Cordoba & Seville 8/03

Home Up Madrid 8/03 Toledo & Segovia 8/03 Cordoba & Seville 8/03

The "atmosphere" of the Andalucian south...

Cordoba's Mezquita Mosque

The south of Spain "felt" different than the north, with stronger flamenco backdrops and a general relaxed, almost tropical sense to it. The people were friendlier and the language barrier was less pronounced. Although touted to be much hotter, the day we were there was about 90F, the same as we had experienced throughout the trip. With the new AVE high speed train, Cordoba and Seville are now just a long day trip from Madrid.

Tuesday, August 26th - Cordoba


We caught the 9am AVE train from Madrid's Atocha station which got us to Cordoba just after 10am. The AVE was exactly on time (they'll refund the ticket price if they're more than 5 minutes late) and felt like a first class airplane. We taxied over to the Mezquita Mosque and spent about two hours touring the patio, interiors and surrounding Jewish Quarter. It is the largest former Mosque in the western world. A Christian cathedral was added in the 16th century. Not just another boring church (four pictures below and large picture above left).

Seville's alcazar gardens



We caught the 12:44pm AVE train at Cordoba, which arrived in Seville at 1:30pm. We taxied over to the Plaza de Tores, home of Seville's Maestranza bullring which was completed in 1763 and can accommodate 12,500 spectators. We took a tour in English (first two pictures below). We walked down the Paseo de Christobal, beside the Guadalquivir River toward the Torre del Oro (third picture below), named for the gold tiles that once covered it. This was the starting and ending point for all "new world" shipping in Seville's port during the 16th and 17th centuries. We did a city overview tour on another Hop-On-Off bus (Carmen's tobacco factory is today's University, near Plaza de Espana shown in the fourth picture below).

After the bus tour, we walked over to the Cathedral and were dismayed to find that for reasons known only to God, the Cathedral had closed 3 hours early. A major site we had to miss! The outside was nice though (first and second pictures below). My camera decided to stop working from the heat at about the same time. Undaunted, armed with Ben's camera, we headed across the plaza to the alcazar, filled with lush courtyards (third and fourth pictures below), gardens (large picture at top of page right) and art (see the Spanish section of the Art page).

From the alcazar, we headed into the Santa Cruz Barrio, a maze of quaint, tangled streets with shops and restaurants, designed thin to maximize shade (first three pictures below). It was about 7pm, too early for restaurants to open for dinner, so we grabbed tapas at Bodega Belmonte (very good and they had an impressive wine list) before souvenir shopping (fourth picture below) and heading back for our AVE train to Madrid. More than any other spot on this trip, Seville left me wanting more. I'll be back!

Home Up Madrid 8/03 Toledo & Segovia 8/03 Cordoba & Seville 8/03

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