Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Water music

Every village in the Sierra Nevada region of Spain is fed by the the melting snow of the high country and this is captured in a maze of channels which were constructed by the Moors more than five hundred years ago. As the water rushes down from the mountains having slowly made its way through the porous rock of the range to emerge through countless springs it's diverted into multiple waterways which then feed each village and every piece of farmland. Small lot holders are allocated a time when they can divert the flow to thier orchards. If you happen to have fallen out with the local manager of this syystem you might find you've been allocated your fifteen minutes at 4am in the dead of night.

The remarkable thing is that every time you walk through any village you are accompanied by the sounds of rushing water often running under the streets and then emerging at various points as fountains, drinking water and open channels. The water, cool and clear, literally seems to crash through these underground pathways sometimes splashing through grate covers onto cobbled streets to remind the walker of their presence.

As our guide at the Alhambra commented: 'The Moors created music with water allowing its natural flow and rhythms to tell their story; whereas the Christians harnessed the water as fountains and turned the music into noise. Think about the stream versus the tap.

In these villages you go to sleep and wake up to the music of water. Not all are attuned to this element. As one previous guest in our lovely watery cottage complained: "I was kept awake all night by the noisy drain ouside my window"


Jingle said...

love nature,
love the sound of water..
beautiful post.

Paul C said...

Very interesting to read about how water is used in Spain. Nothing like the sound of water fountains and rushing water.