Venturing into the aqueduct

Many people assume the ancient Romans build their famous aqueducts only in Rome. This misconception is a common one, and not only was I lucky enough to get to see several of these Spanish aqueducts, I was also able to climb inside one.

While on a free walking tour in Granada, my tour guide asked our group if we would like to go on an adventure. Not being one to turn down a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I immediately voted yes with a few other brave souls.

Having no idea what we were about to do, our guide led us to the base of a nearby aqueduct, and explained that we should all take off our shoes. After everyone had complied, he explained that we were going to climb down a hill (more of a 90 degree drop) and walk into the aqueduct.

Watching the others slide down the hill on their butts, I was thankful I hadn’t worn a dress. I slipped and skidded, but made it down the super-steep drop unscathed.

Once everyone had successfully made it down the hill, we waded through a freezing cold, rocky┬ástream. We were cautioned to test the rocks before putting our weight on them, because they could slip. Carefully, we proceeded into the dark tunnel, which was pitch black by the time we’d taken ten steps inside. A few of us snapped our cameras constantly just to provide extra light so no one would fall on the slippery rocks.

Our guide explained some of the history behind the aqueducts, and we headed back. It was slow going, as it was pitch black and our feet were numb from the freezing water and sharp rocks. To get back to our shoes, we had to climb back up the impossibly steep hill- a nearly impossible task!

Despite some discomfort and difficulty, this was a great experience! When traveling, I think it is a big mistake to pass up an opportunity that seems hard or weird…if I had skipped this mystery adventure, I definitely would have regretted it later!

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