The Madroño, it’s not just a legend…..

Everyone who has visited Madrid has seen, photographed or met up with friends at the famous Bear and Madroño Statue.  A cute little bear trying with his paw to grab a bit of this unusual and fairly unknown fruit.  This symbol, along with the seven stars that have been known to represent either the Ursa Major Constellation or seven castles that used to surround Madrid, make up the Coat of Arms of this capital city. There are many different versions about why the bear and tree also became part of the Coat of Arms. Some say it is the symbol of possession and power.  My favorite interpretation so far was one that my sister Denise was given late one night in a bar in Madrid.  Something about bears molesting trees. Anyhow, I would imagine that for most visitors this statue in the Puerta del Sol is their first and last contact with a Madroño Tree. But, they can be found all over the country.

The other day we went for a walk with friends near the Alhambra.  We eventually found ourselves wandering through the Carmen de los Martires.  “Carmenes” in Granada are typical homes with beautiful garden areas.  Sometimes Granada is referred to as The City of Carmenes.  This particular Carmen is  very large and open to the public at certain hours during the day. There are beautiful views of the city, extravagant gardens and even peacocks.  It is the perfect place to enjoy peace and quiet or read a book.  With three kids in tow we had less peace and quiet but we did enjoy the views and had fun tasting the funny fruit off the Madroño trees.  I heard once that if you eat too much of this fruit it can actually intoxicate you.  We didn’t have time for that but it was fun to taste.


pieces of my Granada……..

el niño de la pinturas


Luna and I walked home the other night……at sunset.  Sometimes I have moments of bliss in this city.  My Granada……the part of it that has always been a part of me, and always will be. There are places that I walk by everyday that are as familiar as my own breathe.  Graffiti, the smell of jasmine and the old gentleman sitting on the bench.

el niño de las pinturas


Sometimes the beauty of the Sierra Nevada silences me.  I forget it is there.  Then,  I look up as it is whispering Good Night.  With the last traces of snow,  its magic casts a shadow over the city.

sierra nevada

Granada is small enough that while I’m sitting having a coffee, a friend suddenly shows up on her bike unexpectedly.  People recognize me wherever I go, whether we met yesterday or years ago.  But, you can also hide in its cracks and crevices.  Under a tree in the Alhambra, in a hidden cafe or bar, or sitting on a rock near the river.

Alhambra

I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. One of them.