Granada’s Gypsy Flamenco

Too. Cool.
First of all, the location was already incredible. We made a long trek up a mountain to get to the caves where the Gitanos live, and on the hike up there we had stunning views of the Alhambra and the city of Granada below. When we finally arrived, there were groups of Gypsies lounging outside of the cave dwellings, strumming their guitars and smoking their cigarrillos, no doubt preparing for their performances. They all had tan skin with long, dark hair, just as I had imagined. The “caves” actually have smooth, white walls, but they are called caves because these rooms have been carved into the side of the mountain. We all crammed into this long, skinny room, and the excitement in the air was palpable.

Pomegranate! Err, I mean, GRANADA!!!

Beautiful cathedralThe pomegranate is the symbol of Granada

*Journal Entry: Feb. 19, 2012*

GRANADA: DAY 1

I went on a trip with my program this past Friday & Saturday to Granada! It was about a 3-hour bus ride there, and the scenery and landscapes that I saw as we drove were beautiful. Forget strawberries! Olive fields forever. As we neared Granada there were more and more mountains, and then we started catching glimpses of snow-capped ones as well. Granada started out as a fortress, so that’s why it was built at a high altitude (like Toledo and Gibraltar).

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Flamenco 101

*JOURNAL ENTRY: February 10, 2012*

I went and saw my very first Flamenco show last night! I went to a restaurant called “T de Triana” on Calle Betis that has Flamenco performances every Tuesday and Thursday nights. The dancers are INCREDIBLE. They have lightning feet!

So proudLoved watching the emotions on his face
Olé!Calm before the storm...
BAM!Love it!!!!!

Flamenco dancers 🙂

Flamenco is performed on 12 counts. Dancers tap their feet and clap their hands to keep the rhythm. There are many varieties, but here’s the most common/basic beat for clapping your hands: 1-2-CLAP! 4-5-CLAP! 7-CLAP! 9-CLAP! 11-CLAP!

And then you start back at one. It’s very fast-paced, and difficult to keep up! Try practicing it and you’ll have taken the first step on your way to learning Flamenco. 🙂

TIP: for me it’s harder to clap and keep track of my counts at the same time, so I just do this: 1-2-CLAP! 1-2-CLAP! 1-CLAP! 1-CLAP! 1-CLAP!

My Sevilla Must-See List

On my first full day in Sevilla, my program took us on a bike tour of the city. 40 loud American students riding on bicycles through the streets of Sevilla, cutting through traffic, blocking the way of cars and other pedestrians, nearly running over a few Spaniards, receiving dirty looks, amused looks, and on occasion, claps and cheers and shouts of encouragement from some drunk hobos.

Total. Mortification.

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