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After a week off for Semana Santa, the days off school continued this week with Monday and Tuesday. Because of the long weekend, the roommates and I hopped in the car and drove up to Córdoba to visit our friend Joey, a fellow 4-weeker whom we had connected with some time ago in October in Granada. He was a gracious host, and so were his roommates, whom we had also met before and I knew as well.
We arrived in the afternoon on Sunday and spent much of it walking around getting a tour of the historic part of the town. Pictures? pictures.
We had a nice lunch at a restaurant in the centro and made our way back to Joey's for a siesta before heading out for dinner and drinks. We eventually spent most of our night at a really cool Jazz cafe (I know, not that Spanish, but it was a hopping place and fun to be somewhere out of the norm).
The next morning we got up early to head down to the Mezquita, the main attraction in Córdoba. You can read all about it here. Basically, the Mezquita, which is Spanish for Mosque, is the original complex built by the Moors starting in the 8th Century, and unlike others in Andalucia, it is still standing and has been fused with the Catholic Cathedral in Córdoba. Because of this, it is extremely unique because it represents in full Andalucia's transition from Moorish rule to Christian rule in the 14th and 15th Centuries. Here are some pictures.
There is a distinct difference between the red and white painted arches that are Moorish and the central part of the complex where the Catholic cathedral was built. This was all within one complex that used to be the Moorish Mosque before the Reconquista (reconquering) by the Christians. It was a pretty incredible complex, and rates right up there with what I have seen at the Alhambra and the Cathedral in Sevilla.
After walking around here we made our way to the Alcazar, or palace. Like the Real Alcazar in Sevilla, the one in Córdoba has some incredible gardens, as well as a palace that was once the seat of the Reyes Catholicos (Catholic Kings, specifically Ferdinand and Isabella) because Córdoba was the capital of Spain at one point. It also served as a fortess, therefore there are some old walls.
After walking around the gardens we grabbed some lunch and made our way back to Joey's flat to rest, and then took off home. This is usually a non-chalant statement, but there have been very few times in my life where I have driven through the type of rain we encountered leaving Córdoba yesterday. At one point we saw a lightning bolt hit the median on the highway. After about 30 minutes we were able to drive out of it, but it was incredible.
It was a nice weekend trip to see more history, and it is hard to believe that my time to do such trips is coming to a close... but more about that later.