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Photographs and Commentary by Debra Jan Bibel

Music: Soleá  [Cante Gitano / live juerga in Andalucia / Nimbus: 3 min excerpt] 

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We reverse course and head back to Sevilla and Hotel Plaza de Armas.  By now, we have adapted to the €30 lunches arranged by Eduardo. The original itinerary throughout stated that we would be on our own for lunch, but only twice did that occur (perhaps it meant only that the tour would not cover it ). No one truly complained though, since Eduardo knows his restaurants and despite the expense we get to see attractive, well-decorated places and receive good, tasty food. Furthermore and more important, the comradeship developed around the tables was a dividend. I gained 6 pounds on this journey and immediately attacked that load (successfully in a couple weeks) when I arrived home. I was disappointed that vegetables were largely absent or limited, being used to California's variety and abundance, and, moreover, I ate far more meat than accustomed. At home, I am practically a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I actually ached for broccoli. The Spanish certainly love their pork products, but I think that they mastered lamb, which was tender and full of flavor.  After lunch, we toured the great cathedral and the adjacent Alcazar, from Gothic to Moorish. If the Alcazar is an architectural feast of Islamic architectural design, what awaits in Granada when we see Alhambra, one of the world 's architectural wonders?


Other than the tram, pedestrians rule the street in this section.

Mesón Don Raimundo. A lovely restaurant. Featured wall plates. Another converted minaret. Our witty guide to the largest cathedral in the world.

Columbus is entombed here.

The four kings of a united Spain [Castile, León, Aragón, Navarra] carry him.

Columbus before heaven.

Rich detail.

High vaults.

Tall columns.

Gothic, Gothic, Gothic Abstract rib vault junction. Gold; no one knows how much. Detail of vignettes. The choir; angels trumpet. From cathedral to Alcazar.
The courtyard. Detail of ornamentation. Varied columns. Stunning arabesques. Luxurious design.

Other side of the courtyard.

In the evening we visit the summer home, used for entertaining, of the family of gypsy guitarist, Raimundo Amador. His daughter Carmen, a dancer, participated in the two concerts. Raimundo was unavailable, on a gig. The family was generous in food and did not eat until we were done. Later, an impromptu jam took place, with dancing that included the sweet, well-behaved children. The music tradition and training begins at birth. This opportunity was indeed special as gypsies [Romani] do not welcome uninvited visitors. Here, no borders existed between musicians and we were able to tag along and be warmly treated.  That fact that the house and pool would never past a public health inspection speaks of the gypsy life that focuses on the present, never speaks of the past, and hardly plans ahead. I know some American jazz musicians where that applies, too.

A table full of food.

All of us along a long table.

Not gourmet but family style. Mhijea is here also. José directs attention.

Maya serves some wine.

Hail Eduardo!

Children enjoy the moment.

Carmen strikes a pose. Yuval's group begins the entertainment. Musical communication. Norik adds his timbre.
José provides cante. The family listens. They now participate with palmas. Enter the guitar. Juerga! José plays the cajun. The spirit ascends.
The duduk enters. Cannot stop the feet; Baile! Carmen now must dance. Duende.    

As the midnight hour approaches, the party breaks up.  We depart in good spirits having participated in a remarkable informal event, a gypsy party, and we were the honored guests.   Thank you, Yuval!

Appendix: Food


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