Spain: Córdoba and Flamenco

I’ve gotten my days completely out of order now. I can’t remember which day we did what and why. I could piece it all together if I looked through my Facebook feed, I suppose. Or I could call Yen, who would tell me the precise days, as well as MPG the car managed that day. But you don’t care, I imagine. You just want to see some photos.

Today – which ever day it actually was – was Córdoba, so planned because we had an appointment to see a Flamenco show that night. Ah! Which would make it Friday, our penultimate day in Spain. There. I don’t have complete Vacation Brain.

This photo is neither Córdoba nor Flamenco. It’s the breakfast table I eluded to in previous posts. I thought you’d like to see us, freshly showered and eating carbs and local fruit.


The drive to Córdoba was about an hour and a half, I think. Once again, we stopped in the public parking area Yen had selected.

This is probably another place to pause and impart Yen’s travel wisdom. Whenever we go someplace where we’re going to be doing any driving, he brings along his Garmin GPS (saves a lot of rental money). Before we leave, he programs all of our destinations and saves them with names that actually have meaning (“Granada parking” instead of the name of the actual lot). He researches photo ops, parking lots, restaurants, tourist attractions, etc., and saves them before we even leave. Then once we arrive, we can stray as much as we want, but we can also just hit the road and not worry about anything. And in a pinch, you can even carry it around in your backpack as you roam the cities on foot as a back-up map. It works very well.

But I was telling you about Córdoba.Right next to the parking lot was a cemetery. We stopped in for a look (and a pee, it turned out).


Then we crossed a busy street and found ourselves right in the middle of the historic center.




This is an old Roman bridge. More on it in a bit.



This is the side of our destination, the Great Mosque.



Courtyard of the same. More orange trees! Don’t eat them.



And the front door. You’re thinking, “What’s up with the cross? You said this was a mosque.” Well, it was built as a mosque. But then it switched over and became a cathedral (and remains one today). Of note is that even the mosque was built over someone else’s place of worship: it was a Visigoth church.

DSC_3296 DSC_3298

Prepare yourself! This was one of my favorite places on the whole trip.


That window she’s looking through peeks down on remnants of the aforementioned Visigoth structure. It’s a mosaic floor. Doesn’t seem like Yen took a photo of it. That’s ok. If you want to see mosaic, turn back to our visit to Ostia Antica.


See, isn’t this beautiful? It’s so unusual. And every time you take a step or move to the side, the perspective changes. Yen did a great job capturing it, but in person it’s just gorgeous.

DSC_3319 DSC_3323 DSC_3335_6_7 DSC_3340

This is a ceiling. Perspective is a little strange – thought I should clarify.

DSC_3343 DSC_3344

A lot of the terrific Muslim details have been overwritten by Christian tastes. But there’s one little section at the back that remains as it was originally. You’re looking here at the little alcove, and then a detail of its ceiling.

DSC_3357 DSC_3357-2 DSC_3359-2 DSC_3361

Here I am, Miss Scale!

DSC_3365 DSC_3366 DSC_3368 DSC_3371 DSC_3378

Now you can see the Christian decor, which (sorry) is rather gaudy in comparison to the beautiful symmetry of the rest of the building. On the immediate left and right sides of this photo are twin organs.

DSC_3400 DSC_3403 DSC_3404 DSC_3406

I’m taking five and performing duty as the Human Lens Holder.

DSC_3411 DSC_3415 DSC_3420

Don’t you just love this?

DSC_3422 DSC_3428

And at last, out into the town to see a little more of it (and to find some lunch).

DSC_3433_4_5 DSC_3381 DSC_3382 DSC_3389  DSC_3439 DSC_3445 DSC_3452

Córdoba has tiny winding streets with names like, “The Street of Flowers.” We prowled around for quite a long time that afternoon.


A random arch. You can’t turn around without seeing something beautiful.


Some of the little pottery bits for sale for tourists.

DSC_3457 DSC_3461 DSC_3463 DSC_3464 DSC_3475 DSC_3478 DSC_3479 DSC_3480 DSC_3481 DSC_3485 DSC_3487 DSC_3488 DSC_3490

We stuck our heads into a lot of random courtyards and shops we didn’t intend to patronize. This is a tea shop, I believe.

DSC_3492 DSC_3493 DSC_3494 DSC_3496

We wanted to head down this street, but first this brave driver had to finish his trip. After he emerged into the cross street, he rolled down his window and gave Yen a double thumbs up and a huge grin.


As if you couldn’t tell from that photo just how narrow the alley is, here I am standing in it.

DSC_3499 DSC_3503 DSC_3504

These are just random courtyards. Some are hotels, some seemed to be private homes. Nice, eh?

DSC_3510 DSC_3513  DSC_3526

We got caught in a swarm of Korean tourists at one point, so I held Yen’s camera while he cleaned the lens. I couldn’t resist snapping a picture.

DSC_3532 DSC_3541_2_3

Now we’re back to that bridge again. We headed over to the other side.

DSC_3556 DSC_3557 DSC_3558 DSC_3562 DSC_3568

It’s a deceptively long trek!

DSC_3569 DSC_3572

On the other side is what used to be a small fortress. Now it’s a museum. Yen paid the admission just so he could get up to the top. We did stop along the way to check out some of the exhibits, but we only had 30 minutes before it closed.

DSC_3574 DSC_3579 DSC_3587 DSC_3589 DSC_3592 DSC_3602

Inside of the museum was a diorama of the Mosque!

DSC_3612 DSC_3617

Call me Kate Scale. This is the outside of the diorama you just saw.

DSC_3621 DSC_3625 DSC_3628

We had a little daylight left, so we decided to check out one more palace on the way to the car.


The view from one of the towers.

DSC_3641 DSC_3642 DSC_3653 DSC_3654 DSC_3660 DSC_3663 DSC_3681 DSC_3689 DSC_3692 DSC_3697 DSC_3716 DSC_3733

I didn’t see this room! Yen found it when he went in search of the men’s room.


And then we drove back home. This is a huge sign over the highway. Marbella was our destination for the Flamenco show.


We could have paid a lot and gone to a show in Sevilla. It would have been a big spectacle including dinner and drinks.  But the hotel suggested a more local affair. This is the outside of the bar where it’s held.


And here’s the show. Everyone seemed to know everyone else. We were the only ones who didn’t join in the singing or commandeer the stage at some point. It was a pretty good time.

DSC_3747 DSC_3749

We think this couple owns the place. Everyone was very, very excited when they got up to dance. It was very sweet.

DSC_3767 DSC_3777 DSC_3780 DSC_3793 DSC_3796 DSC_3797 DSC_3801 DSC_3803 DSC_3808