Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Old postcard of a somewhat
alien-looking landscape

Good morning! As I get back into the groove after a few days of working and mowing and working some more, here's a funky old postcard showing a place that looks like it could be straight out of a Star Trek (TOS) set.

This real-life spot is located in Guadix, a city of 20,000 in southern Spain.

The "Libreria Perez Ruiz" postcard is titled "The Caves View" (or Vista de Cuevas). These centuries-old cave homes, carved from tuff (soft rock made from volcanic ash), are known by a number of names, including Barrio de Santiago, the troglodyte cave dwellings and Barrio Troglodyte.

Here's some history from
"The most interesting feature of the Guadix area is that many of the inhabitants of this large town live underground, in the southern part of the town, in what are known as cave houses. The jagged ochre terrain and the dazzling whitewashed chimneys and doors of the caves contrast dramatically with the snow-covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada, which loom above. The cave district is signposted on the main street of the town as the 'Barrio Troglodyte'.

"You can drive through the cave area, but you should also get out and take a stroll. The 'troglodytes' [are] very friendly people and are also very house-proud, or 'cave-proud', as you wish. If you show an interest in their homes, you will be sure to be invited in to have a look. Ever since the Moorish times, the Andalucians have been fond of living underground because it is the best way of escaping the summer heat waves, and don't be surprised if you are invited in to have a look around. Most of today's cave-dwellings are well-appointed, like any other Spanish home, and some are even quite luxurious, with marble floors, fitted kitchens, faxes and internet connections."
(I was kind of hoping they'd be more like hobbit holes, light on modern technology and safe from the boss's email. But you can't stop progress!)

For more about the caves of Guadix, check out these articles on Seriously Spain and Travel Pulse.1

Getting back to the postcard, it was mailed to an address in Hagerstown, Maryland. Unfortunately, I cannot read the year on the postmark and there is no other indication of the date. The message states:
If you lived here you could "get away from it all!" Or wouldn't you want to? It was darn hot on July 7 as we drove through on the way to granada. However, there's a breeze in the shade and it cools off at night. An 8 year old budding capitalist sold us these cards & had handfuls of all kinds of foreign coin. Have a good vacation. See you in Sept.
M & M.
1. And, because of course there is, there's a 2013 Huffington Post article titled "9 Amazing Cave Villages You Can Still Visit."

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