Saturday, August 15, 2009

Evening walk in Granada, Spain

"Everyone has a right to walk from one end of the city to the other in secure and beautiful spaces. Everybody has the right to go by public transport. Everybody has the right to an unhampered view down the street, not full of railings, signs and rubbish." - Richard Rogers

Grenada is a beautiful city. It is constantly being cleaned. The ground under my feet is always interesting, if not deliberatly patterned and maintained. Space between buildings expands and contracts in interesting ways. The old is preserved while the new shows attention to detail, and they are comfortably intermingled.

The beginning of my walk started at Plaza Nueva and continued on the street called Paseo de los Tristes (Walk of the Sad Ones - once the route of funeral processions to the cemetary at the edge of town) along the Darro river. For americans not accustomed to this, note the narrow road/ wide path eveyone is walking on. It is shared by both people and cars/buses. There is no designated sidewalk/curb.

When traffic comes through, people move aside and the vehicles slow down to pass. The night I was walking, two men were moving a refrigerator down the street as well.

The remainder of a formerly grand bridge that reached over to the Alhambra

This plaza was a great place to stop and hang out, people watch or get something to eat. And overhead was the Alhambra.

The Albayzin has early pockets of darkness. Note the patterned ground and the steps. This is not an area accessed by vehicles, only by foot. (below is a flash photo of the ground I was standing on.)

These stairs interested me. There is a small alleyway up above, and the stair spill out onto Plaza Nueva. So the two smooth strips allow bikes & scooters access down to the plaza with out having to circle around.

Plaza Nueva

Gran Via de Colon, the main road through Grenada, with the Cathedral in the background. Note the street light. These line the street and have an interesting design. They look like a Mondrian drawing in 3d or an abstraction of the Schroder House by Rietveld. This cubic piece hangs over the side walk, while a very sleek, singular linear light stretches over the road.
The photo below shows the unique curb design. The only other place I saw something similar was on the waterfront in Barcelona. This creates a graceful buffer from the street traffic, that includes the series of planted trees and flowers. Again, I have to mention.... this city is so clean!

Street sign embedded into the side walk - very handy for tourists! And beautifully done.

Headed toward Plaza de Bib-Rambla One of my favorite things about the cities I visited was the ease in getting around on foot, the safety of walking alone and the amount of light in public spaces that made it possible. Even though I live in an old central neighborhood in Raleigh, NC, I would probably not walk alone to the end of my dark quiet street before getting the creeps and turning around.

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