I loved my host family. There is no experience like that of moving in with a new group of people who in no time become your family. The impact on my Spanish skills was immeasurable. My host mother told me that I am always invited back to my house in Granada anytime I'd like.
Population: approximately 240,000
The city of Granada is situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, Beiro, Darro and Genil.
Granada was first settled by native tribes in the prehistoric period, and was known as Ilbyr. When the Romans colonized southern Spain, they built their own city here and called it Illibris. The Arabs, invading the peninsula in the 8th century, gave it its current name of Granada. It was the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492, at the hands of Queen Isabel of Castile and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon.
One of the most brilliant jewels of universal architecture is the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th century. This mighty compound of buildings — including the summer palace called Generalife, with its fountains and gardens — stands at the foot of Spain's highest mountain range, the Sierra Nevada, and overlooks the city below and the fertile plain of Granada.
The Sacromonte hill, which overlooks the city from the north, is famous for its cave dwellings, once the home of Granada's large gypsy community.