Andalusia Travel – Discovering the Moorish Beauty of Cordoba and the Mezquita
I started with a visit to the impressive royal gardens that feature many fountains, pools, hedges and flower beds, interspersed with various statues of Spanish kings. I ended up meeting a very interesting woman from Iran who was visiting Cordoba by herself. Strolling around the gardens, and enjoying the fresh strawberries that she had bought, we spent a couple of hours together discussing the situation in Iran and her new life in England. Then we explored the inside of the Royal Palace and even climbed up one of the castle’s towers for an impressive view over Cordoba. It’s always great when you bump into some really nice people on the road.
After saying goodbye to my newly found friend, who was travelling on to Seville this afternoon, I left the Royal Palace and walked across the Roman Bridge (which indeed dates from Roman times, but has been rebuilt many times since). From the bridge I enjoyed an amazing view of the skyline of historic Cordoba. I could see the Mills of the Guadalquivir, built during Moorish time to grind floor for the burgeoning population of Cordoba.
Finally on April 24, 2011 my last few hours had started in Cordoba: in the afternoon I would have to catch a plane from Seville to Graz, Austria, but I still had the morning to explore this Andalusian jewel. At last I had some sun – after almost 6 days with rain! I made sure I covered the entre old part of town again to take shots in the sun and captured photos of the Mezquita, the Royal Palace and the Roman Bridge. Then I headed northwards into the city and explored a whole new area of Cordoba.
As this was Easter Sunday, I was curious about the Semana Santa processions, but due to the earlier rain they had been cancelled. But I did see two huge statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary inside the Church of Santa Marina where many people had come to celebrate the Resurrection. Catholic traditions are still very important in Andalusia and the whole town – young and old – seemed to be out on the streets, wearing their finest clothing, to celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Christ.
In the early afternoon I hopped back into my rental car and drove back westwards to the airport in Seville. My explorations of the south of Spain had officially come to an end. Now four days in my home country of Austria, followed by five days in Berlin were still waiting for me in this great European adventure.