I had a rare break from campo life this weekend and spent it with strangers in Granada. When I say strangers, that’s not strictly speaking true. I have met some of the group before and felt I ‘knew’ many of the ‘gang’ who frequent a Facebook group Elle and I have been members of for a couple of years now.
I’m not perhaps known as an overly sociable character, or for my love of expat communities. But these folks are different, and I had been looking forward to meeting them in person. These are bright hard working and intelligent people. WABAS (Writers and Bloggers About Spain) is an eclectic mix of people from all over the country including writers, bloggers, authors, other creatives and business owners all of whom share a passion for Spain and what they do.
I’ve wanted to see Granada for some time now. It’s not too far away in peninsula terms, about 50km further than a trip to Almeria city from where we are. I didn’t see much of it in the end. But I did see enough to make me want to return again sometime when we have a weekend dog sitter to do the touristy stuff. This weekend wasn’t about that so much. It was an opportunity to meet and exchange knowledge and ideas with people I know and respect from what is a pretty tight knit online group. It was also a weekend of drinking and eating, of course! On the touristy front most of the participants did go on an evening guided tour of the Alhambra. I passed due to an almost overwhelming aversion to being ‘organised’. The idea of being marched around a tourist attraction, however spectacular, fills me with dread!
Staying at the Hotel Andalucia Center, where we were well looked after the weekend consisted of a number of presentations from group members including Graham Hunt (the founder of WABAS), Paul Read, Maya Middlemiss, Molly Sears-Piccavey, Sue Sharpe (jam queen extraordinaire) and, well, me.
I may not have seen much of Granada, but it was great to spend time with some decent and positive people. We do isolate ourselves a little here at times and it does me good to be reminded from time to time that not all expats are Daily Mail reading, gossiping over and English breakfast in a faux British pub, UKIP types. The weekend was time and money well spent.
Finally, a big thank you to Molly and Josh for making all the hospitality arrangements….
Alan, along with Elle, is the owner of Spain Buddy. He was born in the North of England (Lancashire) and travelled extensively before eventually settling in Almería. Alan has 3 sons from the first of his 18 marriages, (Sam, Joe & Ben) who are all now adults. You can read more articles by Alan on his personal blog at AlanGandy.com and see more of his photography on his photography website as well as on Flickr and Instagram.
Also, for less than the price of a cup of coffee each month you can help support Alan’s photography (and get some freebies into the bargain). Click here to visit his Patreon page to find out more.