As I write this blog, I sit in a quiet cafe across the street from el Prado, the main Spanish national art gallery (I just finished studying and writing about “Las Meninas” a painting by Diego Velazquez for a class assignment). In the distance I can hear fireworks as soccer fans celebrate in the street over Real Madrid’s victory. The combination of calm and chaos has defined this trip for me so far.
The abrupt fireworks reminds me of when we were in Granada and watched the dynamic Sevillana dance performance while situated in a place of serenity. Walking around Granada during the day, we passed the white buildings which sat on cobblestone streets and explored the entirety of the Alhambra complex from the tile palace, to the fountains, and green and flowered gardens. We swam in the rooftop pool overlooking the Alhambra in our hotel and sipped cinnamon tea in an Arabic tea house. I could not imagine this place as anything but restful.
But Granada changed pace in an instant. I witnessed the most artistic passion I have ever seen in the Sevillana dance performance. The restaurant staff shuffled us quickly into a small, long room which had chairs lining the perimeter (one said “Michelle Obama,” apparently she had watched the same show.) The lights dimmed, while red and green spotlights glowed on the dancers who performed right in front of us. The quick clacking of the dancer’s feet and their dramatic flair was up close and personal and filled with passion.
The tempo of this trip is ever-changing and has proven to me you can have it all—concord and commotion simultaneously.