Best of Spain

Day 15 – September 18, 2004 - Cordoba

Our wake-up call was at 8:00 today so everyone had a leisurely breakfast and talked in the lobby until it was time to get on the bus. We started for our short trip to Cordoba along the Guadalquivir River Valley.

We traveled over rolling hills and this reminded us of our travels to Iowa through Nebraska. Most of the grain was harvested and the fields were a lovely shade of gold and brown. It is only about a 2 hour drive so it is a short day on the bus.

Francisco took us to an overlook to see the river valley, the Mezquita (a former Moorish Mosque), an old Roman bridge, and old flour mills along the river bank. We could see the city in the background, and it was very impressive.

Our local guide Henrique picked us up on the square and we had a tour of the largest mosque (Mezquita) ever built outside of the Arab world. The mosque was built in the 8th century on 4 acres of land. We were able to imagine the sultan and his harem inside the walls of the compound.

After the one hour informative tour, we were taken on a walk through the narrow streets and alleys of old town Cordoba and we visited the Jewish Synagogue.

We then were given some time to spend the rest of the time exploring on our own. We looked at a few tapas bars, but decided on a sandwich and paninni and then were off to find an internet to get yesterday’’s mail out and work on UOP classes.

These quests to find internet cafes have brought us to many new and different parts of towns that others are not getting to see. Vic is certainly using his Spanish as many of these locals do not speak English at all and the Castillian Spanish is much faster and a different accent than he is used to speaking.

We are also getting a great look at the young people of Spain that are using the internet. Not many old folks like us in the internet cafes or cyber bars.

We were back at 2:45 so we walked back to the main street noticing it was 100 degrees in the shade –– no shade! We were told by people that the temperature in Cordoba got over 130 degrees this summer. “I couldn’t live like that!”

Our luggage was already at the hotel so once we got our keys we relaxed a bit. Vic started to work on the photos only to find out that his computer was dead! He tried everything, but it would not turn on –– problems with the on/off switch/short. Bad news, and needless to say, very depressing for him.

At 4:00 we walked outside to clear the air and to get our minds off of the broken computer. We found a cyber cafe and I worked on UOP attendance and Vic wrote a note to everyone explaining why this would be the last message until we got home.

As we walked back, the temperature sign advertised 100 degrees again at 5:00 PM. Our whole stay has been warm, no rain at all. Our hotels are not used to this heat either and the air conditioning in our hotel room here in Cordoba never got below 76 degrees all night!

Before dinner we had a little get together with 4 other couples and two single gals that are in our group. We had a very pleasant chat and it was nice to get to know them more.

We went to dinner in the hotel, pasta salad, baked chicken and French fried potatoes. Not great but we had had snacks before so we were not too hungry anyway.


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