We met a friend last night who had just spent a few nights in Granada, one of the few places she had been able to visit in Spain. She was staying in a cheap hostel (21 euros a night! In 2010!) overlooking a typical Granadan Plaza, with an old church at one end. At midnight she turned off the lights and lay in bed waiting for sleep, exhausted after a day of sightseeing, when suddenly, she heard the distant sound of drums.
As the drumming got louder and louder, she got up, opened her shutters, and went out onto her small terrace overlooking the Plaza. Suddenly an entire troupe of drummers and trumpeters processed slowly around the corner into the Plaza, followed by ladies in full festive Andaluz regalia, and lastly, at the end of the procession, a vast, ornate wooden float with Maria on top, shouldered by a couple of dozen men underneath.
They marched slowly into the square and up to the church where the festivities continued into the night.
“It was like a dream”, she said, “like a film… right there at my feet.”
More often than not I’ve found these very special experiences of Spain happen in Andalucia, but we’ve stumbled across equally fantastic fiestas in La Rioja and Galicia, and there is something uniquely captivating about the way these things suddenly come upon you in Spain.
Have you ever experienced a ‘sudden magic of Spain’ moment?