Thursday, May 17, 2012

Flamenco in Granada

Last set of blogs from Granada didn't go so well. We'll try again. It's just as much work posting something new as it is to fix the other ones, so I'll just keep going. Hopefully get around to fixing the Alhambra photos.

That same night after going through the Alhambra we got a recommendation from Ulrike (the women who's house we are staying at) to go to this place for Flamenco.

The place is done up completely like the old Gypsy caves.

Lots of great lighting and nooks and crannies. Ashley was getting all kinds of ideas for how to design our future home.

They had a number of sections where people were sitting for the show. It was great because it gave a much more intimate feel while still accommodating a lot of people.

One thing that I learned is that Flamenco actually got most of its roots in Granada, and more specifically in the Albaicin where we are. That's what they say. I'm sure many try to claim the title, but for our trip we'll take it.

At around 10:00pm the Flamenco started up. The dance is like no other I've seen. Most dances focus on grace and elegance. Floating over the floor, in that sort of princess fairytale way. Flamenco had another beauty to it.

The singer was singing a very sad song. Ashley loosely translated it to a song about losing a very good friend or loved one.

This girl, from Argentina, is only 14 years old and could Flamenco with the best of them. Very impressive.

Another round of singing.

The beauty of Flamenco isn't the grace and floating of a smooth waltz. Instead it is the beauty of passion and of real life. You could tell that this dance was born out of hard times and downcast people. The floor stomping, clapping, singing all had a real fire in it.

The woman moved with grace, but you also know they'd beat you into a pulp if you crossed them.

Although Flamenco dancing isn't just for the ladies. He put on quite the show.

Guitar solos by a Flamenco guitarist is really something to behold. Fast fast hands.

The final act was done by the ring leader himself. Quite the character and a gypsy himself. He did a number which got Ashley completely confused. Something about loving wine, lettuce came into it at one point, and he was calling out a couple select women in the audience. Entertaining if not confusing.

Getting close to midnight when we left. We strolled back to our house.
A wonderful evening of Flamenco in one of our last nights in Granada.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Alhambra - Part 3

This Sycamore tree has seen better days, but was around when Washington Irving lived here in 1829. What sites this tree would have seen when many sultans and other royals of past were courting fair maidens in this courtyard.

Always in Grenada you climb higher and higher on her many hills. Yet she is a fair lady since she always rewards you with stunning views.

In all this opulence we ensured we stopped to smell the roses.

This was the water stairs. All around the edges are little rivers flowing with water. In the center of these 5 circle terraces is a fountain flowing with more water.

Finally leaving the Alhambra we start to get more wooded feel.

On top of this modern building used to support the staff at the Alhambra was a wonderful green roof to disguise it. Perhaps more inspiration for our home?

Totally exhausted after 5 hours of walking we had a yummy late lunch.

Street performers came buy to serenade us randomly.

So we ordered a small desert, and called it a good Alhambra day!

Alhambra - Part 2

After going through much of the buildings we started to wander through the gardens we could only look out on before. Wonderful fountains are found in nearly all of them.

This large water feature was used by people of long ago to bath under the moon light. Yeah, I think I could get used to that. Pool could use a good cleaning though.

This church used to be a mosque. Although I guess nobody wins since now it is mostly a museum.

Touring the Alhambra in the morning is wonderful as there are far fewer people. Got to have a fun photo in the middle of King George III's palace. Very renaissance as it is a circle courtyard built inside of a square building.

Climbing to the top of the Alhambra we could see out all over Granada. What a wonderful city.

Packed some bread, cheese, grapes, and other yummy snacks. Had a rest stop under a tree in one of the many many gardens. 

We then carried on to the Generalife, which are a number of gardens. Again, so many water features which I absolutely love.