Before I toured Spain, I was unaware of the beautiful city of Cordoba. Yet I am glad that my tour provided me with the opportunity to visit. The first thing I noticed about Cordoba was that it was clean – oh and they have a great shoe shop.
Cordoba has a population of approximately 325,000 and an average temperature of 46 degrees in summer. It was also the capital of Islamic Spain in the Middle Ages.
When visiting a different, I want to buy items that are authentic to that country. On a walk around Cordoba, there is a new side and an older historic side. The new side has a lot of the modern stores that are migrating across the world. However, nestled between these stores are the smaller, local business owners and sometimes they have the best items.
I could not resist the opportunity to pick up a pair of Spanish leather sandals that were actually made in Spain. The staff was friendly and the whole experience of shopping in Spain was pleasant. Spanish people are friendly and helpful and they even provided us with directions to La Synagoga. The synagogue was located in the Jewish Quarter by the old city wall but by the time we got there it was closed.
However, the journey was not wasted by no means. The Jewish Quarter is a maze of beautiful cobble stoned, narrow streets. Cars and pedestrians literally share the road with each other. However, vehicles have the right of way and we found ourselves ducking into small doorways and openings whenever a car came by. The locals do this all the time and it comes as second nature after a while.
There were some tight squeezes on walking adventure.
Cordoba is also a spiritual city and the next morning we visited the mosque across the river. It is easy to see its early beginnings as an Italian cathedral with the noticeable architectural influence. When it became a mosque, more Muslim and Arabic architectural designs were added to the building. Walking through the enormous mosque one gets a sense of peace and tranquility. Stand to the side and it is easy to imagine a mass service taking place.
The Mosque is surrounded by old buildings built in the early days and people still live in them today. They are beautifully designed and bring unique character to the city. Like all of Spain, these old historical parts of town are a dream come true for an artist and a writer. So inspirational.
Following our spiritual journey inside the mosque, it was time to take a moment of reflection. What better place to relax and reflect than a small family run cafe on the river. Our Spanish had improved enough to order coffee. When the coffee arrived, it looked too good to mess up. It had a beautiful design layered on the froth. Oh and as a rare coffee drinker, it tasted great. Over coffee we took a moment to reflect on and remember all the great places we had seen over the past couple of weeks. It was especially good to remember all the amazing people we had met and shared this journey with.
Cordoba is a beautiful city and well worth a visit.