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There exists in the landscape of the mind an ideal place where every sense is touched by velvet and time cannot intrude, the Alhambra
On a high stool in Wauna’s Bar, a crop-haired betrousered dowager listened enraptured as a bearded youth in an ankle length silk green gown serenaded her on the flute. Enrique snapped a photo and was rewinding his camera when a menacing crowd gathered. "Go home, Squares!" someone growled. "The Seventh Invasion of Ibiza. First the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Carthaginians and the Romans, then the Catalans, the Moors and finally…these!"
Wax representation of the old Café Gijón at the Museo de Cera in Madrid
A Guidepost Reprint
Café Gijón, The
I’VE just got back from Pamplona and if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it and will repeat it again a thousand times; Never Again.You can quote me next year. I’m bearing the scars of several cornadas, mostly in the region of the liver (pronóstico: muy grave.) and that last bit of the trip, after the car blew up in flames sixty nine kilómetros outside Madrid played hell with my gout. So on that happy note of goodwill and Christian charity, I will leave you to retire to my local clinic. And a happy Sanfermines next year to each and every loving little one of you.
It is summer time now when all movement is poured stickily out of a bottle. It is no time to do anything at all. And so here’s a Torremolinos without movement in, and for, a summer afternoon.
One of my unfailing delights of living in Spain, undiminished after 17 years, is the spectacular and varied range of its landscapes and natural beauty. Crammed into the roughly five hundred thousand square kilometres of its bull-hide shaped geography, one goes from the dazzling white villages of the south with immense vistas of olive plantations, red earth under a diamond-hard blue sky, to the vast wheat plains of Castile
Ten a.m. at Madrid’s Estación de las Delicias: a goods train, the Strawberry Train, is about to set off. In the 1850’s the train was the subject of much talk and excitement, described and romanticised by chronicles, poets and journalists. It carried the Royalty and their guests on hunting trips from Atocha station right up to the portals of the Royal Palace in Aranjuez. On their return to Madrid the local borough would present them with asparagus and strawberries and in commemoration of this tradition the hostesses today pass around baskets of strawberries to the tourists on the Tren de la Fresa
When we arrived in Spain. . ., I had the basics. I was able to say Tengo sed [I'm thirsty] and Tengo hambre [I'm hungry], thereby ensuring that we would neither starve nor die of thirst.
In spring, the almond blossom competes in brilliance against the snow-crested peaks beyond. Suddenly, like a pencil line sharply delimiting the green lushness of this veritable oasis, the earth turns ochre-arid, supporting only the hardy olive. This is the presence and imagery that permeates the verse of its best-loved son and barb, Federico García Lorca: the viento verde of the undulating corn, long solitary walks through melancholy rain-filled afternoons, y el fondo un campo de nieve…home of the poet.
The silence is heavy with the presence of so much life in this household, by all accounts filled with voices, laughter and music. What conversations did Federico enjoy here with his sisters and his musical and literary friends? The poet himself was an accomplished pianist and Manuel de Falla was certainly among the most assiduous visitors here. There is the unavoidable feeling that everyone has stepped out, and will be back in a few minutes.