the first snowflake of winter, thunders, storms, rain, snow or even clouds with shapes… well, consider Granada as a tourist destination and enjoy everything that you see. Just let yourself be lost between alleys in Albaicin and go to San Miguel Mirador. I promise you’ll get an unforgettable view.
Summertime in Granáland.
This year, in 2022, the heat surprised us with over 30° C at the very beginning of May. I was terrified. This has never happened before and the difference is noticeable. It gets hotter every year and it scares me.
Summer always has been a two-month season when nobody wants to work and everyone understands why. July and August were the hottest months of the year, even though in August there was a chance to see from time to time rain or storm. This year, the temperatures raised to 44°C. No rain. No storm. Just more and more hectares burnt. The heat started too early and lasts too long. We’re in October right now and still reaching over 30°C.
In that hottest month, August, most businesses reduce working hours or are closed. That’s why you won’t be able to try most of the best tapas bars. The town becomes a ghost town. There’s literally no one but hardly breathable locals, tourists and the toughest ones with sunproof skills. And silly me, on my bike coming back from work every day at 16:30 risking a chance of fainting because I’m working for a company that is convinced remote working can decrease productivity. I feel drained mentally and I still must work creatively 100%.
Maybe it’s a matter of body culture or adaptation to where you were born… but this year I’ve struggled so much with breathing. One night before going to bed, I had a coughing fit in which I couldn’t breathe, so I ran straight to the hospital. It turned out that this year I’ve got seasonal asthma. They told me that my body isn’t coping with the quality of life I live. Well…
“Sumorwin” in Sunsetland.
Autumn is my favourite season. I live for that season every single year. It makes me happy to feel the cold, and wear fancy scarves matching a hat and fashionable shoes. Well, Granada city won’t offer you a landscape full of orange or red colours and lovely falling leaves. If you do manage to find an autumn look in a park… it will last only around a week around December and January. Although this year October has been also a summer, so I am not sure if the lady weather has mixed some dates.
Winter doesn’t exist, obviously. Spring lasts around a month. All those three seasons here are equal, so let’s call these seasons: Sumorwin. “Sumor” from Old English means Summer and “Win” to celebrate the epic summer survival.
Sumorwin is the most pleasant season of them all. Now, it starts in November and lasts until the end of April. It’s quite warm during the day and cold at night. You will never know what to wear in the morning because in the end, you will have to take it off. You’ll feel that Granada wants to apologize to you, by giving you an unforgettable full season of sunsets that melt your heart.
On top of that, Granada has many, many, many viewpoints. Every single day you can see a sunset in a different spot and never get tired of it. That’s the win you can get after September. Worth waiting for to enjoy every single moment of it. No wonder the representative quote of the city is: “Give him alms, woman, that there is nothing in life as the sadness of being blind in Granada.”
There are so many things happening outside of the four walls. Beside the summer season, every single day you will find an event on the streets. Book fairs, mini-festivals, literal celebrations of certain streets, art fairs (almost all the time), celebrations for the Virgin Mary or other Christian events, concerts and from time to time manifestations. You will never be bored, even if you wanted to go for a quick walk.
You’ll learn a fun fact: “Granainos dress up to the season, not to the weather”.
Drunk on an endless summer vibe.
Granada is worth seeing and experiencing everything that it has to offer. Honestly, after a few travels, I’m sure there is no city that has a vibe like this one and there are many things worth learning. It is a very touristic city and it’s a chance to meet a lot of people from many countries. It offers a rich social life and great memories. I’ve lived that.
My mind has been drunk on Granada’s full-time summertime break and, I am afraid, still a little is. It took me almost two years to understand the situation and to admit to myself this is not my home and I desperately wanted it to be. I did everything to make myself feel comfortable, switching my mind to thinking that I wasn’t missing what I am really missing. It made me depressed and anxious, and I didn’t want to admit why.
“How can you not be satisfied with the endless summer?! Sounds like paradise!” – they ask me. Well, there is a difference between nice, sunny days and the inability to breathe, walk or even think. I’d wish to remember what it’s like to feel the pain from the movement of your eyeballs in the cold. Instead, I will never forget the pain from the summer’s hot wind getting into your drying eyes. Both things are extreme, but only one can create nice photographs.
My point is, it’s hard to create when there is a constant summer vibe outside asking you for an adventure. The sun creates this kind of sheath that your mind is on vacation and you must be outside, having fun, relaxing and just living the moment. It’s very hard to pierce this coating and adapt to reality when your heart wants what it wants and your mind silently shouts for it.
Creation is food to every artist. If they can’t cook what they would like to eat, they become hungry and slowly get mad. When they get mad, they get grumpy and irritating. I’ve been hungry for months. Hungry for seasons, moody or foggy days, changes, adventure, unknown, rain, storms, photographs of that changes.
Weather makes a difference as well
My experience doesn’t have to be your journey. Maybe you’re a person who doesn’t need cold days and wishes for a change in life. For a new chapter and I’d totally go for it. Nothing will stop you like it didn’t stop me. I wanted that experience and having it for so long made me realize what I miss the most. Maybe you won’t miss it. Maybe you won’t agree with me. You’re the one to find out.
Don’t hesitate and buy that damn ticket.