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Arrival at Gypsy caves
Spain, Portugal and Basque France Adventure 2014

Dancing in a cave with the gypsies!

Granada, Andalusia, Spain
Thursday, July 3, 2014

We arrived in Granada early afternoon and booked into the magnificent Alhambra Palace Hotel with a breathtaking view over the city. What a joy it was to sit on the outdoor balcony, and also to look through our bedroom window.

We went through the ancient Nazrid Palace with its Arabic inscriptions, beautiful alcoves and gardens and saw some of the immense grandeur of the mostly stone buildings.

In the evening, at 8h00 pm we were collected by taxi from the hotel to attend a zambra gipsy flamenco show ‘La Rocio” in a cave in the gipsy district of Sacromonte. The flamenco is played, sung and danced by members of the same family. Its roots date back to the times of the moorish wedding dances in Granada.

We proceeded at breakneck speed through narrow alleys while the driver talked non-stop on his cell-phone. I took the odd photo of people dining on the sidewalk and pedestrians flattening themselves against the wall while our car weaved in and out, forever going uphill into the mountains.

We finally arrived at the location and thought we would sit outside upstairs from where we could have a lovely view of the Alhambra. However, on closer inspection, there were about 8 cats sitting under and around the tables, and we all felt that we could not enjoy our dinner like that!

The gypsies seemed quite surprised at our aversion to the ‘gatos’, but we were shown inside where we had dinner together with a noisy bunch of Spaniards. I enjoyed my oxtail stew! Soon we were shown into a narrow cave-like room where we were bunched together with about 50 other visitors. Soon, a guitarist, drummer (on a tin-like contraption) and female singer appeared, and then three senoritas and one caballero. Oh, my goodness, they were so close that we had to pull in our feet not to be stamped upon!

At one stage, the caballero grabbed an umbrella which he stomped near my toes and he even winked at me! Oh my gosh, the atmosphere was electric! A senora came in and she used her fingers like castanets – the clicking was astounding! All their footwork was amazing – their heels were moving at the speed of hummingbirds flapping their wings! Then, a dramatic young lady came in with a beautiful long frilly train and a male singer sang an unusual Spanish version of Granada while she danced a sensual version with that train – the song will always have a new meaning for me in future.

Well, as the show drew to a close, a senorita invited two young ladies to join them and what do you know, I was next in line and then Marlyn! Oh boy, after sitting for so long, it was difficult to suddenly be thrust into flamenco pose, but we did our best! Ha! Ha! The less said about our adventure going back, the better.

View from Alhambra Palace Hotel, Granada
Alhambra Nazrid Palace
View from Alhambra Palace Hotel, Granada
Taxi-ride to gypsy caves
Ready for gypsy show in narrow cave
Outside tables at gypsy restauran
One of the singers and the drummer
Arrival at Gypsy caves
Amphitheater at Alhambra
Alhambra: one of the buildings

lhambra Nazrid Palace
Amphitheater at Alhambra
View from Alhambra Palace Hotel, Granada
Alhambra Nazrid Palace

 

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