Aesthetics – Granada, 2001

A few conversations lately made me recollect the first summer holiday I enjoyed as a young adult with a best friend, and not my family. It was the summer of 2001, and I couldn’t have felt more grown-up. Whatever ambivalence we have about our past, there’s no denying the intoxicating excitement of being so young and new to life, ever ready to fall profoundly in love with world discovery. These poorly captured aesthetics of Granada’s magic from that particular summer, represents all that I miss about youth – the promise of a new life.

Within hours of arrival and a bit of an overreaction to the impressive fortresses of Moorish homes.

A square we hung out at regularly in the Al-Baysin area overlooking the majestic Al Hambra.

White stucco fronted homes peppered with rich green foliage throughout.

The great Al Hambra… Moorish architecture in all its extravagant splendour. Full whole days were not enough to scour through the endless property and its grounds. Every piece, every carving, every calligraphy had so much thought and intention poured into it. It’s astounding how the imagination of those before us can continue to enchant us centuries after it was ever conceptualised. I’m still not sure if what we created in the modern age has the capacity to last far into the future the way that the past has touched us today.

Back-streets and alleyways of Al-Baysin. Filled with tea houses, shisha parlours, ottoman stores and baklava sweet shops. And from time to time, a man and his donkey.

There was always live music, chatter and life coming out of this restaurant serving Moroccan and Mediterranean meals. We would sit on the steps across from it and watched people watching people. Comforting to know that a latest google search, 20 years later, confirms that this bar still exists today –

Hallmarks of the region’s architecture.

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