May 19, 2013 by ebostick1212
Have you ever seen anything that was completely and utterly over-the-top, and you still step back and think “whoa, that is gorgeous” ? I have had a few of those moments. The massive James Rosenquist painting hanging in the Guggenheim. The absurdly priced, waaaaay too high, stilettos. Of course most recently, the blur of colorful flamenco dresses at the Feria de Abril.
I had another moment like this when I visited Córdoba this week, except in this case, it wasn´t just “whoa, this is gorgeous,” it was “I think I am in love!”
I travelled to Córdoba in hopes of peeking into Andalucían life and culture, during the yearly celebration of the Patios de Mayo. This UNESCO World Heritage Event is similar to a garden tour in the US, but so much better.
In a traditional Andalucían house, several rooms open up into a central patio. This format was derived from the Moorish and Roman patios of times past. In Córdoba, a friendly competition started between neighbors, it seems, and now people from all over the world come to see the amazing floral arrangements.
Sometimes the arrangements defy logic, like an entire wall covered in geranium flower pots. It is SO over the top, almost comical, but breathtaking at the same time.
As I wandered the streets, searching out the next patio, I was struck with not only the beauty of this ancient city, but also the sense of complete generosity. For the month of May, these ordinary people living ordinary lives in Córdoba, open their homes to thousands of tourists. This idea was supported when I realized that every Cordobés I have met has been extrordinarily friendly.
This sense of welcoming has been elusive during my time in Spain. The Sevillanos are friendly, of course, but don´t always go out of their way to be best friends with you. This has made it a little bit difficult to make friends here. I feel like this wouldn´t be a problem in Córdoba. It is smaller, less anonymous, and more outgoing…as represented in their Patio Festival. This warm feeling, along with the kitschy charm of the city made my heart do loop-de-loops, and made me realize that this is where I want to live.
I guess this would be a good time to mention that I received my auxiliar placement for next year. Want to know where it is? Not Córdoba the city, unfortunately, but a gorgeous, tiny town in the province: Priego de Córdoba. It seems like a place that I would enjoy!
Unfortunately I have some major decisions to make, which I will address in an upcoming post, and these decisions have only gotten harder after making such an incredible trip.
So for now, I am going to bask in the glow of a wonderful mini-vacation, and dream of having my own patio and geranium pots one day.