Spring 2014 - France and Spain travel blog

The tour took us to see gypsy style flamenco in gyspy caves...

Inside the cave waiting for the performers. We got one drink (sangria)...

Two of the girls danced together but not really coreographed.

One female dancer.

Another of the female dancers. I thought gypsies had black hair.

Then a male dancer.

There was a guitar player and a singer (more like yowller) and...

Then the A-team came on. This woman was fabulous. She moved!!

The second female dancer. Definitely a dancer's legs.

The "headliner" male dancer.

And again the two female dancers. I liked this picture because it...

These were the roads the van driver had to negotiate. If Caribbean...

I was very disappointed by this tour. I was to have had a van ride to see a 9 PM flamenco show an hour and a half long in a gypsy cave and then had a walking tour of the Albaicin area (ancient white houses - now an upscale neighborhood with shops/restaurants/upscale tapas bars, etc. Well I got "gipped" (from gypsy?).

The van came at 8:10 instead of 8:30. Luckily, I was ready and down in the lobby. We drove all through the city and got to another hotel about 8:30. Turns out we were picking up a group of 13 Japanese tourists who hadn't finished dinner yet. So we waited until 9:05. Turns out the show wasn't really at 9:00 but 9:30. So finally the 13 Japanese people and their guide get in and that guide takes the mic and talks all the way to the show in Japanese.

When we got to the show we, I assume, were in a cave but it was not in the area against the hill in the gypsy area. This was an area with all store fronts, part of which were cut in caves but not like the tourist books describe.

I was most disappointed in the flamenco show itself. I had seen flamenco shows I liked in Mexico and was looking forward to that. The dancers used castanets there and usually two people danced together in a choreographed dance. The singing was actually good and contributed to the show. The guide (not the Japanese one) said this was a gypsy type of flamenco. OK. Now I know I don't like "zambra" style flamenco.

Also, the guy at the show kept trying to seat me away from my "group". Clearly, I did not belong to one of the two Japanese groups that were there so he kept trying to put me with "Anglos". If I had stayed there I would have lost track of my group and possibly lost my ride back. Finally right before the show he seated me right smack in the middle of the Asian group. I really felt like the odd person out.

While I was with the "Anglo" group I got to talking to an Australian couple that was traveling throughout Europe/Northern Africa for 2 months. We compared notes. One of the things they told me was they had gone to Casablanca and were to stay a week but they could only stay 4 days and had to cancel and leave. He said the hygiene and food preparation had them so concerned for their health they had to change their plans. That is the kind of thing I like to know. No trip to Casablanca. I like my creature comforts like toilets and paper and meat without flies.

I should maybe mention the drive. A small van picked us up. Besides the fact that the venue could not have held all the people coming on a large bus the streets in the area could not have accommodated one anyway. The roads were so narrow with so many twists and turns, continually going up or down hill, even the van had trouble taking the curves. And he wasn't going 5 MPH either. There were taxis, other vans and cars all jockeying to get close to the bars/restaurants in that area so walking or riding was just an accident waiting to happen. It reminded me of some of the cliffs on the Caribbean roads and the oblivious taxi drivers there. I wouldn't have fallen off a cliff but crashing through a bar wouldn't have been too pleasant either (ask the fire engine driver that did it to the Clintonville bar).

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