Archives of articles, essays and stories of Geri Dreiling grouped by month:
July 2014

Archway Alhambra Purple Vine Cropped small

By Geri L. Dreiling

"I gave myself up, during my sojourn in the Alhambra, to all the romantic and fabulous traditions connected with the pile. I lived in the midst of an Arabian tale, and shut my eyes, as much as possible, to every thing that called me back to every-day life; and if there is any country in Europe where one can do so, it is in poor, wild, legendary, proud-spirited, romantic Spain...."

                                   -- Washington Irving, Tales of the Alhambra

Continue reading...
Granada church

By Geri L. Dreiling

I returned from Spain just after midnight on Wednesday. Since then, I've been catching up on work, sorting mail,  restocking the refrigerator, mowing the lawn, pulling weeds and replacing crispy twigs with new plants in my flower boxes.

Like all great trips that come to an end, the visit now has a dreamlike quality. I still have much to write and little time to do so. I will probably just post a picture a day from here to eternity.

Here are a few random notes and observations from my time in Spain: Continue reading...

Alhambra reflection small

By Geri L. Dreiling

Who can resist the spell of the Alhambra? Painters, writers, poets and kings have succumbed to its magic. Washington Irving was bewitched by it when he wrote, "Tales of the Alhambra." Joaquin Sorolla was inspired to paint the Alhambra's archways and reflecting pools. Francisco Villaespesa penned a collection of sonnets titled, "The Charm of the Alhambra. " 

Located at the southern edge of Spain in Granada,  the Alhambra is a palace and fortress that dates back to the 13th century, when much of Spain was under the control of the Moors. During the reconquest of Spain, Granada was the last stronghold of the Moorish empire. Continue reading...

Post office

By Geri L. Dreiling

The sound of a broom sweeping across the sidewalk. It is one of the routine morning noises that I have grown fond of hearing during my stay in Madrid.

Today, as I drank my watered-down espresso, I looked out the open balcony doors and watched an older woman with dark short hair dressed in a black-and-white striped shirt and long jean skirt sweeping in front of a condo building across the street. The trees have been shedding small, greenish-yellow flakes. With a determined push of the brush, she guided the flakes into grates or out into the street. Then she dumped water from her bucket and cleaned the sidewalk again with her broom. Continue reading...


Pan and Queso

flat & bakery small

A delicious daily routine in Madrid

By Geri L. Dreiling

Having a bakery next door is a wonderful -- and dangerous -- thing.  

I'm staying in a quaint, second-floor flat with three balconies in the heart of Madrid. The bedroom has a balcony, the kitchen has a balcony and there's a balcony off the combined living and dining room. Just outside the building is a bakery filled with pistolas or loaves of bread that look like fat baguettes, and all manner of sweet items like cakes and brownies, as well as savory items like empanadas and sandwiches. Continue reading...


A charming town, a complicated past

By Geri L. Dreiling

Spending time outside in the sun is said to help travelers recover from jet lag. And so, after arriving in Spain on Wednesday, I went for a late evening stroll around Algete (al-het-ay) with Enrique.

About 45 minutes northeast of Madrid, Algete is somewhat similar to a far-flung suburb -- but with a complicated past. Continue reading...