We are back at our carmen, our house that is a “carmen” because it has a shade garden, ivy and grapes hanging down from an arbor. Cool, nice and cool in the afternoon and next to beds of roses and other fragrant flowers that make the moist Mediterranean air ever so easy to breath. We spent a part of the evening in a cave where we ate tapas and watched a rather incredible Flamenco show. In this part of Granada, up in the hills above the city, the Albaicin, there are many caves and caves are a favorite kind of cite for Flamenco clubs. This afternoon we walked up to even higher ground, to the Sacromonte, the Gypsy enclave where many of the homes are built into caves. So, caves are important around here.
Our place is in the Albaicin on a calle inaccessible by car. To get to anywhere from here we walk through narrow passages that wind up and down the hills in a labyrinth that is disconcerting the first time or two that one tries to go somewhere and no directions are good directions because the streets start here, end there, one splitting into a few or several more every so many steps up or down the cobblestone pathways. On occasion a walker encounters a street where cars are allowed, compacts only because these streets, the streets with cars, are narrow too so that walkers are pretty much up against the cars as they pass.
We went to the market today and filled our bags before trudging up the hills to the house. You have to do some trudging if you want to eat. If you want to eat at home. A few cartons of orange juice, on of milk, a pound of chicken and a pound of fish, a cauliflower (huge is the only size), a few tomatoes, yogurt and some incidentals made for a heavy load.
A bit more on the streets of Albaicin. They are filled with people who do not know where they are going, how to get to where they want to be. So, everywhere along the streets there are people trying to get beyond language difference to help one another find their ways. Google maps, if you have cellular, get one so far and then blink out before you can get it to tell you where to turn or not turn next (derecho is a term that is used often—go straight—but there is not a straight street in the district—Derecho also means to stay on the same road but any single road, as noted earlier, will eventually split off left or right, sometime left and right at slight angles and sometimes into a T and so derecho means, a good amount of the time, use your instincts if you have any. It seems possible that some people knowing where they want to go have been wandering around for days!
It is a place to love and mastering the terrain is actually a pleasant way to spend time, if you can get to where you want to go and eventually isn’t too much later, is a game of sorts, a puzzle that I felt very good to have solved enough to allow me to wander a decent distance from the house, something difficult to accomplish accomplished, nothing yet mastered, but the possibility of a decent level of mastery within my capabilities.
There is a tile on the wall in the courtyard here that translates to mean something to the effect of ‘I am a very poor woman, made poor by her blindness, her blindness made terrible by the beauty of Granada that her blindness keeps here from experiencing. Certainly, you can spare a blind old woman a coin before you go out to enjoy that which I cannot.’