My mom arrived in Madrid on an overnight flight on November 5. The opening for my show had been the night before, but regardless I woke up early, caught the 7am bus to Cordoba, a 9:30am train to Madrid and she was there waiting for me. I was so thrilled to have her in Spain. I knew she would love it and she did.
We stayed in Madrid for two nights. On our first day we went to the Real Jardín Botánico gardens, the Prado Art Museum, and did a little tapas tour of our own near the Puerta del Sol. The Prado was a little overwhelming, but amazing. The tapas and wine were fabulous.
The next day we set out sights on El Rastro Flea Market, the biggest in Europe. We walked and shopped until we dropped and we estimate that we only saw 1/3 of it. It really is a flea market like no other I’ve been to. You could buy antiques, art, jewelry, leather goods, cheap electronics, memorabilia, scarves, clothing, or Moroccan imports. The range was incredible. We both became pack mules laden with goods.
Later that day we did some more shopping. I bought a wheeled carry-on bag which is serving me very well and served then to carry all the treasures we had bought at the flea market. My mom found a couple pairs of awesome shoes including low purple boots which are adorable.
While shopping we noticed beautiful evening light hitting some of the buildings over our heads so we raced to the palace gardens and joined a growing crowd of people at the overlook watching the most stunning sunset. Fiery orange and yellows blended perfectly into the richest blues and purples with a dab of pink for good measure.
We ended the day of shopping with more tapas and more wine. Here is a little video I made with some more street music and some of the food we ate.
From Madrid we headed to Córdoba in a first class train car complete with tapas.
I must say I really like Córdoba. It is small and manageable, but with plenty to do. The first day there I took Mom to the mosque. I had of course been there before (here and here), but it was worth going again. Not quite as surprising the second time, but rich with history and atmosphere. I also took Mom to Santos for their famous tortilla (spanish omelet).
After doing the things I had already done, we indulged in a couple hours in the arabian Hammam Baths complete with tea and massages. Oh my, I could do that everyday. Five pools at three different temperatures plus a steam room and a giant heated rock slab to lie on. One of my most relaxing experiences yet.
After some Moroccan food we wandered around the city.
The next day was Tuesday and more was open. Our first stop was Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (a fortress/castle) with its climbable tower and extensive gardens. My mom especially enjoyed the gardens after watching a freak fall snow storm burry hers a couple weeks ago (complete with the loss of power for 5 days!). In Córdoba the trees still had leaves, the oranges and pomegranates hung promisingly, and giant koi swam around looking for food in the pools.
After the castle we went to explore the 13 patios of Palacio de Viana. I quickly decided that I would definitely like to live in a house with 13 patios. Absolutely. Where’s my winning lottery ticket?
I shot some footage to really capture the beauty of these gardens and structures.
After the palace we headed to the bus station and boarded a bus for the countryside. With full bags we arrived in the pueblo of Belalcázar for a a few days of finishing my residency.