Posts Tagged ‘cordoba’

Spanish Roadtrip Chapter 2: Granada, Cordoba and Malaga


2010
06.17

This article is part three of a so far three part series on my 2009 Spanish roadtrip. You might want to check these out: chapter 1 and chapter 3.

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Calle de Los Mesones - Granada

As the first day of our roadtrip was quite eventful, we decided to stay in Granada for the second day and enjoy the sights a second time around (we had visited the city earlier that year), taking it slow and enjoying the sun. We walked through the Albayzìn up to the Sacromonte. It’s really worth the walk because the view is breathtaking, plus there aren’t that many tourists (as opposed to Mirador de San Nicolas) so it’s a pretty silent spot. Since so little people actually go up the Sacromonte. Most of the people up there are local gypsies who actually live in the mountain and serve refresments on their terraces (and provide the use of their very own bathroom). We didn’t do much other than stroll around and take in the summery atmosphere - shall I mention it was a sunny 40° C outside. Tinto de verano is a very refreshing drink, by the way. Not really hydrating in a heat wave, though, since it’s alcohol, but if you drink just enough of it, you will not be bothered about that anymore.

The following day, we hopped in the rented car and drove straight to Cordoba, an hour and a half from Granada. What I really love about Andalucia’s motoways is not only the high quality of the roads (as opposed to here in Canada) but also the abundance of olive fields everywhere in sight - it makes the drive a little less dull visually. There are even pink rose trees sometimes. It even makes one forget about the (sometimes astronomical) toll charges.

Plaza Del Triunfo - Cordoba

When we finally reached Cordoba, we realized we were lucky enough to be visiting in the midst of the Festival de Patios, which is basically an open-door into the local’s gardens and backyards. Cordobés take a big pride into having the prettiest garden in town and naturally, a competition was born. Very pretty contrasts between the white walls and the vibranty coloured flowers. I’m not sure I would go back to Cordoba, but it’s truly worth to be seen once, even though it’s only for a few hours. We didn’t have (or took) enough time to visit the Mezquita, but we didn’t feel like we missed out on anything. For more info on the city, check this out.

Shortly after lunch time, we headed back to the car and made our way to Malaga for a leisury, beachy afternoon. Luckily the weather was on our side. As a natural northern blonde, I don’t do anything remotely close to tanning - I’m either phosphorescent or carbonated. Although this time I didn’t mind about any of that because it was my first sea swim. I had never swam in the sea before. I had seen it and took pictures of it, but I had never quite felt it. I was, amazingly enough, surprised at how salty the water tasted - I knew that sea water is salty but I never thought it would actually taste salt. Considering this last sentence makes me look like a total fool, I will say for my defence (just to make sure you think I’m some sort of intellectual person) that Malaga’s architecture is a fine showcase of the many cultures that influenced Andalusia over history, like the Moorish, for instance. Gothic cathedrals, Mediterannean white houses, Moorish Mozquitas, typically Spanish colonial houses are all examples of what you can find in the region. Better?

Backyard - Cordoba

In overall, it rather was two uneventful days, but really, I was not going to complain about that. A epicurean, relaxing Andalusian weekend was all I needed to recover my poise from previous, hum, happenings, and get ready for the next days.

For more pictures, visit my Flickr set.

Up next: riding the highway directly into Don Quixotte’s story.

A Day in Cordoba (or is it Morroco?)


2010
02.26

Cordoba is a very special place in the world; not many cities can claim to have been the capital of a Roman province and the capital of an Arab state and a Caliphate.

Festival de Patios

If you plan on visiting in May, do note that accommodation will be hard to find and very expensive. Consider taking a day-trip to Cordoba and actually sleeping in a nearby city, such as Grenada or Sevilla.

If you do visit in May, make sure to attend the Festival de Patios, where people just open their courtyard for everyone to see. It’s a great activity since Spanish gardens are very pretty and colorful, creating a nice contrast with the white walls. Runs during the second and third week of May. It’s totally free and it allows you to stroll through the numerous narrow streets around the Mosque, the nicest one being Calleja de las Flores.

Now, the real jewel of Cordoba is the Ancient City, a very important witness of the Arab occupation of Andalucia in the 10th century. La Mezquita (the Mosque) dates from 1236 and is the third largest in Europe, as around 20,000 people can pray inside. Do not miss the column forest. Entrance is free from 8:30Am to 10AM, then it’s €8.

Plaza del Triunfo

Another interesting sight is the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos,a Christian (although it does look Islamic) fortress used by Isabella de Castille and Ferdinand II of Aragon. That’s where Christopher Colombus prepared his trip to the Americas in 1492, and where Napoleon Bonaparte kept his troops in 1810. €4 and €2 for students.

Visiting Cordoba is a cheap way to explore Spain, especially when sleeping in another city, as the main sights are not very expensive to visit. You can get to Cordoba by bus from surrounding cities for very few euros.

 

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