Thursday, November 28, 2013


Cordoba is a three or maybe four-day stop.  There isn't enough to see to fill up a week, but that's okay.  One of the things I really like about the way I'm traveling is that I don't feel compelled to rush out and sightsee every day.  I like to think of myself as a traveler, not a tourist.  Some other time, I'll share my views about the difference.

I liked getting lost in Cordoba.  I walked around for about an hour, unable to find any street on my small map (forgot my reading glasses), thinking I was headed for the river which would provide me with an orientation point.  I finally asked someone which direction the river was, and he actually pointed me in the opposite direction!  I'm sure it wasn't intentional.  Another kind gentleman turned me around and I finally reached the place that centered me.  There is an old Roman bridge that leads to The Tower of La Calahorra, which was originally, in Cordoba's Islamic period, a defensive gate of the city.

At the opposite end of this bridge is one of the gates to the old city.

The old city of Cordoba is another World Heritage Site (I've lost count of how many of these I've visited so far), and I love wandering through its narrow streets, some of which are not wide enough for a car and people.  I had to step into a doorway when a car came up behind me on this one.

I walked a bit to find this street, Calle de Las Flores.  I'm sure it's much more beautiful when the flowers are in the bloom of spring or summer.

In the Jewish Quarter, I found a different version of this in greenery.

There is some beautiful architecture here, too.

All these buildings were bordering one of the larger placas in the city.

And it seems that a ride around town by horse and carriage is popular in many countries.

I would love to explore the city of one of these.  I saw them somewhere else--I think in southern France--and it seems like a safer way to get around than a motorcycle.

I did some windowshopping, which is all I do because there is no room for anything else in my suitcases.  I couldn't imagine wearing this, even in my youth.

I visited Cordoba's Museum of Fine Arts, and the very nice gentleman at the ticket booth waved me through.  The price of admission was only 1.5 euro, but I still appreciated the "freebie".  I didn't have the same luck when I crossed the courtyard to the adjoining museum which was totally devoted to the work of Julio Romero de Torres, a 19th century artist of Cordoba.  His work was actually quite interesting;  he was fascinated with the flamenco--the singers and the dancers--and his work often included scenes of Cordoba in the background of his paintings of people.  His daughter, Amelia, appears in a number of his works--here she is the young woman reclining on the floor.

I have seen some churches, but I haven't gone into any except the Mezquita.  I would have checked out this small one, but it was locked.

I passed by another original city portal, but this one was definitely not as attractive as the one by the river.

And, of course, I've eaten lots of tapas.  My favorites so far are salmorejos--a creamy, thick and cold tomato soup made of a puree of bread and tomatoes, flavored with olive oil, vinegar, and garlic, and typically garnished with bits of serrano ham and hard boiled eggs.  It's really delicious, and when I have access to a blender, I'm going to experiment.

Another favorite is Berenjenas Fritas con Miel de Cana--eggplant, lightly battered and fried and then drizzled with light molasses or honey.  Yum!   What a perfectly decadent way to enjoy a vegetable that I've never really liked.

There's a tapas competition going on this week in Cordoba, so I've been having a tapa here and there, sampling some of the entries from the 42 tapas bars who have entered the contest.  I had salmorejos at the tapas bar that won 1st place last year with this signature soup of Cordoba.  It was delicious and garnished a bit differently with matchstick pieces of apple, cubes of Amontillado (sherry) jelly and sesame seeds.  It was definitely a winner.  I tried one of their entries for this year's competition, sticks of deep fried cod with a dipping sauce of pureed asparagus layered over another puree of red pepper and spices.  It was delicious also.

Okay, now I'm hungry.  

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