Granada is yes a truly amazing city and has to be on every ones must place to visit before i die list, but travil a bit further inland and you discover the Lecrin Valley the region the Arabs called the Valley of Happiness, its mountians and valleys will, take your breath away, you can escape here on the fantastic state bus service and you can rent a rustic house sleeping 6 plus from as little as £230 per week about £35 per person per week, every village bar will serve you the best beer and an organic Tapa you will taste for just a euro, whilst Niguelas has a hugely popular classical Music festival that is free and built on solid region traditions that make working Spanards proud and the Muller Gardens Won over a pack of cards one of the must see Spanish Gardens.
Oddly you will find the English hidden away, the only English you see are holiday home owners who take a postive step to play and active role in village like and support every event, whilst the people that live in the valley seem to spend there lifes missing out on the wonders around them and spend endless hours watching back to back Soaps.
So people This is real Spain, no designer shops, no burger joints and no neon signs, just chilled bars, epic walks and peace and quiet that in any part of the world is increasingly hard to find whilst do not be shocked to see Labour MPs, Left Wing Celebraties worth a few bob and endless writers and dreamers.
If you take the plunge and like me take time to support the Spanish with your holiday cash, please hunt down the secret bar that is El Rincon, drive up or walk up through the Village until you come to the Old water Mill and charming building in which i have spent many happy hours, but these days seems empty and unloved, here you will not get the basic Tapas you get from all the other Bars in the village, did want to spend more time here but beer was warm and no tapas given even though beer price is most expensive of the 11 bars covering the village, not acceptable .Set back hidden round the back of Los Lentos watermill is the village chill out zone, a Bar with rustic furniture, fairy lights and views to dream about, at first i did think this was a middle class bar for the English, but scratch the surface and you uncover a small team of English woman and a dashing Spanard who do wonders with local produce and are very creative with the superb quality of the Tapas they serve, although the Burgers are great, the toasted Pitta Bread Girls does not go, it is like biting into an old shoe box, which is a shame when the food is so good, the staff thoughtful fun and eager to please the local Spanish as much as the English, this time round i discovered that romance has hit the bar and young love does melt the heart, throw in the Bar dog that just showed up one day half starving and scared to death of people and you realise that these people may have a lot of front but they are brave giving up proberly great jobs to live a dream , whilst i did my best to boost numbers, it seems a plastic chair on a street side bar in the main Village is more to local taste, but i think my view is that El Rincon is just to special to go every day, or the Village English and Dutch visitors are just to lazy to discover, they are truly missing something special.
The festival of classical free Music and local tradition events happens from end of July until end of August is truly fantastic and i am at a loss as to why the local English residential population fail to support, but they do need to do more to welcome people who are not spanish and many people say organisers do not make any effort to welcome none Spanish which is a real shame., whilst the stunning Muller Gardens has special camp tea in the Garden partys organised by La La , who like much else about this place is pure charm.
As Spain hits hard times you may think that people like this do not matter, festivals, culture and work and chasing a dream are for others. i want the dreams to work out, i want the young lovers to be forever happy i want the Spanish to vote for the Party of the Valley the local group not unlike Londons People Before Profit,
going by the number of Indy funny people and Indy bands who escape like me to this region we hope you will make the trip, not to spoil but to enjoy and to insure all that is wonderful remains and bars like El Rincon are the rip roaring success they deserve to be .
Whilst away i read the best researched book on the economy i have ever read, easy to follow and a must read, not sure if the book will shock you or just give you the proof that you need in a good economics debate, But get the book The Gods of Money