Saturday, October 26, 2013

Greetings from Spain - Posting #3 and Last

After Granada and now in Barcelona:

 The day before my reservation to the Alhambra in Granada, I went to a lookout point. All of the buildings and gardens that make up the Alhambra were so much bigger than I had anticipated. It took 3 shots with my little camera to include all of it. The viewpoint was also a source of some enterprising Spaniards. A man played guitar and sang while a woman selling castanets did a wonderful job of displaying her ability to hold the rhythm of his songs. It was a pleasure to put something in the hat when they finished.

On the day of my visit to the Alhambra, I took the bus to the place where I was to pick up my ticket. I got turned around and didn´t know which way to head, so I asked a woman - the wrong woman. She handed me a sprig of rosemary and then demanded to see my palm. "uh-oh" came to mind. Of course, my palm indicated a long life, a return to Spain and all sorts of wonderful things for which she them demanded 5 Eu. No small sum. To get rid of her, I gave her 1 Eu, but she was insistent, so I gave her another and told her I needed the rest of my change for the bus. It was clear that I had been caught by one of the gypsy, who are very clever about wheedling money out of the unsuspecting.

When I finally arrived at the Alhambra, the meeting with the gypsy and various other problems with directions found me in a foul mood. However, once I started walking along the tree-lined, cooling pathways with the sound of water as it splashed down the hill, my mood lightened immediately. It was the most beautiful series of gardens, fountains and pools imaginable. I think I should be allowed to live there. That way, I could always be in a pleasant state of mind.

Another wonderful bit was the place where I am staying in Barcelona is only a block from a museum which happens to have a wonderful exhibit of the works of Camille Pisarro - known as the "Father of the Impressionists." There were 67 paintings of his and I took them all in today. Whew! It was an unexpected but thrilling experience since he is a personal favorite of mine.

Two more days in Barcelona and I start my journey home. Sorry for the lack of images. When I sort them all out, I´ll post a few. No worries. It won´t be a case of lots of vacation slides. For the rest, you´ll see them as paintings. Until soon, R.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Greetings from SPAIN!!! Posting No. 2


It was a stroke of luck that I happened upon an Internet Cafe quite by accident. I was heading back to my room when I spotted the word "Internet" on a building.

Here´s what has happened to date:

I completed my time in Cordoba and the absolute highlight was the Cordoba Mosque. I have looked at so many photos of it and I can say that none capture the grandeur and the sheer size of it. I was truly awestruck. (I understand that at the peak of the Muslim time in Cordoba, the Mosque would have 40,000 followers praying there at one time!) It felt as if I was looking at one of the wonders of the world.

The next day, I left Cordoba via train to Seville. Here, the Alcazar was wonderful to view - especially the gardens. Originally, the gardens had been on a lower level and the buildings above, but an earthquake in the 1700s caused the engineers to bring the gardens in the front up to the level of the buildings. However, there is still an entry into what feels like a cave, but is actually what was once the lower level. All that is left to view is a wonderful lap pool. The posting reported that at one time it was open to the sky and was surrounded by trees. (I took photos of it and I´ll try to post soon. I don´t have my camera with me at the moment)

Tomorrow, I move to Granada. As promised, I will try to find a place for internet and include photos. This is all I can report now as I have to pack for my journey. Hasta luego! R.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Greetings from SPAIN! Posting 1

Hello and Hola!

It´s been almost a week since I landed in Spain. Presently, I am in Cordoba - having already left Madrid. I had a wonderful stay with my hosts in Madrid. The location was just great for transportation, markets, and quiet. The only fly in the ointment was that I arrived in Madrid with a sore throat, which matured into a full head cold.

In spite of that, I managed to make it to the Prado and the special exhibit of Velasquez as well as two of his successors as court painters. Funny enough, Velasquez´ style of painting the faces realistically but the clothes in keeping with Impressionism got me thinking of John Singer Sargeant. Maybe it´s true that there´s nothing new under the sun.

Cordoba personifies the southern Spain experience. It is a wonderful old city that has ruins dating back to year 1 CE! In the taxi from the train to the hotel where I´m staying, I could see the old Roman columns. Cordoba certainly shows the blend of so many historic times.

Today, I boarded an open-air bus for a tour of the city. I´m hoping to share the photos on this posting.

I´m sufficiently recuperated to go to Madinat al Zahra tomorrow. I wrote my final paper about the ruins in an art history class. What a thrill to actually see it!

For now, I´m going to try and post a few images.

Here´s the courtyard in the hotel in Cordoba:

For all the Northwesterners, here´s what a clear blue sky looks like:
This is a typical Street in the old section of Cordoba:
It´s not many images, but it´s a really clunky process trying to post them on this computer. This is just a taste of more to come. Hasta pronto! R.