Monday, May 6, 2013

{travel} córdoba, andalucía, españa

Córdoba was an interesting experience. I wanted to love the quaint little city so much more than I actually did. However, this might be entirely due to the inclement weather we had pretty much the entire time we were there, and the horrendous bus ride we had to endure on the way there.

What we thought was going to be a 2 hour direct bus ride from Granada to Córdoba, ended up being a 4.5 hour windy, bumpy ride on a "commuter" bus that stopped in (I'm convinced) every single drab, industrial city in all of Andalusia. We all thought that we were going to be sick. Eeeek!

To top off a great commute from Granada, we arrived in Córdoba to cold, driving rain. We attempted to make the most of it for a few hours and wandered around the city for a while.

Dani was a good sport about the rain....

... but she's from England so it's just another day in the life, really. This is how I felt most of the day:

Welcome to Córdoba folks.

We did see a few cute little buildings and plazas during our trek through the rain.

Córdoba is known for all its white-washed buildings with bright painted accent colors around the doors and windows. Rick Steves suggested that we check out this "local favorite," Montilla Moriles, but it was during a weird hour in between lunch and dinner so it was closed. 

We were so cold and wet that we decided a few hours in to just grab a cup of tea and head back to the hostel. We stayed there the rest of the night reading, listening to music, and chatting. It was very necessary.

We thankfully woke up to BEAUTIFUL, warm sunshine the next morning. 

Too bad we had to leave at 12:45 and still wanted to tour the exquisite Mezquita-Catedral.

Touring this incredible piece of history completely made up for the crappy, rainy situation that happened the day before. This building has a crazy history. The mosque itself is built on top of an old church's grounds, which was built in about the year 600. There is glass paneling in one section of the mosque that allows you to look down at the original floor of the former church. The building was refashioned and expanded into a mosque when the Moorish empire was in power starting in 784. It was expanded to its current size by year 987. The arches are made from alternating strips of brick and stone.

The Moors controlled the Mezquita until the Reconquista in 1236, when the Catholic King Ferdinand conquered Spain from Islamic rule. They decided to allow the mosque to continue to stand, but added their own touch of religion in the massive building.

Hellllllo Catholics! There is also a chapel room near the cathedral section of the Mezquita, but it was closed off to the public eye, so I don't have any pictures of it! When I told my students about my trip to Cordoba, my favorite part was telling them about visiting this monument. They really had to work out their English prepositions!

A Christian chapel built next to a Catholic cathedral, which is built inside of an Islamic mosque that is built on top of an old Christian church. WHEW.

After thoroughly enjoying our tour through the Mezquita-Catedral, we took a walk down Calleja de las Flores.

So romantic. So Spanish.

After wandering for a few minutes more, it was off for a quick breakfast of coffee & toast, then onwards to the train station.

Next stop: SEVILLA!

Trip Overview:
  • Travel Connections: We took the worst bus ever. It isn't the company's fault (Alsa), it is just a horrible route! I would suggest attempting to find a train or maybe renting a car. A 2 hour drive was more than doubled on the bus. eeek! Cordoba is on the AVE line with Sevilla & Madrid though. Super easy 1 hour train ride to Sevilla.
  • Where we stayed: Pension Cibeles - It has a great location in the center of town, and is very quiet and lovely. The room was clean, bright, had lots of electrical plugs, and WIFI access. It was a really nice change from a normal hostel. I recommend this place! 4/5
  • Highlights of my trip: Hands down, the Mezquita-Catedral. It is a must-see! Also, I'm sure wandering the streets and visiting the patios would be a nice thing to do on a clear day, but with the rain it was just kind of miserable.

I am seriously falling behind on my travel posts. I have a horrible memory, so I need to get all of these trips down in writing so I remember all of my favorite moments from my year abroad in a few years. Next up: Sevilla, London, & Valencia!

xx, Jen


  1. All of these pictures are amazing!! I love seeing your travel updates. How much longer will you be abroad?

  2. Ah! Sara! I miss you!

    I will be in Spain until December for sure, and potentially up until June of 2014 if I extend my work contract with the public school system here. :)

  3. the cathedral is on my list of places to visit! I loved studying it in Art History!

  4. omgggg look at those buildings- absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Also, i took so many photos/ videos of handsome men playing guitar while traveling through europe. they just dont do that in the US!


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