Monday, 4 July 2016

Granadilla: Scrumping For Olives (Necia Has A Bad Time)

Granadilla, Spain (Granadilla, España)
November 2015
Abandoned in the 1960's, Granadilla is a living representation of a medieval town untouched by the spread of more modern influences like tourism and mass consumerism.
We parked our car Denis in the tiny carpark right outside the town's defensive wall (he needed a break after the awfully pot-holed approach). Walzing in, we found that there was no one collecting an entrance fee so we promptly scaled the wall for a good vantage point over the town.

One of the first things we noticed was that there were a large number of students labouring over the restoration work. Since the 1980's, the government has been funding the preservation of Granadilla, as it's a brilliant relic of a bygone era. They were stooped over buckets of cement and mounds of grit, reforming the cobblestoned street.

Beginning our circumnavigation via the walls, we could see down into people's backyards, olive groves and paddocks. I thought that as I enjoy an olive or two every now and then, why not try one straight from the tree? Surely it would be just as good as picking an apple from the branch - fresh and delicious! Don't worry, I wasn't completely deluded - I knew that olives had to be stored in brine for some time before their bitterness ebbed. However, I thought that they might taste something akin to an olive, just with more bitterness, and not like a tiny ball of bitter. As soon as my tooth pierced the flesh, I knew I had made a mistake. It tasted terrible. I don't regret the experience in the least, though, as I feel I learnt a valuable lesson. Also, growers of olive trees probably don't have to worry so much about scrumpers (thieves of frutas) as those who grow apples and oranges.

Looking out from the wall, we saw a large glossy lake reflecting the distant hills and snapped suitable Instagram photos (because as you may have heard, if it's not on Instagram, it didn't happen).

At one point we climbed down a staircase onto soft land again, and were watched by a group of well-fed cows. I greeted them with "Hola, vacas!" and one vaca with four double chins chewed pensively in my direction.

Further down the rustically dirt road, we met a lovely white horse who slobbered on my hand (either affectionately or more likely in search of hidden carrots). I said "Adios, caballo!" and we moved on. I'm getting pretty good at Spanish, you guys.

On the path leading up the Plaza Mayor, the students seemed more interested in singing along to Justin Bieber and leaning on wheelbarrows than actually working. Fair enough, it looked like a strenuous job.

The plaza mayor felt very different from a plaza you would find in a larger town - it wasn't even paved for the most part! Perhaps the students are planning to perform that task later on, or maybe they've decided to leave it as grass.

I don't know how many people actually live in Grenadilla, but it can't be many. Aside from the students, we saw maybe two others and one was an elderly gentleman on his evening stroll.

On one side of the plaza was the Casa de las Conchas, a seashell house. One of the shells had gone walkabout so I replaced it with a well-positioned teacup. Hey, if pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago use a scallop shell as a soup ladle and cup, then I can use a cup as a seashell!

On the road out of Grenadilla I just had to get a photo of the state of the pot holes. Look how many and how deep! Maybe they should first work on the road leading to the town and only then on the town itself.

Ah, to be on a real road again. We spotted a couple of the iconic Spanish bull silhouettes and appreciated the sunset. Shortly after this, the sky conspired with the clouds to form an unnatural-looking arrangement. Fog rolled in over the road and it appeared as though someone had taken a bright pink lipstick tube and swiped it across the top part of the sky, leaving the bottom a hazy white.

Today's post was almost called: Speaking Spanish Like a (2-year-old) Boss