A couple of years ago, I read ‘The Return’ by Victoria Hislop. Although the first few pages made me think it would be just another ‘romance abroad’ book, it soon became clear that it was far more than that, encompassing the Spanish Civil War and the consequences on real families in Spain. And a story based in Granada where the Ramirez family run a bar. What’s not to like?
Now, as is the case with books you love, you create this image of the people and places from the story and this one was very clear for me. I have no idea which particular bar Victoria Hislop had in mind when writing the book, if any, but in my mind, the place was absolutely Plaza Bib-Rambla and the bar was Cafe Bib Rambla. I have no idea if a family runs the bar – anybody else know? – but they are running the bar today in my mind.
At this very moment, I’m sitting in that very bar. The sun is shining and as has happened from time to time since I came to Granada 3 months ago, it has struck me that I am actually living here now. In Spain. In Granada.
Maybe it’s the sunshine or too many cortados already – are you allowed 3 before 11am? – but it’s suddenly strangely overwhelming. But also rather lovely…