The Kingdom of the Moors
Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
88Trip End Jun 04, 2006
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The Moorish kingdom in Spain didn't finally collapse until 1492 and Granada, the seat of the Nasrid dynasty, was one of the last cities to fall to the Catholic Kings. It is a special place, which is still architecturally dominated by the Alhambra Palace. There is much to recommend Granada and I happily pottered through the streets and lanes of Sacromonte and around the Plaza Nueva. Stopping for a beer or a glass of wine brought the obligatory tapa gratis alongside
O a short visit anywhere, you focus on the things you most want to see and for all that Granada left me easy and relaxed and enjoying the atmosphere of the first weekend of the Sierra Nevada ski season. Andalucia is also the home of Flamenco dance. There are signs and fliers for various Flamenco dance shows and pictures of women dressed as gypsies wearing headscarves. It is the image of the dance that I'd always had. I had to see a dance show, but I noticed the signs for a flamenco festival in the local theatre and picked myself up a ticket for about £10. The show was absolutely stunning. It also gave the lie to the traditional "gypsy woman" image of flamenco
To get the best from Granada, you need to be happy to communicate in Spanish. For all its obvious tourist attraction, it is very definitely a Spanish city lived in by the locals. My Spanish is ok, but it took me a while to get going as I was suffering from my brain mixing up languages! I'd arrived late on Friday evening, and having gone through the tiny airport, a guy near the exit told me in Spanish, "the bus to town is around the corner and leaves in 15 minutes." I understood every word and replied to him, "Thanks. How much does it cost?" The poor guy looked completely bemused. I'd answered him in Chinese!! I don't think they'd heard anything so strange since the Moors were here themselves...