It had been nearly a month since my last post and I can only apologise. I’ve just been so busy I haven’t had the time to write about anything, so again, I am sorry.
It’s been a hectic month in our household. At the beginning of the month my Mother came to stay; the orginal plan was for her to dog sit whilst my husband I went off to Cordoba and then on into Portugal to see my brother-in-law and his wife. All the best laid plans and that. Needless to say, that’s not exactly what happened. As our super speedy builders (more about them later) decided there was no time like the present, we decided that now wasn’t the best time to bugger off on holiday. Unfortunately my Mum was on no-refund-easyjet tickets so she came anyway. We felt a bit bad that she’d made a special trip but that her services were no longer needed so we decided that we’d stick with our Cordoba booking and Mum and I would go instead. Poor old hubby would stay behind to supervise/labour on the build.
Cordoba was BRILLIANT and on reflection I’m glad it was Mum and I rather than Hubby and I. My husband, bless him, doesn’t do culture at the best of times, but after Mum and I spent about 10 hours solidly walking from one historical wonder to another, I was glad he’d decided to stay at home. Oh he would have gone, if only to shut me up, but I don’t think he would have enjoyed it. No doubt he would have been impressed with the amazing Mesquita (Cathedral-Mosque) and the roman bridge, but after five minutes of looking, I think he would have been bored out of his mind. He is of the opinion that one “load of rubble looks much like the next.” I suppose he could be right, but I’m bit more romantic than that.
Cordoba truly is a wonderful place to visit. An Iberian and Roman city in ancient times, in the Middle Ages it became the capital of an Islamic caliphate. There are literally hundreds of historical sites to visit and you spend forever just wondering the streets and inspecting the traditional Andalusian court yards and irregular buildings that look like they’re threatening to fall in on themselves. It really is beautiful.
During it’s Islamic period, Cordoba was thought to be the most populous city in Europe and the impressive Great Mosque of Cordoba was built to house it’s numerous Muslim inhabitants. It was expanded and expanded some more and at it’s height, could cater for 15000 worshipers. Yes that is fifteen thousand – that should give you an idea of the scale of the place. It’s now home to the city’s Cathedral, but much of the original architecture remains and it is a sight to behold. You really cannot visit Cordoba without visiting this great site. It is awe inspiring. The Cathedral still conducts services and there were several weddings being held in some of the smaller chapels that line the walls – cue lots of people watching and outfit marking! The tickets are reasonable at about €10 each and you can wonder around for as long as you like; I think we spent a good few hours in there and we paid the extra couple of € to hire the audio guide so we would know exactly what we were looking at. It was well worth the money.
Near the cathedral is the old Jewish quarter, which consists of many irregular streets, such as Calleja de las Flores and Calleja del Pañuelo, and which is home to the Synagogue . In the extreme southwest of the Old Town is the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, a former royal property and the seat of the Inquisition; adjacent to it are the Royal Stables, a breeding place of the Andalusian horse. Near the stables are located, along the walls, the medieval Baths of the Caliphate.
The impressive Roman Bridge leading across the river and houses the Torre de Calahorra at the south end. It’s a pleasant walk across and you can look down the river to the two ancient mills that once served the city. At night the bridge is alive with locals taking a stroll, musicians and artists selling all manner of handmade jewellery, paintings and the like. The tower at the end if home to the Museum of Andalusian life and gives you a great insight into the history of Cordoba. It’s only a few euros to get in, you get a free headset to tell you all about its exhibits and they have an amazing scale model of the Mesquita.
All in all, Cordoba is a fantastic city and well worth the 4 hour, 35-degree-plus- no-airconditioning trip there and back! I would recommend it to anyone. The food is reasonably priced, there are hotels to suit every budget and the ice creams are gorgeous! I recommend a good pair of shoes though – you’ll do a LOT of walking and your feet WILL hurt!
More about the house build next time – I promise!