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Aug '12

England and Spain Adventure, Day 13: Córdoba, Spain

On Tuesday (day 13) we drove about two hours north to the city of Córdoba, Spain.

Carissa was our navigator.

After our first day in Spain, spent getting lost in the small, impossibly narrow streets of Seville, the first thing we did when we drove into the Córdoba was stop and get a map. Lucky for us we parked near a tourist information kiosk that had maps readily available. And while we picked that up, John went in search of a SIM card to convert his tablet to a cell phone (he found a store, but waited ridiculously long and never get helped).

Córdoba was an interesting place to visit, in part because of its history and in part its age. Right now there are only about 300,000+ residents but in around the 10th and 11th centuries it was the most populous city in the world, and for a time it was considered one of the most advanced cities in the world. There’s a strong mix of Roman and Muslim influence due being handed back and forth between the two peoples.

One thing I loved about the place is that it’s so OLD. I mean, just look at these pictures. I snapped these just as we walked from our car to our destination, the Córdoba Cathedral/Mosque. We were on some narrow streets among the locals and saw some school children in uniform walking back from school (not pictured).

The first item of business was stopping for lunch. The thing about Spain is that businesses commonly close around 2 pm for siesta time and don’t open again until 4 or 6 at night. So we made sure to eat early and get it done. We found a nice place inside a hotel. We ate in the courtyard.

I loved visiting the Córdoba Cathedral. It was unlike any other cathedral I’ve been to. It started as a place of Roman Catholic worship, but when the Arabs stepped in it was built up as a Muslim mosque. And later, after it returned to Roman hands, became a Catholic cathedral again.

Some cool beams hanging near the ticket counter from the original structure.

The inside of the cathedral was so beautiful, but I had a hard time picturing myself attending church there. I think I’d be staring at the red and white arches the whole time.

The place was giant. HUGE. You can see it a little better in the video.

Even the door to exit was big and grand and ornate.

Across the street, of course, were tourist shops. My mother-in-law and I enjoyed browsing the shops but John and Guy were ready to move on pretty quickly.

The kids? They ate ice cream (“helados”), of course.

After leaving the mosque-cathedral we walked across the old Roman bridge (I mean OLD–built around 1st century BC), crossing the Guadalquivir River to see the historical tower on the other side. It was hot. H-O-T. We passed some street performers (bridge performers?) along the way, and I can’t imagine how miserable they must have been under the sun.

You got a good view of the cathedral from the bridge:

Here is the tower on the end of the bridge. We bought water from the smart people selling it in the tent to the right.

And its moat. I don’t know what it is about moats, but they are just so neat.

We stopped at one more famous landmark in Córdoba, the Alcázar (which means “the palace). It was the residence of Queen Isabella and Ferdinand. It has a rich history including Isabella meeting with Christopher Columbus before his sailing to America, hosting some of Napoleon’s troops in the 1800’s, and serving as a prison. In the 1950s the Spanish government turned it into a tourist attraction.

The actual Alcázar wasn’t bad but the gardens were lovely, definitely worth the visit.

Alcázar entrance and statue of King Ferdinand, maybe?

There was one small bathroom that we waited around to use so I could change the kids’ diapers. No toilet paper, but at least we had baby wipes. Wes waiting on the rocks outside the restroom for his diaper turn.

Like I said, the gardens were the best part.

The kids liked playing in the dirt. We had to drag them away.

When we were walking back to the car we stopped to let the kids play at a playground. It was just what they needed. Kids need to play.

The funny thing is that we were at the park for a while, but it wasn’t until we were back in the car and driving away from the park that we noticed a sign on the building across the street from the park: “La Iglesia de JesuCristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias.” (Or something like that.) It was an LDS branch meetinghouse. Kind of fun to see.

It was a two-hour drive back to our hotel, and I thought our kids handled the car time pretty well overall. We had books and an electronic toy (for Wes), but it was often near bedtime by the time we headed home. During our time in England and Spain Carissa was just starting to develop a more independent and chatty nature. Here she is chatting as we neared Malaga.

The next day was Wednesday, and we had enough of road trips. We were going to stay home, do laundry, and play!

1 Comment »

One Response to “England and Spain Adventure, Day 13: Córdoba, Spain”

  1. tara72 Says:

    I love how Carissa just automatically shoots into smile mode when the camera is on her! And I’m glad to see Spain has playgrounds. :)

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