When we first decided we would spend two weeks in Spain we had no idea where to start. Luckily we had the experience of Lucy having travelled there before, and the helpful suggestions from our Spanish friend Luis who we were living with in Scotland at the time. Otherwise we would have felt completely lost! There is just so much to see and do, and we felt like we just didn’t have enough time to explore all of it.
In one week we’d seen Madrid and Granada, two cities that Lucy knew well and had come with high recommendations. Our next stop was a quaint little town that none of us had seen before, Cordoba.
We stayed in a homely little hostel, sharing a four bed dorm with a new friend each evening. Cooking dinners at night together and having afternoon siesta’s in the welcoming air-conditioning. There were lovely little courtyards to sit and work, and a rooftop sun-baking deck that had the most beautiful sunset views. Staying in hostels can mean sacrificing a few comforts, but you also gain new friends and often pretty awesome surroundings.
Cordoba is the little town painted white and yellow (with touches of blue and red). It’s quaint and cute, I couldn’t help but take endless photos every corner we turned.
Cordoba is so little that it only has a handful of tourist attractions. One of those is the Alcázar of Córdoba, a medieval Moorish castle located next to the river. On entry you can explore the ruins, palace and extravagant gardens. The fortress served as one of the primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. To be honest, I wasn’t overly interested in the history, but I did adore the beautiful garden, flowering in stunning colours with crystal clear fountains and a huge basil patch that I wanted to snack on.
My all time favourite thing to eat in Spain was tortilla. It might sound like some sort of bean wrap, but it is in fact a Spanish Omelette, made with eggs and potatoes and fried in oil. It’s served like a fat slice of quiche and holy moly it’s delicious. Cordoba has a very popular and famous eatery that just serves these slices of tortilla for 2 euro, that you take away on a plate and eat next to the mosque (with a few free bread sticks). Safe to say we lined up and ate here on more than one occasion.
Another famous tourist attraction in Cordoba is Calleja de las Flores, one of the most popular tourist streets of Cordoba city. A narrow street that ends in a plaza, it is lined with blue flowerpots overflowing with flowers and ferns. It was so busy when we arrived, but after a few minutes everyone disappeared and we had the street to ourselves.
Although… I was equally as smitten with the ‘non’ famous streets that you can find by sneaking off the beaten path.
delcious, cheap and fresh afternoon juices! Cordoba has some really cute cafes.
The Great Mosque of Córdoba (Mezquita) is the most stunning ancient building in the city with the most unique and rocky history. I would get confused just trying to explain it, but here’s a nice little overview that explains it’s complex history quite well!
“The site was originally built by the Visigoths as the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins. When Muslims conquered Spain in 711, the church was first divided into Muslim and Christian halves. This sharing arrangement of the site lasted until 784, when the Christian half was purchased by the Emir ‘Abd al-Rahman I, who then proceeded to demolish the entire structure and build the grand mosque of Cordoba on its ground. Córdoba returned to Christian rule in 1236 during the Reconquista, and the building was converted to a Roman Catholic church, culminating in the insertion of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the 16th century”
The result is an incredibly intricate mosque with a huge cathedral constructed right in the centre. It’s really wonderfully interesting.
We also managed to find a few bars off the beaten track that offered free tapas like in Granada. We had heard Granada was the only town in Spain still offering free tapas, but we discovered that was a tourist myth. You’re just not looking in the right places 😉
It was here in Cordoba where we parted ways with Lucy. Travelling with my two best friends has always been a dream of mine, and I feel so grateful we could make these awesome memories together. Her next adventure was to be studying abroad in Leeds for a semester, our next adventure was yet to be determined. We had no idea where we were going, or what we’d be doing, but that’s half the fun of the adventure. After goodbye hugs and promises to have a Spanish themed reunion in 2016 in Adelaide, we were off on the road once again, just the two of us.