April 24, 2009

A 9-Day Road Trip in Spain; Cordoba in One Day

Let me tell, it is amazing to discover the hidden, and not much advertised, places along the way. One picks a place to stop by for a short while to get a breath, but then ends up walking around the town taking notes and photos, tirelessly - as this was not supposed to be just a place to chill, sleep. Nothing more.Cordoba is renowned for an exotic mélange of Arab, Jewish, and Roman legacies. Delve into this bewitching heritage at the Alcázar and the ancient Moorish mosque.

When I first put the city of Cordoba temporary on the map of our itinerary as a place we would be passing on the way from Valencia to Madrid, it was supposed to be a “sleep-over” town only.
However, after a drive of 6 hours, 335 miles, we arrived in the Old Town of Cordoba at almost midnight.

First, we had an attractive position of our hotel in the captivating Jewish Quarter – one of the oldest parts of the city.

Our hotel, Maimonides Hotel, Torrijos 4, Cordoba, Cordoba 14003, Phone: +34 57 471500 was central to all Cordoba’s attractions, including late night restaurant and bar spots.
Must-Do Things in Cordoba

1. The first stop is at the Alcázar. Amble around the lush groomed gardens of orange trees, flowers, ponds with fish, birds and statues of king’s court members. Unwind in a shadow; and imagine Spanish royals walking in same garden centuries ago. Then go back inside to admire decorative mosaics and grandiose rooms, including walking up all stairs to the very top of the palace to get some of the best views of the city. From those tops you would see a very prominent line of separation between a city fortress and the suburbs, which used to be villages that served the court.
2. The Old Mosque. It also houses a Catholic cathedral. Weave around endless columns and rest in the cool interior of the cathedral.
3. Jewish quarter, including the old market and the Old Synagogue. Even though there is little left from the synagogue, it still gets much respect from the local tour guides who make sure tourists see it.

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