After our first taste of Granada, not including the convolutedness of the Alhabrama, but including the beauty of it, Karl and I thought we could live here. It is 30 minutes from the Sierra Navada, and all our snowboarding dreams in winter, yet 40 minutes from the Mediterranean Coast for the summers. The culinary delights include all the best bits of Spain AND Morocco. The only flaw on the last point is that the Moroccan restaurants are too arrogant to serve Spanish bread and insist on serving this dry, crumbly, thick excuse for a pita bread.
But after a few more days in the 40 degree sun, and more Moroccan pita bread, this idea had diminished to a biennial, partial year retirement plan. It's so hot in Granada, they actually have to water the streets.
Another contributing factor was our adventure to the science museum. The museum was great, it was the sunstroke we endured to get there and back that was the issue, 30 minutes each way, out into the industrial area with nigh a tree in sight. The museum is designed to inspire children about science. The puppet show, dinosaurs, giant chess set, satellite dishes and rocket ships had Karl and I hyperventilating so we hid behind the fact Matisse would love it and set off.
If I was ten I would have been screaming around the place like all the other ten year olds. Instead, I kept my silent screaming inside. There were wings for everything; nutrition, pharmacy, chemistry, planets, military, dinosaurs, mind games. And strangely, Matisse was totally loving it. She was shrieking and clapping so much during the puppet show, that the puppeteer presenter stopped and talked to her, in Spanish of course. All the other children thought she was hilarious. Her favourite was the giant tortoise.
We went for a quick look in this break out room, but Matisse was having such a ball I ended up staying there for over hour whilst she tore around the room, playing with everything and chasing the other children. It was beautiful. I also gently encouraged Karl to take in the military wing on his own, for the sake of efficiency. I was understandably devastated to miss out on that section, but as a mother, I have to make compromises.
In the blink of an eye, Matisse's had her first fisty cuffs. Luckily she was oblivious to what actually happened. Matissse had spotted Olivia across the room. She has become fascinated with little girls, so she crawl, hopped over to her for a closer look. This intrigue and exciement was not reciprocated. Olivia was prying Matisse's hands off the bars and yelling 'No. Mine. No. Mine.' Matisse thought it was a hilarious game and was squealing with excitement. This only served to aggrevate the little brat who turned around and shoved Matisse. Honest to God, I almost roared like Mufasa and pushed her through the wall. Karl pointed out it wasn't a fair battle because this child was about three times as big as Matisse. But then I got to thinking... I was a whole lot bigger than her, and her mother. The brawl could have really gotten wild. Karama style. I can't wait to take Matisse to a crèche.
I loved this map on the NT on a giant globe in the museum. Arnhem Land you sneaky devil. And fuck Noonamah, where the hell is Birdum.
After we couldn't prolong the return trip anymore we faced the scorching heat of the day and let our skin sizzle off our bones as we walked back to Moroccan Central for a tapas feast. Matisse loved these Moroccan restaurants. Everything on the table being so easy to pull off, parents sittings round waiting to get climbed all over, not to mention, groups of girls having inhaling competitions on the sheesha pipes... What's not to love?
We spent three days roaming the streets, looking. We saw this procession. I think it was the residue of a royal family, Karl thinks it was a horse club playing dress ups.
We were staying next to a big elevated courtyard with views over the Alhabrama. So, naturally at dusk, people congregate, the marijuana aromas start to waft through and the hip hop/reggae karaoke begins. With the exception of the drugs, it sounded like a vibrant spot to check out, right? Wrong. The second you walk up there you know you have stepped foot into an episode of Spanish underbelly. All the weirdos from the neighbourhood are there staking out their real estate. The different skin colours marked different corners, competing with their music styles. I took one look then got the hell out. This was no place for a child. There was an abundance of other beautiful plazas with views over the Alhabrama that I wouldn't have to risk a stabbing to sit in.
I noticed some highly entertaining graffiti there that said "fuck democracy. What role there was for free speech in the regime they preferred? Nonetheless, I was pleased to see the anti tourism graffiti give way for more typical teen angst.
Everywhere we went Matisse love prevails, and I have become a better paparazzi. In this cafe, she was whisked into the kitchen and came back with a churro. We got out as soon as possible and I pried it from her filthy little hands. Luckily it wasn't dipped in chocolate sauce or my health ideologies would have been crushed in a heartbeat.
We stayed in an Airbnb apartment, the host spoke no English so we did the entire booking through google translate. I loved the departing message and chalk it up to a translation issue... But is it?