Monday, November 17, 2008

Córdoba . . .

On my fourth day here in Sevilla, I took the AVE train to Córdoba. Ever since watching that Youtube video about Córdoba with that really cool music I have been pretty intent on seeing it. Plus it is a city that is talked about highly on several of the Slow Travel Trip reports that I’ve read. And then to top it all off Maria said it was one of her favorite cities during her visit to Spain.

I caught the train pretty easily again and when I arrived in Cordoba I took a taxi to the Mesquita. The taxi ride was about 8.60 Euros and was worth the money. I paid the $8 Euros entrance fee and then stepped back in time. It was an amazing scene. Definitely a different experience than looking at photos on the web. The Cathedral of Cordoba was built as the Basilica of San Vicente, but was destroyed in order to build what would later be a Mosque following the Islamic invasion of Córdoba. But then when King Ferdinand III reconquered Cordoba in 1236 this magnificent monument underwent a Christian transformation. So throughout the Mesquita I saw this incredible mix of influences from both the Muslim and Christian faith. It is no wonder that it is a World Heritage site.

Just outside of the Cathedral, you can walk through the small streets in the Old City Center where you can see some very pretty patios decorated with beautiful flowered pots. I stumbled upon one patio and was taking photos when I could hear some Spanish guitar music coming from a nearby shop. I went in and asked the shop owner if he had a CD for what he was playing and he said yes so I bought a couple of CD’s, a little pin and a postcard. The shop owner told me to go in the back of the shop so I can look at this 1200 year old subterranean river (well) which is from the Muslim period. It is 22 meters deep. So I went to the back of his store where I saw the well. I took a photo of it, but the shop owner told me to bend over, place the top of my head against the wall and look straight down. So okay, I’m game! I follow his instructions and low and behold I could see the reflection of the water down at the end of the well which was pretty deep. It was like in the middle of darkness there was this bright orange like glow. From what the shop owner explained to me the glow was actually a reflection of the water against the well walls. That was so cool. I took a photo so you can see a little of it. To think that this well is 1200 years old and there is still water down there is truly amazing. The shop owner told me that I should also make sure to visit Granada and I happily told him that I was for four days after I visit Cadiz. Just think I would not have seen that little piece of history had I not been drawn into this shop owner’s store by the beautiful Spanish music that he was playing!

Cordoba is a really cool town and I enjoyed myself a lot here. Well, I became a little distracted here in Cordoba and as a result I completely missed my train going back to Sevilla. But not to worry . . . all you have to do is pay the required 20% fee from the cost of my original ticket. You can change your ticket without fee at anytime except for when the train has already left. Then you must pay the 20% fee. After I paid the $5.65 Euros, they re-issued me a new ticket back to Sevilla (and even put me on first class). Oh well, I’m on vacation and the 20% fee I had to pay was totally worth it!

So now when I listen to that song or watch that Youtube video I will always remember my visit to this beautiful city in Andalusia! It was so worth the day trip over here from Sevilla.

Just outside the entrance to the Mesquita . . .

Inside of the Cathedral . . .

This is just one section of the Cordoba Cathedral. Imgaine about 20 or so of these little sections and that is how large this place is. . .

Close-up of Arches . . .

One of the beautiful patios in Cordoba (also located outside of the shop with the well). If you want to see it the address is 5045 Calle de las Flores. It is completely free to look at the well, but really it would be nice if you purchased something from the owner out of courtesy.

Here is my original view of the well, until the shop owner instructed me how to really see the well . . . I was so afraid I was going to knock over one of his souvenirs into his 1200 year old well. Can you imagine if I had? I would have felt pretty bad not to mention embarrassed. But luckily I held onto my camera bag while I had the top of my head pressed against the beautiful tiled wall there! :)

If you look closely, you can see the bright orange light at the bottom of this deep subterranean well . . . .

Here is a photo of the front of that store . . .


  1. These are gorgeous photos. That is a cool story about the store.

  2. Cordoba looks so fascinating -- imagine a 1,200-year-old well in the back of your shop! Great mosaics around the top of the well.

    The Cathedral looks very, very beautiful - so different, so much brighter than most of the great churches I know.

    Cordoba sounds so beautiful and exotic, I'm sure that you had a wonderful day there!

  3. Kathy,

    I went to the square where the guy was playing the guitar and the shop with the well is located. I didn't go inside the shop to see the well and after reading this post I regret not doing so. I did listened to the guitar player and gave him a few coins.

    Your photos are wonderful. I love the ones of the mosque. Mine are not so great mainly because of the lack of good light. It's an awesome sight but so difficult to do it justice with the camera since it is so huge.

    Had to smile at missing the train. It happens when you're on vacation and it's no biggie. Paying a few extra euros is a small price in exchange for lingering a bit longer in a marvelous place.

    Hope you're having a wonderful week!

  4. Hi Maria, I was just reading your wonderful post on Cordoba. It is really fun reading your posts and remembering my experiences. Such great memories that I'm beginning to really miss Spain.

    It's interesting that I had no clue that this wonderful Muslim well was located in this shop. I don't even remember seeing a sign or reading about it in my research. It was the sound of beautiful guitar music that drew me in! Funny how that is! And yes, I agree with you. The mosque is incredibly huge and after going around the entire area, I finally found some good lighting and snapped a few photos. And then had to use photoshop to lighten it even more. I still can't believe that I was there and saw this amazing place in person.

    And yes missing the train and paying the small penalty fee was no big deal for me and totally worth my distraction! :) I would do it again . . .

    Thanks so much for your comments. I'm looking so forward to reading more about your trip and your experiences too. Have a great evening Maria!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.