15 Minute write
Love this! Rich depth, i walked through as if in it myself. Thank you
The calm before the storm, or maybe the eye of the hurricane.
I have pictures of Granada. One was taken at the Alhambra ticket office. My Spanish hosts, whom I was visiting as a return favour to me for having allowed them unrestricted access to my basement in order to furnish their student flat, had made due enquiry with the authorities as to how to get into it. The Alhambra Palace, that is, not the ticket office.
It seemed that the Alhambra ticket office had embraced European officialdom and pernickety organisation to a degree that impressed European visitors and reduced Spaniards to uncontrolled derisive guffaws. The picture in question depicts three of us, waiting patiently in "our" queue, with almost pandemic-standard distances between us, preparing to be wowed by Moorish splendour.
The splendour was there; we were indeed wowed: one has to bear two things constantly in mind when visiting the palace: first, that what you are gawping at in open-mouthed amazement was gilded and painted in a palette of bright colours when it was built, and was therefore twice, if not thrice, as wondrous as one's open gob would indicate; and, second, that the temperature in that thar outside world, is a good 3 or more degrees warmer than in the ingeniously water-fed cooling system that is the Alhambra. These Moors were no HVAC greenhorns. If only the architects of the one in Bradford could have been as ingenious.
Only last week or so, I sent the picture as described to my Spanish friends, who have in the intervening years qualified with PhD's and cushy jobs and divested themselves of the tat they hauled out of my basement (except for a reclining leather-covered armchair, the likes of which they'd never seen before) and agreed it was fond memory. They suggested that 2024 could see a return trip, perchance?
Keep old photos of Granada handy. Whatever utility can be extracted of Dubrovnik, Granada always has its uses. As solace.