Granada, Spain 2006
(Moclin castle from the village)
In 1981, Manchester Morris Men first danced at a small village called Broadbottom, on the very edge of Greater Manchester. And have danced in the centre of the village every year since, usually on the Thursday evening closest to mid-summer. Who would have thought that 25 years later, this would lead to us dancing in the mountain villages near Granada, in southern Spain.
Early in 2006 we received an invitation to go and dance in the Summer Festival in Moclin and surrounding villages. And all because of increasing links between the two villages.
(Folk Dancing for all, in Moclin)
A 5:00am check-in at Liverpool Airport may not seem the best way to start a weekend, especially as we would be dancing at 10:00pm that night, to avoid the heat of the day. But an efficient pick-up by our hosts at Granada airport, a short 25 minute drive to Moclin and the opportunity for a siesta in the afternoon meant that things were soon back on track. Friday night saw us dancing both Cotswold and North-west morris outside one of the bar-restaurants in the village. And this was followed by social dancing for both the English and Spanish locals.
After a day spent at the Alhambra and in Granada, Saturday evening followed the same pattern, in the smaller, nearby village of Lojilla, which was celebrating its saint's day -- "fiesta patronales en honor a Santiago". [ The Granada Tourism web page I used to check this information has a photo of what looks remarkably like North-west morris dancers, with sashes and flowery hats - have a look! ]
Sunday was spent in Moclin, with visits to the church and castle, and
a lazy afternoon spent round a pool. Sunday evening we ate with our hosts
at the other bar-restaurant in Moclin, again followed by impromptu morris and
And Monday morning we flew back to the UK, and marginally cooler weather.
(North-west morris, midnight Friday/Saturday, in Moclin)
(Manchester MM outside the Bar Califato, Moclin)
(all photographs courtesy of Rizgar Homeri & Keith Ashman)