By Molly Sears-Piccavey
After living in Barcelona for over 8 years, I moved south to the city of the magnificent Alhambra palace. Initially I was concerned about leaving the big city, where I´d adjusted easily to the cosmopolitan life. Moving down to traditional Andalusia was going to shake things up and challenge me. I have been in Granada for over six years now. I have adjusted well to the new setting and I actually love the city of Granada as much those who were born here. I certainly haven´t regretted the move from Barcelona to Granada.
1.FOOD – Eating out can be amazingly cheap with free tapas offered in many places. Breakfast out costs just less than two euros at the moment. For that you great a frothy café con leche and a piece of toasted baguette with butter and jam, or like the locals with tomato and drizzled olive oil.
2.WALK – I love that I can walk everywhere.
3.TIME – Distances between things are short. In Barcelona or Madrid as it takes at least 45 minutes to get anywhere. The day just flies by. Here in just 10 minutes you can get practically anywhere in the city. This way you can fit a lot of different activities into one day. It seems that time stretches further here.
3. WEATHER -The climate is great. In winter it is really cold. That crisp, fresh Alpine style cold. In summer it’s baking hot but not at all sticky or humid. If you keep in the shade, it is bearable. We have a proper summer and a proper winter.
5.MONEY – The cost of rent and house prices here are good value when comparing with other towns and cities in Spain. For example 170,000 euros could buy you a new basic three bedroom home with shared community swimming pool and individual garage. Rent here is around 600 euros for three bedroom apartment in the city centre.
6.WEEKENDS, WEEKDAYS -Every day feels like the weekend. People are out at night in the week, not just at weekends. I find it really easy to mix with the locals and get on. People are generally friendly and welcoming.
7. SWIM AND SKI -A well-known fact is that you can actually ski and sunbathe on the beach on the same day. The ski resort is about a 40-minute drive from the city and the beach is a similar distance away at Motril or Salobreña. Of course, I would only recommend doing this at the end of April or in May.
1. AIRPORT- Limited amount of flight destinations. The local airport hardly has any international flights. National flights to Barcelona or Madrid are available, although both have few flight times to choose from. Most people travel 90 minutes by car or bus to nearby Málaga to catch a flight.
2. JOBS- Career opportunities: If you are running you own business, freelance or online-based, then you’ll do OK. Work is pretty limited. If you want to find work here a good level of business Spanish is obligatory. Currently around one in four people are unemployed in Granada province.
3.FAMILY-TIES -A problem here is enchufismo. This is where families stick together and give jobs to other family members, (cousins, brother-in-law, uncle, etc) and don’t let anyone else in. This mindset can be a particular challenge when doing business, (not only for foreigners, Spaniards from other areas can experience this, too).
Molly was born in Nottingham, UK but has lived in Spain since 1998, initially in Barcelona but now in Granada, Andalusia. Molly works in Communication, PR and Institutional Relations and in her spare time reads, tweets, listens to podcasts and blogs. There´s not enough time in the day! Molly speaks fluent Spanish and English along with some French and Catalan.http://piccavey.com/