14
Mag-2013

On the way to the Alhambra

Once I reach the cathedral, I chose not to walk on Gran Via de Colon, as it looks too commercial to me, therefore I stroll around the tiny streets in the same area. There’s a church basically in every corner here, but they are all closed, so I continue my promenade towards the other destinations of my tour of Granada. I stop in a souvenir shop to buy a map so I will figure out my way around the city better. The map is the size of a bed sheet: “Non la tienes mas pequena?” (Don’t you have a smaller one?). I display my improvised Spanish but the owner seems to understand me anyway. I would like one those that you can fold and put in your pocket but he tells me these are the only ones he carries. I invest two euro and fifty cents of my money but I will only use it later on, once I reach home again, just out of curiosity to find out far I’ve gone during the day. I start walking again without knowing where I’m going; I will get somewhere, somehow! If I get lost, I will ask somebody how to go back to a known place, as my father used to do during his trips and as long as my Spanish allows me to do so!

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I reach a roundabout that marks the end of the Gran Via and on the left I notice another church.

There! So strange, I haven’t see any so far! On my right, a narrow road indicates the way to the Alhambra. I remember what I was told in the morning before I left: you should take a cab, as the road is very hard. Why should I? I’ve done worse than this, I think, during my excursions. I get to an arch where the way to the Alhambra starts and I walk a very hard steep path that crosses a beautiful park, the vegetation so thick one could feel in the middle of the woods. I’m only half way there and I’m already thinking I made the wrong choice when I decided to reach the top of the hill by foot.

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I’m short of breath and my legs feel heavy, and like many times before, I think I should quit smoking sooner or later. I find some strength to continue because I see some lively elderly people marching at a very fast pace in front of me. If they can do it, so can I…or I should start worrying about myself! The museum is closed on Monday but since I don’t know if I will be able to come back to Granada before I leave Spain, I want to take some pictures anyhow, at least from the outside.

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“Guapa, a present for you!” The gypsy woman puts some rosemary in my cleavage. I’m pissed because she has touched me without any reason and without any permission, so I abruptly push her away from me, hearing again my friend’s warning in my ears. I have no idea what kind of swearing she’s throwing at me, but I can hear her muttering something while I walk away. I don’t pay much attention to it, as I do not want to have my day ruined by her curses. If the ears don’t listen, the heart doesn’t hurt and the curses don’t work, paraphrasing an old Italian saying. Finally I reach the “GENERALIFE”, that should be read in Spanish and not in English as I did ask everybody what GENERAL LIFE was about, nobody understood what I was talking about. The museum is open, but since I didn’t purchase my ticket in advance, I’m not allowed inside and I can only take few thousand pictures of the outside walls and of the few facilities that are still open to the public.

Luckily going back is all downhill for me and crossing the park in the shade of the big trees is all I need now, after having spent the past three hours under the scorching sun.

And the weather forecast had announced rain for today!!

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