Friday, October 4, 2019

From flamenco to the call to prayer


A stunning foursome
We were fortunate enough to experience Flamenco in it's fullest visceral form.

On each of our final two evenings in Sevilla we saw different versions of staging of the dance/song art form. Both were gripping and memorable and informed our appreciation of the other. (On the final night the dancers used no castanets, which I took to be more traditional, but  instead clicked - loudly - just using their fingers.)

The performers above, dancer, dancer, singer, guitarist as you see them, performed acoustically in a small, purpose-built theatre. We sat feet from them. It was loud, brash, sexual, aggressive and hugely technically accomplished. It was completely thrilling.

The next day we rode (in cold fog!) to Algeciras by way of breakfast in Jerez, for the ferry to Ceuta and then Morocco.

By the way, did you know cotton is grown in the south of Spain? I didn't. But we saw field upon field of it on our way to the port.

Sixty minutes saw us on another continent. Ceuta is a little bit of Spain on the tip of Morocco so after landing we made our way to our first border crossing in Africa. If you like, you can read more about that in the border crossings and visas log.

From a Fnideq hotel room
Eating that evening was accompanied by the Muslim call to prayer from a nearby minaret. Some things mark a place as different. This did. So did the lack of beer (no alcohol here). So did the place name; Fnideq, as different again from English as Finnish pairs of umlauted vowels.

Before dinner we walked through the local streets as dusk gathered. Crowds of shoppers jostled each other as we picked our way around all kinds of wares spread on the pavement, arranged on carts and stalls and past those displayed in the brightly lit shops. This is a society of traders, I think.

Always, when I don't speak the language and know I don't fully grasp the mores, I feel a little insecure. But as we walked, I gradually began to feel that Moroccans - at least these here - are easy-going and hospitable and I relaxed.

After eating, we tried and failed to order mint tea - we'd been looking forward to this north African staple. Tomorrow, perhaps.

To Chefchaouen

Our new map
The Dunlop map promises a scenic ride to our next destination.

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