|A visit to roses in the Botanical Garden in Madrid|
These last weeks, we have tried to continue our return to favorite spots as well as discover more of Spain. We went to see "Clementine" at Teatro de Zarzuela in Madrid. Zarzuela is Spanish light opera, entertaining, easy to follow plot of lovers thwarted first by parents and second by plot twist, subtitles in English and Spanish, polished voices and lively music.
|Red bricks and white stone create the Mezquita|
arches in Cordoba.
Mezquita in Cordoba
|Detail in the Mezquita|
|Sagrada Familia in Barcelona|
Gardens of Spain
|Rich, Donna and Dave|
on Cordoba patio tour
|Flower filled patio in Cordoba|
Donna and Dave returned with us to Madrid and the three of us continued the flower theme with a walk and lots of photos at the Botanical Gardens. The gardens span several acres in the heart of the city. As in much of Spain, the gardens are formal beds outlined by boxwoods and blooming with roses, rhododendron, iris, peonies on another gorgeous blue sky day in Madrid.
|Rhododendron blooming in the Botanical Garden|
|Peony bud with lady bug|
Travel lessonsTwo questions haunt these last days: What have I learned? What will I take home with me that will influence my future? I'd love to dash these off higgledy piggledy, but no.
I have learned that I feel at home being in a house that's personal even if the personality is not mine; I love MC's books in Spanish and English; I love the family pictures in the hallway; the pottery from different places in Spain; the DVDs for children or adults in Spanish or English; hanging wet laundry on the roof, especially now, but even during the winter; I love, love the washing machine that sings sweetly and cheerfully to us when the load is finished; the sketches of Segovia and Salamanca and Moxente blending with West Virginia scenes; the sunlight that pours in; the furniture pieces that have known time and family.
I love this simple Spanish barrio stocked with mayores - the old and the very old - and young families with children and dogs. We love the little cafes that spring up beside playgrounds where parents sip and chat and kids dart from swings to table. At minimum, each block has two restaurants and three bars, but try as we might, we have missed more than we made. Rich has loved cooking our main meal, served between 2 and 4 p.m. He loves the mercados, the sausage guy, the fish guy, Ali's vegetables, Jose's jamon and cheese, the German-style bread two blocks further than other bakeries, cafe solo and Spanish conversation at tiny Chispa in the mornings. He watches Real Madrid and Atletico and Barcelona futbol at Casa Vicente within spitting distance if you lean out the kitchen window.