15
Mag-2013

Strolling around Granada: Albaycin

Once I’m done with my visit at the Alhambra, I still have few more hours to spend in Granada. I can’t miss to see Albaycin, the Arabic quarter on top the hill overlooking the city. I can’t check the map; it’s almost impossible because of its size and because of the wind that won’t allow me to open it, so once again I have to trust my instinct. I had already memorized the different areas I wanted to see so I find my way around easily. I walk on the promenade along the  Rio Darro, a small river at the feet of the hill where the Alhambra is and I realize immediately I’m not too far from Albaycin.

The houses on my left are white, the streets are narrow and the stairways are steep. It could not be any different considering what I’ve been through so far. Maybe is the Andalusian morphology but everything here is built on hills and mountains.  I’m not sure what the English equivalent is, but in Italy we say “once you reach thirty, you can reach thirty-one”, meaning one should not give up, so I keep going. I catch my breath and I walk up the stairs once again.

Each time I turn a corner I find more and more stairs and I’m just too curious to find out what kind of panorama I can see from the very top that I don’t stop, at least as long as my legs can carry me! I feel a little careless for going around a place without a sure destination and without knowing exactly where I am, especially here where the streets are deserted. It’s early afternoon and most likely people are either working or taking a siesta. Once on top though, the view pays all my efforts back: on one side I can see the Sierra Nevada, with its snowy peaks and on the other I have a view on Granada’s rooftops with the Cathedral standing tall in the middle.

I’m hungry by now, but above all I need to sit down for few minutes before I crush on the ground exhausted. I move toward the city center and decide to stop in Plaza de la Romanilla, for not reason at all but a small restaurant with outdoors tables where I can order a cerveza and few bocadillos. (I’m so proud of myself because of my Spanish!). Finally I can give my legs a rest, and I thank New York for getting me used to long walks or I would have never been able to see as much as I did in such a short time.

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