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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cordoba, Spain

Dear Family and Friends,

The four of us spent a good part of yesterday driving from Madrid to Cordoba.  It was a very interesting drive. We drove through La Mancha (Don Quixote country) and saw some of the famous wind mills.

It is a good thing that we are doing this trip in October.  We arrived in Cordoba about 4pm, the hottest part of the day.  It was very hot.  I cannot imagine doing this trip in mid summer.  Thank goodness for good air conditioning in our hotel.

The first thing I did after arriving was to take a nap while Chuck did some exploration of the city.  We met up with Clarke and Brennie at 7:30pm to go to a flaminco dinner/dance show.

The following are some photos of our walk to dinner.

The first is an archeological dig site of a Roman Temple from about the time of Christ.

This picture shows how narrow some of the streets are...actually since there were no cars the streets did not have to be flat. 

A view through a window of hams hanging over the bar.

Behind this portal is a small plaza.

A view of the old Roman bridge just after the sun went down.

A view of the lit up mosque/cathedral behind the old bridge.

This picture is of the dance show we saw.

After the show we walked back to the hotel.  We arrived back around midnight.  We felt perfectly safe walking that late.

This morning Chuck and I went to visit the mosque/cathedral.  This is the biggest tourist draw in Cordoba.

This part of Spain was inhabited by the Moors after they conquered this area from the Romans.  The mosque was built over an old churche starting in 743AD.  After the Spanish reconquered this area, a cathedral was built right in the middle of the mosque.  This unique structure is now a World Heritage Site.

This first photo is of the courtyard outside the mosque where people would wash before going inside.

This is a doorway leading from the courtyard to the street outside of the mosque.

I think I was most amazed by the architecture of the Moors, because as I look at the pictures I took, they are mainly of the mosque architecture. Maybe, living in Ecuador, I have become a little used to seeing Catholic churches and cathedrals.

The building is most notable for its giant arches, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite. The columns were rescued from the Roman era and the arches were added by the Moors.

The windows were quite fascinating

Here is a door that leads to the outside street.  The door is of Moor design and flanked on each side by the gold guild-ed Spanish additions. 

We were in total awe!

After touring the mosque, we met up with Clarke and Brenda at the hotel.  We decided to stay another day here in Cordoba.   We will meet up again tonight for dinner and swap our days' adventure tales.

Chuck and I headed back to the old city and enjoyed walking the narrow streets and peeking behind the doors and gates into the beautiful patios.

 I particularly liked this building painted white with the clay flower pots painted blue.

Chuck and I are resting up now.....out of the heat of the day.  We look forward to sharing dinner with our travel buddies.

Tomorrow we go to Seville.


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