With the summer holiday’s fast approaching the Impact Nights team thought we’d provide you with the inside info on a couple of party towns a little further a field than the Isis industrial estate. Having both spent their third years abroad, Louise Fordham and Emily Eaves have had plenty of time to get properly immersed in a whole new nightlife that must seem a million miles from Lenton.

Granada, Spain

First there came rioja…
A glass of wine for 2€. Plus a plate of delicious free food. This is just one of the many reasons to love Granada, the last city in Spain to keep up the tradition of serving free tapas with each glass of wine or beer you order. By 11pm you will find yourself on your third glass – that´s a plate of chorizo, following another of smoked cod, and one of fried aubergines and honey (trust me, this last one tastes far better than it sounds.) You should definitely wait for the fourth and fifth round, the more drinks you order the tastier the food they serve you.
Then there came drag queens…
The one thing that takes some getting used to in Spain, (especially for those of us who are accustomed to arriving at a club before midnight and the English closing hours of 3am), is the difference in times to go out. Unless you are going for tapas, there is no point in getting to a bar before midnight as you will find yourself alone, or perhaps accompanied by some American tourists who haven´t quite grasped the nightly hours yet. As for the clubs, wait until 3am if you want to miss the queue and 4am if you prefer the place to be buzzing when you arrive. Granada10 is the centre for Erasmus student nights; imagine Ocean but with cheesy Spanish remixes. There you will find locals, international students (identified by the fact that they tend to wear far less clothes than their Spanish counterparts), a few creepy old men attracted by this lack of clothing, the occasional fabulous drag queen, and an electric violin playing musician.
And then there was light…
Stumbling home through the cobbled streets overshadowed by the Alhambra Palace in the early morning light, you can go for a breakfast of churros and chocolate sauce. Or perhaps more wisely, head home to bed.

By Louise Fordham

Santa Barbra, California

For the last seven months, I’ve lived in the college town voted by Playboy as the best for partying in the United States. Red cups, frat parties and sorority girls are typical components of a night out and although I still haven’t been able to force myself to like beer, there’s always a keg.

Nightlife here in Southern California is completely different to England, and the bright lights of Lenton. Firstly, it is divided between those who can drink legally and those who can’t. This makes a huge difference- there’s no way round it, the police are outside every bar and they’re strict. A fake ID results in a $250 fine and a trip to court with the lightest punishment being an hour’s compulsory Alcoholic’s Anonymous Class and a 4 hour correction course. No one risks it. Instead, the underage make their own fun with houseparties- and yes, they really are like the ones you see in the movies.

Santa Barbara, an hour North of the OC is always hot. As a result, the girls at these house parties where bikinis- and sometimes hot pants if it’s a bit cold. They dance on balconies waving to the frat boys below who gaze up at them, jaws dropped. Everyone is drunk by 9pm. The majority of American college kids drink to get drunk and it’s rare to find alcohol available after 10. Not surprisingly, house parties are usually over by 12….unless the standing survivors decide to take it down the beach with some more beers- something that is again illegal, and can result in a charge of having an open container in a public place!

So it’s a huge advantage to be 21 and have an escape from these bizarre cultural experiences, in the form of “downtown”. As older college students, we can hit the bars and clubs of State Street- all of which offer cheap drinks, outdoor patios and cabanas and tropical cocktails. Students rarely go out during the week so the big nights are from Thursday to Saturday and still everywhere closes by 2am, but it’s a nice alternative to college parties.

I can’t say that I miss the AU mess of Isis or the drunken antics of Ocean all that much, but it’ll be nice next year to return to a more relaxed party environment and maybe even stay up past 3am.

Emily Eaves

Foreign Office Travel Advice:

If you’re planning a trip abroad this summer make sure you stay stafe. Check out the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for the most up to date, destination specific advice available!

www.fco.gov.uk/travel

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