June 10, 2015
We are back at our “home” in Granada after a short side-trip to Còrdoba. Helen has finished polishing the triad dealing with our experiences there and they are still on my mind.
We ate lunch earlier in the day around the corner at Plaza San Nicholas. It is a touristy hot-spot and it was busy. The wine was flowing, the food was quite good and the crowd was lively for our lunch at 2p.
We have tried several times to visit the garden outside La Mezquita de Granada in Albaicin. We have always come at just the wrong time and later in this day was no exception. We are told that this modest cultural gathering point is the major mosque for Granada. There are others, mostly in homes. Before the Reconquista, there were hundreds of mosques in Granada. Now, in spite of post-911 suspicion, there is once again a “major” mosque in Granada. This mosque was approved and built in the Albaicin (2003) to serve the de-populated muslim community that is returning to Granada.
Just outside the walls of the Mezquita Major is Restaurant Marrakech. We had already checked out the menu during one of our other failed attempts to visit the mosque gardens and so we decided to give it a try. We were just off of the main plaza of San Nicholas church and in a quiet eddy where we could hear the Muezzin calling Adhan (call to prayers) from the mosque minaret just down a small side street.
People entered the mosque quietly through the garden hurrying past us to their worship – salat. The sun was fading and the weather was what Helen calls balmy. The menu looked wonderful and as I thought about my dinner beverage I realized that this particular restaurant probably did not serve alcohol. It was a halal restaurant – serving food prepared according to muslim practice. This was a little wake-up call in this otherwise anything-goes environment where people seem to drink and party non-stop. The food was heavenly and my beverage was a mixture of fruit juices over ice. A refreshing change of pace.
Then, off the stone walls, coming from everywhere, bounces mellow music that could have come from a lute or maybe a keyboard. I was not the only one to get up from a table to see what this wonderful music was and where it was coming from. All through prayers as well as our leisurely dinner it played. After dinner we walked home through the plaza where the “street musician” was still playing steel drums of a kind that I do not know. His cd is quite sophisticated but the video gives you some idea of what was going on.
We leave for Barcelona in a few days and I will miss this home that we have had for a month in Granada.