I only ended up staying in the Albaycín as an accident of hostel availability, and I was certainly grumpy as I arrived in Granada, sick and in need of a shower, only to realize that I had to walk 45 minutes from the bus station straight up a hill, and then through a labyrinth of tiny, identical Medieval streets to find my hostel. I don’t wish those climbing conditions on anyone, but staying in this neighborhood is my best and strongest memory from a month in Spain. Continue reading
In the valley between the Albaycín and the Alhambra is the river Darro. It runs eastwards from Plaza Nueva; the road running alongside eventually crosses over and leads up the hill to the Alhambra.
I sit in Granada’s Plaza Nuevo, trying to outlast a bad breakfast decision, just watching. It’s probably one o’clock, and things haven’t quite gotten started yet. The cafe tables are set out, but only a few are filled. There’s a lot of foot traffic, but I mostly see tourists. Any locals passing through likely fade into the scenery.
I sit on a bench towards the edge of plaza, partially shaded by a tree, intentionally facing nothing and no one in particular. Looking unfriendly and disinterested is a defense mechanism. Near me but at the center of the square, some people drag a few cafe chairs into an open space and a set up a small square platform. There are four of them, one dressed in a ruffled shirt with a tight vest, black pants, and dance shoes. He begins stomping on the platform while the others clap and bang. Once they have the attention of tourists in passing, they begin their music and dancing show.