Like many cities, it is impossible to see the city of Granada in one day. And it is even harder when you take into account that the famous Alhambra is part of the trip to Granada. Tickets to Alhambra are notoriously hard to obtain and we ended up not visiting the site. I was bummed at first but to tell you the truth now I am glad. We had only one day for the city on this trip and it was filled to the brim with so much beauty that I am not sure there was any place left for Alhambra! We saw it from the outside - framed by marvelous Sierra Nevada Mountains. And now there is a "must-see" reason to return to the gorgeous city of Granada in the future.
The last post about my parents on this blog was at the end of November - that was the week when my parents arrived in the United States. Since then we all worked on getting used to their new life as refugees in California: they got medical insurance and found a little free library nearby, met some cats, dogs, and people. But Ukraine is always on their mind - especially this week when Kharkiv was bombed several times. One of the bombs hit one block away from their home and where other family members live now. My relatives wrote to me "Windows survived but it was very very loud, we are writing to you from the hallway where walls are protecting us in case the windows would not stand the next bomb".
When the first photo account of this shelling arrived I realized that the place that was destroyed was where I stood to paint the street across just a few years back. Below are photos of my sketching process and a photo from the night of the bombing. I was standing between the trees in the night photo - looking to the right.
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Here are words from my letters:
Cordoba Part 2: Animal-related notes about the city :) (links to all the parts of the story are at the bottom of the post)
On the very first day of walking through the streets of Cordoba, we wandered inside an old abbey where on the wall there was a stuffed crocodile of undetermined age. It looked exactly as my jet-lagged body felt and in my mind became a mascot for this brilliant city. An actual city logo unfortunately does not have a crocodile - but some geometric designs and palm trees - you can see it on the sketch from the horse show below :)
On many many walks around Cordoba, we saw so many wonderful dogs who looked very comfortable as if this was their city - that I ended up taking lots and lots of pictures and sharing them daily on instagram during my trip. Some ended up in my sketchbook as well.
There were also lots of "cat sanctuaries" throughout the city - places with many really well-cared-for cats. And we saw some people climbing the wall to position food closer to them.
One of the evenings was dedicated to seeing a horse show which Cordoba is famous for. No photography is permitted there - I am not sure why. But it was too dark for good photos anyway and I had fun drawing some gorgeous animals in motion! Some of the tricky poses that were demonstrated during this show I was later able to identify in art museums. It was an interesting thing to compare - thinking about the royal sitting on a horse after seeing what an actual person on the back of a horse that is walking on hind legs looks like.
I started posting about my recent trip to Spain without a plan or organization and pretty quickly became overwhelmed and discouraged since there were so many things I wanted to remember, share, and draw from photos or memories or my sketches... but only so many hours in a day exist and time started to slip away and with it, my memories and enthusiasm started to fade. But I found a way back and this post is for my future self - here is how to not do everything at once :)
As you can see I put together a rough map of what I wanted to talk about and roughly connected that to what images I had defined as most important to remember what I wanted to tell. Added some screenshots of scans and photos, some notes, and connected those to my mind map - and very soon things started to line up in order. Here are posts about this trip:
- More from the trip (winter 2023-24, Spain)
- Pavement as mosaics with the river stones - enchinado pavement.
- Patios - gardens inside the homes. How so much greenery can fit into even the smallest space, how much diversity in plants, and how these gardens are framed by the walls, floors, sky, and amazing ornamented gates and window decorations. And flower pots!
- Tiles - everywhere little and large tiles with beautiful ornaments or pictures, stories, or just colors. On the floor, on the walls, on the pavement, on the bottoms of the balconies, on the sides of the windows - everywhere!
This year I remembered to get a bulb with an Amaryllis plant and I got two - one for myself and one for my Mom. Sharing these experiences short-distance is one of the exciting things in my life after my parent's arrival to California.
Here are some of my first recordings about my bulb:
And some of the photos of Mom's Amaryllis. I am hoping that she will start drawing soon too - but for now - she takes lots of photos :)