Today has been a busy day but it is not over yet. Earlier today I visited the large Alhambra complex. I have since returned to my room to shower. Tonight I have reservations to see zambra flamenco in an authentic Sacromonte cave. This is not my first time seeing flamenco, I’ve seen various shows in the USA and even saw a fabulous show in Sevilla in 2012. However the flamenco here is different- it has been said that here in Sacromonte is one of the birth places of the famous dance. This type of dancing, zambra flamenco, has more influences from other areas: Roma (Romani and Indian), Moriscos, and Arabic. It is distinct in its use of hand symbols, ruffled dresses, and soulful singing accompanied by guitar playing. In Sacromonte it is performed in cave houses.
My reservation is at 10:30 PM . As an early-to-sleep person it is amazing that I book the late show but I figure it is Spain, everything is better later, isn’t it?
I have plenty of time before the show so I wander up the hills of Albaicín. My hotel is on a street that is technically at the edge of Albaicín but to really get a feel for the area you must climb the hill streets to get a view of the greater city of Granada.
My first stop is at Mirador Placeta de Carvajales a small park that overlooks the Alhambra. There is a music group filming a music video here. I sit back and enjoy the free entertainment.
I get my first flamenco show of the day.
The plan is to visit the popular Mirador de San Nicolás to possibly watch the sunset and eat a light dinner nearby. It is very crowded at Mirador de San Nicolás since everyone wants to watch the sunset today. It is too crowded for my taste and I’ve seen my fair share of remarkable sunsets so I decide to eat. I don’t see a particular restaurant that really catches my eye so I choose a place with outside seating. I order wine and a huge ass plate of cheese once again. There is a great guitar player performing while I eat though.
After my cheese I walk in the direction of Sacromonte. I end up in a quiet alley where someone is singing from a minaret. It is almost like a call to prayer, perhaps it is.
At this point I am far uphill so I need to start walking downhill to get to the cave that is hosting tonight’s performance. For once I am walking downhill and I guess my feet are not used to it because I stub my toe. Darn minimalist shoes on cobble streets!
I get to the narrow street I need to walk down. There really isn’t a sidewalk and it appears cars can come both ways. Perhaps many people get dropped off in this area by taxi? The venue isn’t too far down the street.
I am attending my show at Cuevas Los Tarantos. Most likely these performances were more “authentic” and catered to locals but now they are more catered to tourists like me. Some venues have more a of tourist-trap feel to them but the venue I am attending tonight has many good reviews. As long as I am entertained who really cares that I am in a “touristy” place.
I arrive very early as usual but it allows me to enjoy two sangrias prior to the show instead of one. I spend a couple minutes in a cave next door with my fun drink and then head over to the other cave when the previous show finally ends.
The band enters into the cave like room where the performance will be held and soon after the dancers arrive. The guitar player plays and the dancers clap along while seated. One by one the dancers perform solo acts. I have seen male dancers as part of a duo before but this is the first time I’ve seen them perform solo. In the show there were two very good male performers. Also a woman is very skillful with a dance using finger symbols. She is popular with the group.
Below are some still photos of the evening, one of these does not belong-see if you can point out the one that is out of place.
Overall it is a good show. There is a great night view of the Alhambra on the walk back. The streets are quiet but are well lit so I feel safe walking back alone. I do find entertainment in watching taxis navigate the narrow streets.
Tomorrow I climb the hills of Sacromonte once more to visit the cave museum.