Granada: Day 3

Thursday, November 3 was a day of rest for us. We needed it after walking around the Alhambra for several hours the previous day. The Alhambra, the Albaicín, and many of the streets in Spanish towns are paved with cobblestone, often in mosaic patterns. They are interesting to look at but hard to walk on. I had sore ankles.

Granada is even smaller and more walkable than Seville. We walked a short distance to get away from the tourist stuff and take a look at ordinary life in town.

Typical Granada apartment building
Typical Granada apartment building
Older Granada apartment building
Older Granada apartment building
More modern Granada apartment building
More modern Granada apartment building
Grenada Public Library
Granada Public Library

We could not find any live jazz venues in Granada, although they do have an annual jazz festival. A web search turned up one place called Eshavira that seemed to be no longer in business. We sought out the Bohemia Jazz Cafe, a few blocks from our hotel. It was closed at the time, and we later found out that they feature recorded jazz music but nothing live.

Bohemia Jazz Cafe
Bohemia Jazz Cafe

In Sacromonte you can see a form of flamenco called zambra, which was developed by the Roma people in Granada. According to our guidebook, Sacromonte can be a little unsafe after dark, so we signed up for a package at the hotel where they take you to the show and back in a little bus. They need a little bus because it has to navigate a winding labyrinth of impossibly narrow streets. The bus stopped at a viewpiont where we were invited to briefly disembark and take in a lovely view of the Alhambra lit up and the lights of the city twinkling far below—very romantic!

Our destination was an intimate little venue called María la Canastera, literally a cave with whitewashed walls and a tile floor. The audience of about 40 people was seated on chairs lining each wall, with the dancers in the middle. They served us drinks of watery sangria and the show got started.

To my untrained eye, Zambra seemed to be a simpler style than the fiery flamenco that we saw in Seville.  The guitar parts were less complex, and the dance movements were slower and more graceful. The dancers used castanets, which they did not do in Seville.

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