Grand Granada II

The Graffiti Walk – Thursday 27 April

We had noticed that the Lonely Planet describes what they call a Graffiti Walk. Granada has a great deal of modern street art, the most well known artist being El Niño de las Pinturas. The walk focuses on the art but in the process takes you through two of Granadas most definitive neighbourhoods. It took us the best part of 4 hours, and we walked a long way although we also popped in at various interesting looking places as we went.

It starts at the old Moorish gate to the city called Puerta de Elvira at the top end of the street in which we are living, Calle de Elvira. We will largely let the pictures tell the story although we only can show a fraction. They are quite amazing and clearly valued by the population as they are not being destroyed. One we liked was El Niño’s study of Rodin’s Thinker with the words translated into English ‘Tired of not finding answers, I decided to change my questions.’ Rather nice.
The real name of El Niño is Raul Ruiz. He likes doing large works, often close ups of people, with short poetic stanzas underneath. He apparently sometimes gives painting demos at the university. He is occasionally fined but most Granadinos like the colour his work brings to the old city and its crumbling walls. Needless to,say, not all of the images here are El Niño’s work – they are just ones we loved.

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We were definitely ready for our Sangria a little after the walk finished – by then around 7pm. We then collected Andy who arrived home from his wanderings about the same time and we had a good meal of raciones – largish plates of tapas – at a recommendation of the staff here.

Friday 28 April

Andy left for London today so we walked him around to the airport bus. It was a day with a difference – it rained for the first time for us in Spain. We heard they have had no rain for 6 months which must be a huge problem with such a large tourist population. It was not easy to be a tourist today, as the streets were very slippery, especially those with a lot of marble in them. We therefore had a fairly low key day, coming back to the hotel to do a bit of blogging each time the rain was harder.

IMG_3180We enjoyed 3 galleries for a couple of hours. The first two were in a stunning building called Centro Federico Garcia Lorca building. It has a large exhibition area and a theatre. It is described as a space to which people walking by are drawn by limiting the distinction between inside and outside. It has a bit of a feel of the gallery spaces in Melbourne’s Federation Square. Lorca was a Spanish poet, playwright and theatre director who died in 1936. He was part of a group who introduced ideas like symbolism, futurism, and surrealism into Spanish literature and he was executed in the Spanish civil war for his radical views.

The exhibitions which were on there were one of Russian posters advertising films in the early 20th century. There was no English around so a bit hard to make much of them. The other was showing abstract paintings by Spaniards over the last 50 years. Some of them were really interesting.

At another gallery there was an interesting exhibition of paintings called Museum Hours by a woman called Cristina Megia. There was no English and we haven’t had any luck with the internet either. The exhibition focussed on the act of observation, some of it in museums, other paintings in other places. They are detailed paintings, and we liked them. We will see what we can find when we have more time.

We also went to book in for a bath at the old Roman baths which Pete and Karyn recommended. We were very sorry to discover we had left it too late. All the slots for the day were taken and we are off tomorrow. One of our few disappointments.
At 5pm we went back to the Lorca building we mentioned above, as there is a Film Festival on at present, and they were showing the film “Camille”. It has also been performed on the stage many times entitled “The Lady of the Camellias” which is the name of the novel by Alexander Dumas.

The film was set in the 1880s and made in 1936, and stars Robert Turner and Greta Garbo. The Garbo character is Marguerite Gautier and is based on the real life lover of Dumas. We went because they were showing the original English version and the Spaniards around us had to read the subtitles. Bit of a turn up! We enjoyed it greatly. Those two are great actors. We decided it was an early talking film version of the opera style of performance – it was so over the top.

Flamenco

IMG_3186We then had a quick dinner and to yet another flamenco performance – starting at 10pm. This one in a cave – or at least a cave like structure. Long and narrow with a rounded roof. It was terribly cheap – 12 euro even for the most expensive seats right down the front. We thought it was a bit of a risk but it was marvellous. Quite different from the other 3 we have been to, largely because it was more intimate, the dressing was less over the top. There were just 3 performers – singer, guitarist, dancer. They were all excellent, and clearly enjoyed performing together.  If you are interested, each performer has a short video linked.  We thought that probably the singer and the dancer were gypsies, and the music was more folksie, and more joyful. The audience, mostly younger than us, loved it.

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