Sunday, May 9, 2010

Villajoyosa - City of Joy

I am siting in the perfect Bohemian apartment tucked away by the sea, tired but happy after a lovely dinner on the terrace with bits of rich wine and a lazy meander through town. The scene is Villajoyosa, a quaint and crumbling gypsy town sandwiched in between the infamous "shagging towers" of Bendidorm and the bustling city of Alicante. Martin and I arrived about 8 pm, and parked our car by the sea. I caught sight of a lone couple necking on the rocks and pointed them out to Martin with a mischevious comment.
We made our way through the cobble stoned and narrow streets flanked with crumbing multi coloured buildings painted in electric blue, rose pink, terra cota orange and buttercup yellow; rod iron terraces strewn with laundry; old women sitting on their doorsteps watching the world go by; gypsy children running through the plaza; a chicken tethered to a string surrounded by people; flamenco guitar floating through the air; and the brisk sea salt twang in my nose. Ahh its so nice to be back near the sea.
Martin's friend Mark decided to live here after literally pulling off the road on the way to Barcelona one he saw the sign on the motorway for Villajoyosa- City of Joy. Mark found the perfect treasure here...not too far from Alicante, but far enough away to get a genuine feel for this little town. Its absolutely charming in every glance, and very idealistic in a genuine way about old Spain. Mark has settled here and has written and directed a fabulous and touching 14:53 minute short film that will be entered into film festivals all over the word. Wonderful film.
Villajoyosa may have come by its name quite honestly. It is known to be the Chocolate City of Spain. Villajoyosa has imported chocolate from Ecuador and Venezuela starting in the 18th century. Mark told me that about 2 days a month the entire town reeks of melting chocolate, and his mouth was watering so much that he was looking in windows trying to figure out where the smell came from. I hope to be so fortunate when I awake tomorrow morning!
I am off to Granada tomorrow for 7 days of flamenco. Martin is heading back to London for school till the 17th of May, so I decided to hit up the infamously beautiful city of Granada and get incorporated with the flamenco scene there. I have been in contact with a girl Ana whom I met on Facebook via my friend and previous teacher Ana in Vancouver. Granada Ana has agreed to do intensive private lessons with me in addition to taking her technique classes so I am very excited. I am also excited but very nervous about practicing my Spanish- it is amazing being with Martin as he is fluent but it is time for me to learn as I really want and desire to speak Spanish. So me going off on my own and getting to know a city and people in another language will be an adventure in itself. I am also looking forward to doing some yoga there in Granada, and hitting up the only authentic (and open!!) Moorish hammam (bath).
Being in Spain has been amazing- it has been so lovely to get back and reconnect with not only myself but with Martin and the village. The days go by quickly but are relaxing and filled with things necessary to life- preparing food, cleaning, watching the mountains and the sunset, early to bed as to arise early the next morning. The mountains are vivid and always changing, and the only noises you hear are the birds singing or the goats bells as they wander down the rambla on the way to a green pasture. Its a very simple existence, one that I didn't think possible to live. But I am very happy and content at the moment, and the fact that I can get up and see a spotless blue sky, sun on my back, and birds song in my ears while savouring a cup of tea is full contentment. And not one that I was to relinquish too soon.
Anyway off to bed...Happy Mommas Day to you all.

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