Every day I will be proud of my creative choices

Friday, June 14, 2013

Turkey and Spain 2012

This is a view from the roof terrace of our hotel in Istanbul, this was taken the first day we arrived.


It was a long trip to Istanbul… Our flights were cancelled a few hours before we were to take off and they told us we had to leave the next day, so we missed a day of our trip. I learned to not try and change plane reservations over the phone. I learned that you you should go 
straight to the airport and deal with the ticket agents there, they 
will get you on a flight out that day, the person from another country on the 
phone does not have that power.
It was rare, but on all three flights I got to lay down, the third 
flight I actually got three seats in a row. 
Istanbul is different than I remember from our trip in 1997 the city is 
really hip and there are so many stores and restaurants. The drive from the airport to our hotel along 
the waterfront makes it seem like a resort town, not like my impression 
 from before. I remember everyone in black clothes and I really stood 
out on the streets walking alone by myself. Now, there are tourists 
everywhere and shops and cute hotels.
We got to the hotel around 3:30 pm and saw our friend 
Saim, he sat with us at a 
nice cafe across the street, soon a gentlemen came and joined us. He 
was the father of a lady Saim knows in Kauai, Hawaii where he lives. This gentleman was a fascinating guy, he 
taught sociology at a college in California for 14 years, but after retirement 
he moved back to Istanbul. He writes books and has a tv show there, 
kinda like a cross between Dr Phil and Deepak Chopra of Turkey. He 
wants to open the minds of people here to see a different perspective 
about society and religion . What a nice experience to talk with him. 
At night we walked around the open public areas near the blue mosque, the 
weather is beautiful.


We met more people who are traveling with us for the boat trip and took a short walk near 
the water.  It is interesting that they set up balloons and bottles along the sidewalk for 
people to shoot at with pellet guns as a game off the peer. Little 
businesses everywhere.

Scott just said that Fatih and our friend Sarah ( sarah is from our home town ) 
are on the roof Terrance with Saim. 
Fatih was very nice, he is a very talented artist who lives in the southeastern part of Turkey. I have seen his paintings on FB, he has been conversing with Saim and came to Istanbul to meet all of us. He gave us a beautiful painting and some Turkish delight, 
so sad we can't speak to each other. I assumed that he knew English, but he must have used a translating software when he wrote us. Scott and I went and saw 
Sarah's hotel, she is near the Hagia Sofia, there is a nice view from her roof top terrace, you can see both the blue 
mosque and Hagia Sophia.
We met Saim and Fatih for lunch, the food was so good and I ate too much.

                  We all parted , Sarah took us to the Yerebatan cistern.

 So many tourists 
today walking around, it felt a little too much like an amusement park. 
Had to go back to the room to rest. The area is much nicer in the evening 
when it's empty.
The whole group got picked up by a van to be driven to a restaurant, 
there are a bunch of high priced fish restaurants underneath this big bridge that looks out 
to the sea and mosques. We should have know better, Saim was told that 
this place was for locals, ha, it was super touristy and super expensive. 
Nice view though. Afterwards we were driven to the Perez Palace Hotel where 
Ernest Hemingway, and Ataturk ( the beloved president that brought Turkey into the modern age ) and Agatha Christy wrote Murder on the Orient Express at this hotel. It's  Beautiful hotel, we 
sat in the lush bar and had drinks.

Slept until 9:15 because of ear plugs and sleeping pills. It,s strange 
but I don't feel jet lag, I was in San Francisco last month and that 3 
hours killed me. So happy to not have to deal with that. 
I went with Lorie and Peter Hendrick to the Coria church a Christian church little outside of the 
city center. This place has been in a bunch of travel books saying how 
beautiful and un-touristed it was, funny, because of that now there are a lot 
of tour groups. It is worth it though, the frescos are so unique and 
it's nice to see a different neighborhood. So many of the houses are 
wood and look like they should be in New Orleans. We had lunch at the 
expensive place next door, this is the last meal like that!!! I don't 
even like restaurants like that, so silly to eat at places like that.

Went back to the hotel, Scott had done a painting of the Hagia Sophia,  very sweet little scene. We walked over to go 
inside of the Hagia Sophia, took lots of photos.

 Had a bite then rested 
in the room. I was hoping to do a quick sketch on the roof Terrance to 
get myself going, but it is hazy out. Shucks, Scott is out taking 
photos while I write. I will get everything ready to get up and do one 
in the morning, no matter what!
                                    Hagia Sophia

my reflection


Scott had a lot energy and went out to take photos last night, he also 
got to film a whirling dervish dance, it will look great in a video of 
Turkey. I wanted to be all rested to paint to day so I stayed in. 
Luckily I got to watch some NBC tv shows in the room.
Well, didn't get a painting today. Woke up ok, but it is too hot to 
paint on the roof terrace and the mall near the mosques is soooo crowded with Saturday 
tourists,  wow, overwhelming. When checking out of the hotel of course there was a 
little confusion, the computer can not give us the discount they 
mentioned in the emails, oh well, that is traveling for you. We walked 
around a little, but I started to feel faint, like when your at an 
amusement park and you get dizzy from walking around with so many 
people around.  We had a nice lunch and now we are resting in the shade 
on the roof of the hotel until we get picked up for the airport.

                                        Blue Mosque

Below is the closed off section where women can worship

We got to the airport fine and the flight was ok, got to Dalamain a 
little late so we anchored the boat in the harbour and stayed the night, the town is a very nice quaint  
resort town. The cabins on the boat are super small and some 
rooms have two small windows about the size of your hand, ours had one, but even the ones with two 
the windows do not have a cross breeze and wow it was hot and 
stuffy in the rooms. They have these long pads on the deck for 
the passengers to lay out in the sun, but a bunch of us slept up on deck because of the heat. 
Our rooms will be the luggage storage.

                           Saim and Scott on the flight to Dalamain

These were what the boats looked like. It was a play land of boats sailing around the islands taking people to all the different shores.

I am a little stiff from the pads being so thin, but got a good sleep. We are all just watching the 
sun come over the hills and hitting the other boats in the harbour. They drove the boat a few miles and we ported at the Batikhamam ( sunken bath) harbour where the ruins 
of Cleopatra's baths are. Of course they were built a few hundred years 
after she died, but they said every place wanted to claim she had been 
here. They also said that because of a earth quake the ruins slid down 
the hill and into the water. 
I painted a cute boat docked at the cove in the morning and tried another one

 in the afternoon. I had to give up the one in the morning because it was so hot.

Saim, Scott and Craig painting

Kyoko and me


We all went to paint the boat again today, I made sure I was in the shade 
this time. The water is so clean bright greens and blues, hard to get 
the right color. Tried to paint Scott in the scene, very funny. It is beautiful in 
the shade, I still feel moist and dirty all the time though. My face 
will not stop breaking out, yuck.  Waiting for lunch now, then we are off 
to the next place.

Scott didn't notice that he painted the half moon symbol on the flag backwards. He said that happened because of the wind.

It was about a 30 minute ride to the next cove where some stone ruins 
and a few stone houses were, there is a little restaurant . I swam to shore then 
walked around and got picked up by the dinghy. I have not moved enough, 
the food is amazing but when all you do is sit, you start to feel very 

Sailed to another cove.

The food has been amazing, all the different ways this young man has worked with 
vegetables, it is such a treat. No sugar which we do not miss.  We are 
at a cove where there are tombs up on the cliffs. We hiked up to see 
one, then Scott, Saim and Craig painted up there.

We stayed over night and went to the cafe around the bay to paint. I 
really couldn't find anything thing to inspire me, Sarah painted right 
behind Scott so she could see his approach. I walked around a little, 
but there was also a guy giving massages and shaves. I got a neck message 
because the pads don't give enough support and I woke up so sore!!! He was good.  It is now 
after lunch and we are on our way to another place. 
Wow, we got here took a swim and walked up the trail to the small 
village just as the light was getting low. Super excited, first time I 
have seen something that has spoken to me. It has all been beautiful, 
but as for painting, this is the place me. We could be here for a week, so 
many animals, cute buildings, vistas and people.

                              Goats on one of the islands  

Plus, the women look traditional. 
Saim got them to model for us tomorrow. I am lying down on the pads 
at the front of the boat looking up at the stars, going to read a 
little then go to sleep. My body is rejecting these pads as beds,

I sleep so hard here, we all go to bed early after dinner, usually 
around 9 or 9:30. After breakfast we walked up to the village again, 
Saim painted the women working at the loom and the rest of us tried to 
paint the older lady. It was hard because we didn't have an interpreter 
and we do not think she understood to sit still. Laurie and Scott did a 
good job at the 20 minute painting, but I found it too hard. We 
definitely got some great photos though. We all walked down and sat up 
on their porch where Saim was painting the younger women, some sketched and some took photos for about an 
hour or so.

Saim's painting 

She is making a rug

It was a very nice morning, the sun drained me and I think 
I am going to just rest this afternoon. If I am up for It I might try 
painting an a still life. Instead we all 
 painted the captain before dinner. It was very subtle light. 

We sailed to Gocek, Saim and Kyoto drove to see an art school 3 hours 
away, we stayed in town, Scott did two paintings, I walked around and 
got a massage after lunch. I can't seem to find anything to inspired me.

                Every time we left the boat we took a little motor boat to shore.

This lady slept and sat in this box day bed all day. We asked her to pose for us, she did for about 15 to 20 minutes then went in side her house. It was an interesting experience trying to show her that we wanted her to sit still with out a translator. 

Last day on the boat we sailed to Fathiye, I really liked the town,  we walked along the pier, 
there were nice authentic fishing boats and a big local turtle that was seen 
 near the shore. Sarah went up to see some tombs, they looked 
amazing, but Kyoko had hurt her foot so we sat and had a drink with 
her. We had lunch on the boat then packed up and waited for the Van. A couple from Utah met us for the driving part of the trip in Turkey, we were off to an old 
lyceum town that had been abandoned since the 1920's
The place was amazing, especially the little church, this would be a 
great place to stay and paint. We didn't have time though, off to Kas.  We had 
dinner at a resort town on the way.
                                      Lyceum Town

The Greek orthodox fled this town in the early 1900's and it has been empty ever since.

Inside one of the deserted churches in the Lyceum town


Got to Kas late, very tired. After breakfast we drove to the town with a famous  sunken city,  everyone painted on the pier, I found a shaded spot 
and painted an old ruin.

 After lunch we took a small boat to the quaint 
town that looked over the sunken city, very picturesque. Beautiful 
views and incredible tombs. We had a cute 11 year old girl as a tour guide. Scott 
took lots of photos of her.

 Even though I painted in the shade it was 
very hot and sunny, I felt drained and tired.  Kyoko and I went and 
got a Turkish massage in the evening, she had had one before and said 
this was the best one. I have to say it was psychically uncomfortable 
lying on the marble slab and with men and women together and no steam 
so it was just a damp room with bad lighting, then a so so massage. I 
can check that off my list. Maybe we just went to a mediocre place, 
but I like comfort.

We took a ferry to the Greek island of Mais, we can see it from the 
port here. It's so close you could kayak it if your in shape. What a wonderfully picturesque place. This is definitely a 
place to stay 5 or 6 days. So much for me to paint. I need a little bit 
of color to grab on to. Found a high shaded place and painted an 
abandoned church.
                              Port in Mais, Greece

 When we got back to Kas and the hotel I jumped in the ocean at the hotel, so cold!!  There 
were hot springs here and there. The water is so clean. We ate dinner by 
ourselves on the main square and watched the children and local dogs play.

Drove to Konya, stopped many times for snacks and stretching and car over heating.

 Got to the 
hotel around 8 pm, feel asleep immediately. 

Went to see Rumi's mosque, bought some music from the gift shop.

Kyoko lent me her Ipad and I watched a beautiful music concert,it was nice to listen to while driving. On the way to Goreme we saw the first 
known archaeological site for agriculture " Catuluick"
I rested in the back of the van, I layed down and listened to a bunch 
of good podcasts. We also read some of Rumi's poems that I had 
downloaded. Truly uplifting. Of course the drive took much longer than 
expected, the Mercedes van started to over heat and we had to stop 
twice, one time for 30 minutes to cool off.  We did make it to Goreme, 
Scott and I walked around while everyone ate. The hotel is charming, 
our rooms are built into these rock formations, like caves.

Finally got to take a bath, yippy, most of the hotels didn't have bathtubs. It is very dry and dusty here, 
almost every formation is a hotel or is turning into one. Scott and 
kyoko painted in the sun, I walked around and took photos then rested 
in the room until lunch. The sun is so draining for me. I will try to 
find a shady spot tomorrow. Scott hired a maid from our hotel to pose 
in the afternoon.
                  She was the young lady who cleaned the rooms at our hotel.

 I am loving being able to watch NHK world and AL 
Jazeera  tv channels. The programs are so interesting, really good 
documentaries from the around the world.

Cappadocia is famous for it's hot air ballon rides, Our friend Sarah took one and she said it changed her life.

I had gotten a pretty back hair cut before the trip, Saim was noticing some strays and brought out the scissors.


I painted a stone arch just around the corner from the hotel, I had a 
good shady spot.

 After lunch we painted the hotel owners daughter, I 
did a 6 by 8 little scene.

                           my photo came out too red below


The maid brought her daughter for photographs, we originally thought we 
would just shoot the mother and daughter for a few ones on the street 
or courtyard, but the daughter was incredible, just perfect and we 
photographed and hung out with the young girl named Sila all morning. 
After the mother got off work we took them out to lunch. In the late 
afternoon we drove and saw  the outdoor museum formations. Scott and I 
had dinner on our own.

       Kyoko showing Sila some games on her IPAD during a break from taking photos of her

Today a 5 hour drive to Ankara. The drive was easy for me, I listened 
to a few Radiolab podcasts, wow they are good. It makes these drives so 
pleasant, plus I get to lay down in the back of the van. We first went 
to the museum of civilizations, it has a nice collection which wasn't too big. I really liked the fact that they had a 
bunch of stuff from the dig Catuluick that we visited. Afterward we 
went to drop off Sarah and Michael at the gate to 
the old city or citadel, the B&B was inside the old section, we looked to the left and there was our hotel, 
how convenient. The place is so beautiful, it is one of those caravan 
stop off places built in the 1500's. It reminds me of a upper class 
hunting lodge from Namibia.  We rested for a bit, then Kyoko and Craig 
Went walking with us through the old town. It looks a little bit like 
Kathmandu, they are digging up all the streets to put plumbing or 
electrical pipes. You get the feeling like the area was hit by an 
earthquake. Some of the houses have been turned into hotels or 
restaurants, but a majority are still falling down and look deserted.
We walked up to the top of the high wall and saw the full moon. What a 
view, today is Rumi's birthday. We had dinner at a charming restaurant 
with antiques all around.

 The view from the top of the wall of the fortress or castle ? in the old section of Ankara

We painted along one of the little crooked streets in the old section of Ankara the next day.

We painted a quiet street in the old walled section, no people, a few 
residents came and watched. The buildings have so much character, they 
are tearing up the streets to put water lines in. In the afternoon we 
went to see the women painters of Ankara, they were so sweet, we did 
show and tell. I was super tired and went to bed early.

Unfortunately, I got a stomach bug from someone or some food, stayed in 
the room all day, felt horrible. I really was bummed that I couldn't go 
and meet Saim's sister and father. Scott did a painting him. 

We got off very early to airport, the flights were easy. We met lea and 
Diane at the airport in Barcelona. We were the first to arrive at the 
apartment, a little disappointed, I should have known the price was too 
good to be true. Everyone has been troupers and adapted to the frat room 
type of place. We are right next to the rambla, so it is good for 
walking around not great for quiet at night. I think the city has gotten too popular for it's own good, there are way too many tourist. The city seems different than I
 remember, the charm isn't here anymore. I am reading over my journal and I see that I am short tempered with Barcelona, I know it had to do with all the noise and that the apartment was crappy, I felt so bad and thought I had let everyone down. Most of the group were so sweet and made the best of it. What lovely people to hang out with, I treasure the memories I made with them.

                                    Having lunch at the Plaza Reial

I walked around with the girls, Scott did a painting of an archway 
looking onto Plaza Reial.

In the evening we went to see a flamenco show. The bigger shows are in Seville.

                         A cool graffiti wall off the Plaza Reial

We tried to see the museum of modern art that had all the Ramon Casas', 
Joaquin Mir's and Fortuny's. The taxi told us that place closed down 
and the paintings went to The Museum of Contemporary Art. We went there and 
they have the paintings, but are not hanging them. UGH '!!!!!! Unbelievable. This is 
what happened in Madrid with paintings that used to be the Bien Retiro 
building, the Prado is not hanging them.
In the afternoon I went to do a  painting of a street scene I found yesterday, 
 the group painted in the plaza real. They got a rude order to stop 
painting from the tourist police. The 
Police said there is no painting in all of Barcelona.

Diane after being told to stop painting.

                    Rachel cleaning up after being told to stop painting

 Scott, Rachel and Diane went to the police station to see about a permit, they only give 
them out one day a year and they are expensive and it's for artists who 
sell their work.

It really upset them and they wanted to leave for 
another city. Lea and I painted with no problem, but we weren't near 
the plaza. 
Scott filmed the scene and how absurd it was. He even had a nicely 
dressed Spaniard come up to him and ask what happened, once he heard what happened he 
said he was embarrassed for his country. This is why there are no 
street performers or what they call here statues anymore. It's a sad 
day. Lea, Diane and Scott did not feel like going out that night and stayed home, the rest of us went to go see Manuel Gonzales play classical guitar at a near by church, he was 

    This is the little street scene I did while the group was being harassed by the police

                When we got home from the concert Scott and Lea were drawing Diane

When we got home everyone drew Diane. It is truly upsetting 
how the city lets the streets be run over with drunken idiots making as 
much noise as possible all night. Our bedroom is in the middle of the 
building but even with ear plugs I can hear them outside.

                          Hanging out in the living room

                  The gang in the dark dining room, most of the lights didn't work

Me, Diane, Allison and Rachel did the tourist bus around town, Rachel and I brought our painting gear. The bus is so slow... Some parts of the tour was interesting, but it does take a long time.  Diane got off early to explore the city, the silly bus was 
too slow for her, we all understood. Allison, Rachel and I got off at 
the Sagrada Familia church, it was Saturday and super crowed so we just 
walked around the block to see it and then had lunch at a near by cafe 
so we could see a view of it. We got back on the bus and went to the 
PARC Gruell. The funny thing is the bus lets you out about six blocks 
away and the walk is up hill. I was really starting to curse my back 
pack. Once we got to the park there were crazy crowds, nothing like I remember in 1997, back then I thought it was kind of a sad park because there was only a few people walking around. I figured 
it was too far away from the city  center for people to haul up to.
We were so tired and didn't have a lot of patience to find a place to 
paint, Rachel found a view of Montjuic from the top of the park. She 
did a really sweet one of the castle in the distance. I tried to do a 
sketch of her, I found that even with all of my quick sketch I couldn't 
paint her arm in motion. You'd think I would be able to, but it 
struggled with it for a while then gave up. At least we got our brushes
out. The ride home was long and when we got off at plaza Catalanya, I 
guess there were 10,000 people walking around. Holy !-$""

waiting for the city tour bus

                   Scott painting in Sitges, 30 minutes south of Barcelona, he was too upset to stay in Barcelona and took a train to another city to do a painting.

I fell asleep early, the rest stayed up and talked or did some drawing.

                       Diane drawing looking out the living room window

Diane, lea and I walked to the cathedral, we got to see the cloisters 
with the geese and heard some beautiful singing from a choir during the 
Sunday service. Then we went to see the museum of figurative art, nice 
building and some interesting paintings. I loved the fact that the artists 
were all living and some of them I am friends with on Facebook. It was 
cool to see a painting of David Kassan's in the show, his painting was 
very nice and it was great that they put him on one of the banners as 
advertisement. I needed to rest a little so I went back to the 
apartment, lea and Diane came back a little later. Scott and Allison 
went to the museum of Catalan, they loved it so I will have to see it 
on Tuesday. We had dinner then went to see a flamenco show at the museo 
of musica, so glad we did that.

                               Outside the Museo de Musica ( the photo wouldn't be save upright ?)

inside the Museo De Musica

Diane and Rachel  rented bikes And 
rested at the beach, Diane had a goal of swimming in the Mediterranean 
Sunday has been much more quiet, after the performance walking home it 
was so nice to have the streets less crazy.

Lea and me playing on the Rambla
photo by Diane

Allsion, Lea, Diane and me vamping it up at the flea market in front of the cathedral. Trying on vintage sunglasses.

We went to Montserrat by train and cable car. The train was about an 
hour just like the bus trip, I was hoping it would be faster. The cable 
ride was great though, the view going up the mountain was spectacular. 
We got there right at 1 pm when the boys choirs was singing, we tried 
to get in the cathedral to see but it was totally packed. We had lunch 
at a very nice restaurant in the hotel then went to the museum. It was 
nice to see the Ramon Casas' again, my favorite Meirfrin wasn't 
hanging. It took a little bit to find a place to paint, the light would 
be better in the morning here. The rock formations are so unusual and 
intimidated me, I found a view of the church tower. Scott hiked along 
the trail and took some stop animation view of the clouds and mountain. 
We went to dinner across from our apartment, it was a nice birthday for 
me, everyone was sweet and they surprised me with a dessert at the 
restaurant. I was so happy and grateful to be with these special ladies 
and Scott.

 The ride on the vernacular up to Montserrat.

                            My birthday lunch, restaurant at Monsterrat

Me and Diane ( Diane is so glamorous )

They have an amazing museum with great paintings, last time we took tons of photos, they don't allow photos now. I stole the one below because it was in a quiet corner, Rachel got yelled at for trying to sneak photos. Gosh, what's the big deal !!! they don't have any books

The cathedral at Montserrat, about an hour away by train.

waiting for the train back to Barcelona

The last day in Barcelona, we went to see the Sagrada Familia, they 
have done so much to it since the last time, the strange thing about 
the church is that one side is ornamented and the other side is modern 
and sleek, there is no stain glass on the modern side.

                    One of the sculptures on the outside of the cathedral

 We went to some shops 
near the gothic section, had lunch in front of st Joseph church then 
said goodbye to Rachel. She was off for her adventure in Madrid. Diane 
and I went to the art museum . Luckily they had most of the collection 
 from the old museum, I really started to fade while walking around. The 
trip is catching up to me. Lea,Diane,Allison and Scott went out to 
dinner, I crashed around 8:30.

Me and Rachel at Parc Gruel looking down on Barcelona. Photo by Allison

Allison and me walking through the pillars in the Parc

Museum of Catalyan

Everyone is off today, they all will see each other soon, I'm sad I 
won't see them for a while.
Checking out of the apartment was easy, they never did fix the lights 
and all week we felt like we were in the dark. We got what we paid for 
I guess, we had no recourse, the landlord didn't care. Each trip is 
such a learning lesson, what can you do though if you pay a deposit and 
show up and it's not what you expected? We all couldn't just go and try 
and find a place with all our luggage. You have to roll with the 
punches. We got to the train station and got on a train right 
away, that was too easy, half way to Girona our train went out of 
service, we all had to get off and wait 30 minutes for another one. It 
wasn't too bad but the announcements were all in Spanish so we were 
clueless about what was happening. Luckily Girona is a main stop because the 
next train wasn't going to stop at all the stations. We got to Girona 
and I realized that my reservation didn't have an actual address, how 
stupid of me. I had been looking at the map on the website so much I 
just had the image in my mind of where the place was. It was early 
anyway, so we went to a hotel near the train station had lunch and 
checked Internet there to find the place. The apartment is quaint, it's 
in an old build and has some of the original lights and ceiling. It's 
in a great location. Unfortunately there is no wi fi here. The whole 
city has very slow Internet. Even the hotel lobby next door can hardly 
pick it up.

In our apartment there was a closet in the living room, this what was in that closet.

 This town is so undiscovered, they need a new PR company 
to advertise, the most beautiful parts of the city are nowhere to be 
seen on the web. It was overcast when we were walking around. We fell 
in love right away, it's a good sign that you find lots of places to 
paint even in overcast lighting. There are hardly any tourist here, we 
feel like we have it to ourselves. What a huge difference from 
Barcelona. I wished we had come here in the beginning, I almost wished 
we could extend the trip but we have things we have to do when we get 

The weather is nice but the sun is coming in and out. I feel under the 
weather today, slept most of the time, watched MTV dubbed over in 
Spanish. There was a marathon of tv shows on MTV in English "More than friends", 16 and pregnant and 
Teen Moms. Wow, I got my fill. We did go out to lunch and in the late 
afternoon we went for walk. There is a part of the roman wall that 
surrounded the city open to walk on. You get great views of the area 
and Pyrenees mountains. It is so nice to have just a few tourists.  Not 
sure how this town is so prosperous when it's so quiet. Early night, I 
need the sleep

It's still over cast, at least it's cooler out, I finally get to wear 
my windbreaker. Scott didn't sleep that great, so after a short walk he 
took a nap. I went on a city walking tour, it drizzled most of the 
time.  We had a nice lunch near these interesting steps with a Roman building 
at the top. After an other nap In the afternoon ( the weather or just 
physical exhaustion is making us want to sleep all the time) we wanted 
to see the museum of art, but it's a national Holiday in Spain today 
so the museums closed at 2 pm today. We walked around, went over the 
river and looked for movie dvd's at the cinema museum. It's a unique 
place that houses historical items from early to modern movies, people 
come from all around to visit it. 
Watching more MTV videos while we eat cheese and bread. I can't even 
remember the last time I saw music videos, I didn't even know they 
still made them.

I went to see the museum of art, which is next too the cathedral and 
houses a lot of  religious artifacts and paintings. They did have a 
couple of Rusinols. We went trough the cathedral and St Felix today, 
the cathedral museum had some really nice pieces.

 We ate Indian food 
for lunch. We have found one Indian, one Mexican and one Italian place. 
There are no fast food or Starbucks here. The guide says Girona has the 
highest income per capital in Spain. It does look prosperous, a lot of 
nice shops and restaurants, but the Internet is very slow. There is an 
apple store, but I have not seen it open yet. Stores have strange 
hours, not sure what the rules are.

Finally sun, even though it's a little chilly. It's Sunday morning, we 
got our backpacks on and walked behind the cathedral. The light stayed 
good, the shadows didn't move too much, but towards the end a big wind 
kept blowing through, we were  kinda in a wind tunnel. Had lunch in a 
nice Italian pizza place, I think it must be pretty popular here. The 
food was so good, made me sleepy, went back to lye down for awhile. I 
went back out to paint St Felix down the street in the afternoon. I had 
to hold onto my hat a bunch of times, but the sun is out !!! Scott 
stayed in to edit on one of his films.

Inside St Felix

 We went for a walk through the PARC de la Devesa.. 
Tried to watch one of the dvd's we bought from the cinema museum, it 
was an indie Spanish movie with English subtitles, we could only watch 
about 20 minutes, too weird.


It's beautiful today, painted on a portion of the medieval wall looking 
 down on a church with
The cathedral up on the hill. Scott painted a walkway just below me. 
Scott shot some time lapse photos of the sunset from the city's wall. I 
did a little sketch of St Feliu's steeple.


Last day in Girona, we saw the Arab baths and the cities historical 
museum. Leaving the city knowing that we will be back. Took the train 
to Barcelona and then a cab out to the airport hotel. Went to bed around 7:15, I 
was exhausted.

Travel day, three planes ahead of us. Everything went ok, on the 
over sea's flight saw two episodes of the HBO series Newsroom. Loved it 

Home safe and sound. My bed feels almost too soft and the toilet paper 
is soo thick. Getting back to real life.

I will add more of my sketches from the trip in the future.

A couple of Paintings Scott did of Sila from Cappadocia.


  1. Love this meaty post Susan. I particularly enjoyed the painting you did while the others were being stopped by the police. I've never heard of a "No Painting" ordinance on public property, makes me wonder what brought it on and how many other cities share this policy.

    Thanks for posting...off to read up on Ramon Casas.

  2. This is simply amazing! A bombshell of a blogpost! Anyway, you guys were blogging before blogging became what it is today! I have learnt so much from you guys and I am grateful to God for bringing you both together and sharing the wonderful Art you do!
    Your paintings are a treasure! Your journeys and travels are a wonder to read!

  3. Great post. Amazing record of your travels in a beautiful part of the world.

  4. Enjoyed your travel journal so much, I know I'll never have the opportunity to travel that way so it's the next best thing to be able to read your posts on these fascinating places from an artists point of view. I love how you keep it real too, describing it like you were sharing with a friend or family member your experiences, I can't take the sun and sticky heat either, lol. You make the reader feel like one of your traveling companions :-). Thanks again Susan for sharing so open and honestly. What an awesome trip!

  5. What an incredible trip, beautiful people and places, great post! Thanks for sharing it with us!