In a recent blog, Fèni Café, I briefly mentioned Los Patios. Los Patios, a floral competition, is one of the biggest attractions in Córdoba during the month of May. For over one week, from the 2nd of May right up until the 13th, some of Córdobas proudest patio owners, fifty-eight to be precise, show off their meticulously cared for and well maintained patios. They open the doors to their precious patios and sit proudly admiring their hard work through the fresh eyes of awe-struck tourists, artists, critics and judges in the hope of being considered one of the best in the city!
As a novice to Los Patios I find the competition peculiar yet captivating! For me, the notion that you arrive up to someones house, someone you´ve never met, barge in, nosy around and take a few snaps while you´re there is more than just a little odd! I guess it´s just a cultural thing! Here, in Córdoba, the people are extremely friendly and open, so much so that letting groups of strangers roam through their precious patios does not feel the slightest bit invasive to them, in fact, they rather enjoy it!
So; with the peculiar part now covered, it´s time for the captivating part! As I explained earlier there are fifty-eight patios dotted around the city, these fifty-eight patios are divided into three distinctive walking routes – blue, red and green – based on locality and style. So far, unfortunately, I have only managed to complete one route and that is the blue route. Each patio on this route was colourful, artistic, charming and individual, it´s amazing to see how each style changes as you wander from patio to patio. Each one is filled with their own little personal touches which, from what i´ve seen, can be anything from wells, fountains, paintings, craft work and colourful furniture to guitars, wash basins and lighting effects. Breathtaking! While they´re all beautiful and unique in their own way, some, obviously, are better than others.
For me, my favourites where those which had a more homely yet artistic feel to them, the ones you know do it for the love of flowers and gardens rather than for the sake for entering the competition, the ones with a bit of character. Due to my love of trees – I don´t know anything about trees, nor do I claim to, I just love looking at and admiring them – my top three patios, on this route anyway, all contained trees, lemon tress to be exact! They were stunning with the biggest, juiciest lemons I have ever seen and, in each case, seemed to blend in so well with the rest of the carefully planned patio.
Sadly, I know nothing about flowers apart from the fact that their vibrant colours and utter beauty make me smile; so perhaps this competition might be a little wasted on me in that sense! However, flower expert or not, I enjoyed every minute of it. It´s so nice to see people dedicate their free time in such a creative way. It´s Spanish culture at it´s finest, a warm display of artistic talent in a friendly and welcoming environment, what more could you ask for really?
I really recommend this competition, the only snag is it runs on Spanish time which means the patios are closed from 2 until 6! So, if you´re planning on seeing all fifty-eight patios you´ll need more than one day to do it!
I´ll leave you now with a slideshow of photos, a lot of photos, from the blue route. I hope you´ve enjoyed reading about Los Patios and that you´ve had a lovely Sunday!
Have you ever been to Los Patios?
As always, thank you for reading!