127. Sacromonte (The Caves)

I ventured to Sacromonte upon my hostel receptionist’s suggestion. I had no idea of it whatsoever until this (too) young receptionist told me about the Gypsies caves and how it’s located near the Albayzin.

Naturally, my curiousity was piqued so off I went with a couple of friends from the hostel!

And oh boy, am I glad I went there!

The view on the way was absolutely stunning!

Sacromonte is a neighbourhood in Granada, traditionally known as the Gypsies/Gitano quarter. During the reign of the Moors, the rocks in the hills were found to be soft enough to carve out caves to be made homes. After the Moors were expelled from Andalucia, the gypsies shifted in, claiming it as their territory. Now, it is the homes of a mixture of gypsies, artists and other hippies living the lifestyle. It is no wonder the place is the place for raves and drugs alike.

Granted, it doesn’t exactly have the best of reputations. But I was with friends and I went in the day when everything seemed quite innocent and so… different.

I loved how the homes were built into the hills and how everything was whitewashed. The occasional lines of laundry being hung out to dry also added to the whole homely feel.

Its location, sandwiched between the Albayzin and the Alhambra also meant it has stunning views of not only the mountains, but of the Alhambra and the city. Man, I wouldn’t mind staying there if just for the views!

We walked up the steps into the courtyards (if you can call them that) of some of the houses and could see that most of the houses aren’t in the best of conditions.

I was really excited to see that, you know, there were really caves in the literal sense of the word!

But it began to seem kinda perverse after a while, to be walking outside people’s homes and taking them as exhibits, so we moved away.

I was told that many types of night activities occur in Sacromonte but as I walked away and saw the Alhambra in the distance, I thought, no matter how vile some of the activities were, the Alhambra will still cast its magical spell in the night.

Or at least, that was the optimist in me talking.

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