Saturday, 18 of January of 2020

Mi Ultima Noche

A door in Sacramonte

Back in Barcelona after five glorious days in Granada. I am full of questions and longing and stories. Granada felt familiar. We wandered through nooks and crannies and experienced breathtaking vistas. Parts of the city reminded us of Latin America and the Caribbean. The places that captivated me most were the caves of Sacramonte, and of course, Calat Alhambra. History is a tale told by the victors. Here, the official channels tell of civilizations that rose to great heights and built structures in which  complex geometries were encoded. But how did this great empire fall? And what and whom have been lost? These Arabic speaking people came from as far away as the Sudan but nothing was said about who these Moors were/are. In Sacramonte  the Cave Museum is located in a place called Barranco de los Negros. The dark-skinned people—the Moors, the Roma, the Sephardic Jews who were unable to leave and had nowhere to go were rounded up and banished to the other side of the Darro river where their isolation resulted in the now celebrated flamenco that is Spain’s claim to fame. I had the great fortune to experience some flamenco concerts on this trip. To me, the music sounds like a  haunting meditation, a sorrowful and joyful intermingling of Africa and the Middle East.

What would have happened had they flourished til this day? Are all empires doomed to failure? These are some of the questions I am left to ponder.

Catholicism overtook the area. The new rulers wiped out or modified many of the Moorish structures, leaving their mark at the expense of the magnificence that preceded them. Later, they tried to restore the structures but their original technologies have been lost in time and many attempts were botched.

So now I’m back in Barcelona. I’ve spent the day pensively reading by a pool and relaxing. A very busy August awaits me back home and I have to hit the ground running. I’m so glad I’ve had this experience here in Spain. We’re, off to El Park Güell and in search of the ultimate tapas for my last night in Spain.

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