The tourist train that wends its way up into Albaicín in Granada has to navigate some pretty tight bends – it does not always end well.
This was certainly the case recently when rainfall made the cobblestones slippery and before the driver and passengers knew it, the train skidded, jackknifed and became jammed between the walls on both sides of the Carril de la Lona.
Nobody was injured although having a toilet on board might be considered in the near future.
But there might be no future for this awkward vehicle because it often becomes stuck in the narrow, meandering lanes of the old city.
For this reason the opposition party, Vamos Granada, through its city councillor, Marta Gutiérrez, has asked why the train isn’t eliminated once and for all (the same could be said for some politicians, perhaps) as nobody actually likes it; certainly not the locals.
The reason that locals hiss and cross themselves when the train goes by is because it clogs the place up and its very existence is justification, the City Hall considers, for the elimination of much more popular bus routes.
Even the tourists don’t like it because they feel that they’re being driven around town like a mobile zoo exhibit for the merriment of the locals.
All that hissing and the brandishing of crucifixes to ward off its nefarious presence is certainly not conducive of festive sightseeing, after all.
So, if the locals don’t like it and the tourists shun it, not to mention the fact that the driver is now a nervous wreck, who gibbers about being possessed, what indeed is the point?
Perhaps the dark dwellers of the Palace of Doom, a.k.a., The City Hall are motivated by what little money it brings in and the actual expense of eliminating it. You see, the Tren Turística is a private venture and pays a yearly fee, a bit like the private companies that run the Blue Zones in many towns.
So, should Granada bring back flogging… I mean, bus routes? A nice mini-bus affair that doesn’t have to haul carriages in order to accommodate passengers and thus can navigate with gay abandon through the treacherously narrow streets of Albaicín without fear of being devoured by a wall?
That and many other searching questions next week – stay tuned!
(News: Metropolitan Area, Granada, Andalucia)