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Sleep When You Die #22 – Granada, Spain

Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image

This morning I awoke and left an hour before dawn in order to hike up a steep foothill that overlooks the majestic Alhambra Castle here in Granada. It was still dark as I scooted across the ancient and empty cobblestone streets to the trail that was to lead my way. After coming across the largest snake I’ve ever seen outside of a cage the prior afternoon on the same hill I was excited but cautious as I snuck through the lonesome, dark woods.

Once out of the woods new cautions came into consideration as the trail at times was either overgrown, really steep upon the rocky slope, or lead up to make-shift shelters that I preferred not to know who was sleeping inside them. The Native American came to the forefront within me. Senses all firing.

As the sky began to brighten I was an hour into this trek and still a good distance below the top. My fatigue began to set in and with it the doubt of whether or not I had made a wrong decision to even take this hike. Slowly but surely however the top became more than a mirage, and I was filled with that nice sense of adventure and purpose similar to that scene in “Song Remains the Same” when Jimmy makes the climb up a similar height. I started imagining a shaman or Luke Skywalker waiting at the top with words of hope for my receipt in the fresh light.

As I approached the top, the view across the valley was flooding with that nice purple light that always recalls Monet, and then as I came upon the level land of this climb there was indeed an old man jogger coming my way on the road that was a part of this park I had been aiming for. In a full sweat and breathing visibly heavy, I offered the greeting, “Buen dias.” to which he replied, “Vive!” It was a nice moment.

And so I took my photos of the sun’s progressive slide over the “Windless Mountains” of Andulusia known to us tourists as the Sierra Nevadas, and continued on towards the east to snap some shots of the castle top. Then I headed down the road on the opposite side to arrive at the gates of Alhambra Castle for its opening.

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