Like so many others, Spaniards and foreigners, we journeyed by train to visit the Moorish/Christian fortress/palace, the Alhambra. Eight thousand visitors are admitted a day, every day. The Alhambra is, rightly, Spain’s biggest tourist draw. And it lives up to its reputation. One of these Saturdays I’ll post some photos of this World Heritage site.
To visit the Alhambra is to spend time in the city of Granada, 300,000 people or so, including a population of 80,000 students at the University of Granada, founded in 1531. The tourist section of the city is also a student section, a warren of old buildings divided into apartments, bar/cafes, and street life. It’s great fun. And Granadans, young and possibly also old, have been taking their opinions to the walls of the city.
Underneath the first layer, in blue, there’s another thought: “Nazis, NO!” (The Z in Nazi is rendered as a swastika.) Where economic distress is great, so, for some, can be the appeal of fascism.
Across from the Alhambra on a steep hillside is the neighborhood called “Albaizin” (various spellings) -- the former medieval Moorish quarter. Its dense, ancient alleys are a tourist attraction in themselves and also an island of pre-modernity in this modern city. And, judging from the neighborhood’s signs, the Albaizin is a prime target for gentrification. Residents are fighting back:
Sometimes the sentiment is simpler and apparently more organized:
On a day when the temperature exceeded 100F, we ducked into an island of modernity, a brightly lit cafe with strong air conditioning. Afterward we were somewhat mortified to discover this graffiti on the outside:
The class struggle seems alive and all too well in Granada.