February 26, 2017
Today I wanted to comment on our vacation experience to date. As I first mentioned in our cover page for this blog, Jill and I are touring in a way we never have before. All our previous tours were organized by the cruise ship or the river cruise ship or the tour organizer . . . and they are fine but in reality your time is not your own.
Jill had some concerns about organizing this ourselves as I did, but with Cathy & Scott’s help all has gone well to date. We have booked all our accommodations through airbnb.com and our first here in Cordoba has been great. We have used “vistacity.com” to organize our travels and determine what sites we want to see. This has worked out extremely well! “The Visit a City” app allows you to download your personalized daily expeditions and access them offline on your iPhone complete with directions from place to place and keyed to your personalized Itinerary. Our airline tickets were booked through “expedia.com” and we did get some great prices. We go wherever we like, adjust the itinerary however we like and live with locals. To quote Cathy we “walk in the street where the dogs poop”. We see much more with our own itinerary than on an organized tour and do not believe we are missing anything.
Today, we returned to Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos. The fortress sits on the Cordoba River and is designed in the Mudejar style. Built in 1328 by Alfonso X, the complex stands on the site on an earlier 8th century caliphate residence and still retains elements the Moorish remains. This is a very formidable fortress! The Alcázar houses many Roman mosaics in the former Chapel of the Inquisition. Climbing to the top of the tower was challenging due to the size of the steps, the number of steps, the steepness of the staircase and the traffic coming in the opposite direction. In the end it was worth the climb for the spectacular views we were rewarded with.
Once outside we toured the Alcázar gardens serviced by an aqueduct that covered all of the gardens. There were numerous ponds and many finely shaped trees and shrubs. This would rank number two on our “must see” sites in Cordoba, second only to Mezquita Catedral de Córdoba.
After, we spent the better part of 3 hours here it was time for
lunch & a Cafe con Leche. This also allowed us to take a load off our feet and prepare for the afternoon.
After lunch we went to the Córdoba Synagogue. This was built in 1315, and was used by the Jews until 1492. During the Inquisition the mosque was essentially lost and was discovered in 1884.
We followed this visit up with a tour of the Casa Sefarad. This is in the heart of the Jewish Quarter and was at one time connected with the Córdoba Synagogue. This museum focuses on the history of the Iberian Peninsula Jewish tradition also known as Sephardi. One room is dedicated to Maimonides, one of the most famous Jewish philosophers and writers who was a doctor and Rabbi from Cordoba. There is also a room dedicated to the Medieval and Spanish Inquisitions.
Once again, time for “cafe con leech and pastry. We then set off to find the elusive Capilla Mudejar Iglesia de San Bartolome only to find that it was closed by the time we got there. We will follow up with that tomorrow.
13,881 steps today, about 8.71 miles.
‘till tomorrow . . . .
- Return To: Andalucia, Spain 2017