Ilivetolearn's Blog

April 19, 2006

processions galore

Filed under: food/groceries,Spain — ilivetolearn @ 10:07 am

Last year we happened to be in Plaza Mayor on Good Friday, trying to find Los Galayos, a restaurant where we had a 9:30 reservation. Because we were hopeless neophytes, we were lost and disoriented and completely taken by surprise when several processions involving hundreds of people marched through the square. A local eccentric appointed himself our guide, and explained that the hooded figures eerily reminiscent of KKK marchers were actually penitents, that the dozens of elaborately black-clad ladies of a certain age wearing huge mantillas and carrying rosaries were in mourning for Christ, and that the bearers of the statues used to be all-male but that barrier had recently been broken. Everything else he said convinced us that he was a candidate for institutionalization, but he was right about the details of the processions.

This year we planned it all carefully…an earlier dinner at Los Galayos (in 2005 we actually sat down to eat at 11:30) followed by procession-watching. We even thought we might run into our own crazy-brilliant Don Quixote again. Unfortunately it rained. The confraternities that organize the processions can’t possible carry priceless statuary through the streets in the rain, so there was…nothing. It’s the only time I have seen Plaza Mayor absolutely deserted. We would have been sorely disappointed if we had not been in Granada from Wednesday through Friday morning and seen our fill of processions there.

But dinner was fine. Los Galayos has become one of our favorite restaurants and we take lots of visitors there. You can eat outside on the Plaza itself, outside on a side street (on a terrace equipped with heaters), or inside. The highlight of the meal for the carnivorous Carmean children is the hot stone they bring to your table so you can grill your own thinly-sliced buey (ox) or beef.

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