Cordoba, Spain – Cathedral and Mosque in the same building!

Leaving Madrid late in the afternoon it was only a short train journey to the city of Cordoba and we booked the hotel close to train station so it was easy to find.
Cordoba Center is conveniently located 700m from train station and about 1.5 km from old city. It is a mid range hotel which we booked on Expedia for around AUD$109 which was a great deal and included a breakfast. The hotel also has an outdoor swimming pool that opens during summer months.

Gotta love the trains in Spain – Fast, clean and oh….. did I mention I love travelling by train?

The temperature had changed and it was now cool, cloudy and almost looked like it was going to rain. We checked into the hotel before going on a reconnaissance mission to look for food. Sure there was probably a restaurant in the hotel, but the way we do things is we like to eat local and not at huge prices, so we walked around the city block of our hotel searching for something to eat.

Cordoba

The view from our hotel room in Cordoba

It was 8 o’clock in the evening and most of the places for eating look like they were closed. In Spain the people eat late, but I thought someone must be open. We didn’t want to wander too far away from our hotel as this was a new city and we didn’t want to get lost. Frustrated in not finding any decent food I settled on eating two chocolate eclairs and a fruit flavoured beer. Not much of a dinner but something nonetheless. We staggered back to the hotel feeling a little sick, those eclairs were a little on the large size. To add insult to injury returning to hotel we find a small desert made of chocolates as a welcome gift. Elena did her best to eat them, as for me so much chocolate was just too much.

The Deserts…. I never thought I would say this……. just too much chocolate!

The following morning we rose early as we wanted to see the old city and we wanted to go on yet another walking tour to experience what Cordoba had to show us. Once again it was going to be a busy day as this evening we would have to catch another train to go to the city of Granada.

I just can’t get over all the cute little lanes that criss cross the old centre of Cordoba.

It was only this morning that we discovered that had we crossed the park last night we would’ve found all the restaurants and all the food that we could ever want.

Mezquita de Córdoba (photo from wikipedia) is the only building in the world where a Christian Cathedral is placed inside a Muslim Mosque.

If you want to avoid the crowds and save EUR8 per person go to Mezquita between 8.30 and 9am, you will be allowed to enter for free but around 9.30am they do a “sweep” of the building and quietly but firmly ask you to leave. It is then opened to crowds of tourists at 10am.
I’m continually amazed and impressed with the beautiful old buildings in southern Spain and Cordoba is really turning it on this morning, there is hardly anyone around and we are getting some stunning scenery in the buildings and the architecture.
Meeting in the square with our walking to host we are soon ushered into the historic life of what was Cordoba.
As it was nearing the time for us to race back to our hotel, grab our bags and head for the train station we need to break a little early from the walking tour.
Asking our Tour Guide which way to the bridge that we really want to see, we made a quick break from the group, raced down a couple of streets and literally took a couple of photos and raced back to our hotel.  This trip is really at a fast pace we wished we had more time.

Puente Romano – The Roman Bridge of Cordoba. The bridge was first built in the 1st century A.D., but has been rebuilt many times since then, and in its present form dates mainly from the Medieval period, with the latest changes being made in 1876. There are sixteen arches, four of which are pointed and the rest semi-circular. Halfway along the railing on one side is a 16th century statue of San Rafael by Bernabé Gómez del Río.

Yup -yet another quick snap before racing off to the train….

Once again we settled on to the train bound for Granada.
Our train wasn’t going directly to Granada, we knew we had to stop and take a bus for another hours drive.

One of the many gorgeous little restaurants in Cordoba

The History of Spanish Tapas. Tapas originated in Andalucia, a Southern province of Spain. The word “tapa” translates as “cover”. … The tapa was born when, due to an illness, the Spanish king Alfonso the 10th, the Wise, had to take small bites of food with some wine between meals.

I could easily live in Cordoba it just has a feel it is contagious and I’d really like to come back here and explore more it has a good mix of history, architecture, modern and contemporary buildings, it’s a world blended city and well worth exploring.
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