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.

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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).

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

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

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

 

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

 

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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Here I am, Miss Scale!

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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.

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

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Don’t you just love this?

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

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

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

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Some of the little pottery bits for sale for tourists.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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It’s a deceptively long trek!

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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.

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Inside of the museum was a diorama of the Mosque!

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

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

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The view from one of the towers.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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