A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

The lively Barrio Santa Cruz district of Sevilla thrives with tourists, leafy orange trees, a web of tangled streets, old world ambiance architecture and… secret cloisters! We knew they existed, and we tried to find some in Madrid, but alas, either the timing wasn’t right or we didn’t have the right password. This time, however, we found what we were looking for. Behind the impressive front gate of the Augustinian convent, in a dark corner, is a grand old wooden torno (lazy Susan) where your money gets magically replaced by sweet treats or (if you are quick enough and fluent enough to ask)… a consecrated rosary. And rosarios we received! Two rosaries from cloistered nuns who will find their way to my parents-in-law :). To a peaceful and prosperous future!

Stay tuned for more on Sevilla and our Cordoba side-trip.

Buen dia!

I love finding these secluded spots where few tourists are bound to go… Today, as our day had to be broken down with work, and since I was still feeling a bit woozy from the last couple of days of stomach ‘problems’, we set out to find the house of Joaquin Sorolla, a late XIXth century artist whose house, still in its original splendour, is now a shrine to many of his paintings.

It is not as secret as some of the places we have visited in the past; this beautiful museum is, after all, cited in guide books. However, as most tourists prefer the big ticket items, this little museum is often forgotten; especially as it is ‘hidden’ between tall standard apartment buildings on all sides. But I can tell you that it is a true delight to stroll through the front gardens then entering through a side door to walk from room to room admiring not just the exquisite paintings but each room’s decor, ambiance and aesthetics. I believe I, myself, would have been inspired to paint by looking through the foyer’s window at the rippling orange tree while sitting in my golden colored lounge chair.

His wife and muse is gracefully represented in many paintings which shed light, literally and figuratively, on the great love they share. One painting that struck me was one of his self-portrait depicting himself with his paint palate, his body facing away but his face turned towards us, toward her, as if saying this is all for you! Under his portrait, he wrote by hand A mi Clotilde…  Joaquin.

In the gardens of Joaquin Sorolla’s house, now Museo Sorolla