Alternative Granada | No Mad's Land
No Mad's Land

Alternative Granada

Alambra et Sierra Nevada

Just like traveling, in the Valley of Lecrin, the constant is the change. I lived there for more than two months suffering the vagaries of weather. The wind was cooling generally the atmosphere. This got me totally fooled because right out of this valley, after only a few tens of kilometers, the temperature suddenly increased. I, who really wanted to avoid this situation, to find myself in Andalusia at the time of hot weather, I got screwed …

I find back my freedom of nomadic, and what I love so much, the hiss of tires on the road and the cool wind on my face. Except that now, tires stick to the asphalt melting and the air is warmer than anything else.

I thus arrive at Granada. The pollution of cities in general increases the feeling of suffocation and even more with the Spanish weather. The heat is now very present. I will spend three days in this city without me bored. It’s rare for me. Often after two hours and a tour downtown, I’m already thinking to flee. Montse, that I recently met in the meditation center, receive me like a king.
I feel home totally free, without any pressure. I can go out whenever I want without feeling observed. I can eat when I want, in the same hours than her and his son, or later if I went exploring the city. I can work freely on my computer without that could blame me to isolate myself a bit. Under these conditions, I dontt feel the pressure to be between four walls.

Montse lives in the old quarter of the Albaicín, and this is by far the place to live in Granada, although the streets are quite steep. The city center is nice and the many great musicians who play offer a pleasant atmosphere, but the Albaicín is incomparable to the rest of the city. The ancient narrow streets, offering welcome shade, and small houses, churches and mosques that mix help to feel the atmosphere of life of yesteryear. The view from the Sant Nicolas is amazing. We see the city against bottom, the Alhambra, Sierra Nevada and the valley from the heights of this district. This has the merit to refresh the mind when we background in sunlight.

Cirque en musique

Beyond this, in my opinion, the most important is to discover Granada by digging a little further down the mountain. Dig is the perfect word to describe what happens there. There is an important alternative life in this city, and we can see many cuevas (caves) on the heights. People there live simply, sometimes by necessity but not always. There isn’t that people without money. Some come to enjoy the simple life that’s offer. A great musician took up residence there for several years to offer concerts in an acoustically perfect atmosphere.

A mountainside, life is difficult. Access to safe water requires big efforts. They must recover it lowest in the city connected to the network. Dogs are everywhere, people in the cuevas doesn’t want childrens and adopt in number those animals that ultimately pose a lot of problems …
The first cuevas appear dirty and unorganized. They all stuck together, closed with recycled materials. Other much larger with external flowered, manicured and beautiful surroundings show that here, don’t only live poor people.

If you sink even further in the valley that are behind the Ermita of San Miguel Alto, one can discover a whole new world. I met Viller, an Austrian living there for two years. I’ll find inside its small cuevas some freshness and some morning beers, one of the main activities here …
The valley look on the Sierra Nevada still with snow in May. The atmosphere is totally different. Spaces are much more green and open. The few Cuevas found here, more isolated and thus quieter get also more complicated problems. The city is still far away, the slopes more steep and the paths traced over the passages are very stony.


It seems that if we continued to sink into the mountain, one can also discover other inhabited valleys. I will not go that far, the heat required me to find some shade .
It took me two months to find a way to sleep in Granada, but the wait was worth it, because I discovered another world: a particular urban cohabitation between local, tourists and alternative life, all with this exceptional panorama of the Sierra Nevada …

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