Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Europe Adventure Day 19


Yes, time to say good-bye to our posh hotel room ... the king size bed ...



... the double sink ...



... The large tub and the two showers (second one on the opposite wall).

We packed, checked out and left our luggage with the concierge.



Things to see here was Alcázar so that's where we were going first. No line yet to speak of. No brochure with the tickets so we would know which way to go and what we were seeing. Very unorganized and all very random.

Alcázar was the castle of the Christian Monarchs of Córdoba and with its thick defensive walls served both as fortress and a palace. Roman, Visigoth and Arabic ruins lie side by side which was once the favorite residence of the different rulers of the city.





James laughed about this modern improvement: rain gutters! But all they did was put the water on the floor?




Since there were no signs or explanations we had to guess. Since this castle also was the headquarter for the inquisition in Spain (1478-1834), this must have been the prison tower. There were several drawings scratched into the walls. One had the date 1663.






There was a nice garden where water runs from one pond into the next.






This hall used to be the small Baroque chapel and now displayed mosaics on the walls which had been found during excavations.



Wandering around we also found the baths built in Arabic style.






No sign on these statues either but we assumed that it is Columbus getting his orders from the King and Queen.




After this we needed a coffee.



We still had time left and decided to go back to the other side of the roman bridge where I had just run up the tower. The fee had actually been for the museum and rushing by it had looked interesting.



We had audio guides and we were very impressed. The living museum of al-Andalus presents a cultural panorama medieval heyday of Cordoba, the ninth century to the thirteenth century, based on the coexistence of cultures Christian , Jewish and Muslim. Here each figure was singled out one after the other and "they" told us their view ...mainly that we all believe in the same God. They all made it clear that neither the Torah, Koran nor Bible teach that violence is the right way but that we are supposed to love each other and are supposed to be benevolent. The words of these 4 persons were wonderful and touching. I wished I would remember the exact words! It was such wisdom. We are not supposed to be concerned about the relationship others have with God but be concerned about our own relationship with him. What is going on in the world today? It's like the inquisition in the Middle Ages just by a different party this time. Sigh!


This was a model of the cathedral while it was still a mosque. And other things. Really well done and interesting.



Of course the view.





There were also several pieces of modern art. This was in a niche when we came down the steps. It reminded me of some of the "scratched graffiti" in the prison tower.



Back over the bridge: the river side of alcazar.



So we wandered the narrow streets again having a coffee in mind. This looked nice. And it was. "La Fragua" in the Calleja del Arco was a lovely place. I should have taken more photos from the inside and the courtyard (and the "aseos"). The food was excellent. James said his was the best tasting he had in a while.






The waiter was so concerned that we liked everything that he brought us with our coffee a complimentary special local liquor.



Refreshed we continued on our way. There was still time to visit the Synagogue. We were told that there are only three medieval synagogues left in Spain. It was built 1314/1315 and in constant use until the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492 at which point it became a hospital for a while.



Having been to the museum of al-Andalus we understand everything better now because this statue is one of the "wise" men in the museum.





Everywhere there are tiles and these labor intensive floors in all sort of patterns.



I could walk around for a long time and find all those beautiful details like this door.



Time to go back though to the hotel and claim our luggage. Then we take a taxi to the train station and have a coffee there.

The train is on time (of course!) ...



... and in a bit less then one hour we are in Seville.



A taxi brings us to the hotel. Another of James' jackpots. It was described as a "boutique hotel" and it is very charming. The young lady at the reception couldn't have been any nicer.






Location, location, location! After we had settled we head out. Time to find dinner. No shortage of restaurants overflowing into the streets. We order 5 different tapas to share. It ended up being a culinary success. OMG!



These were my favorite: mushrooms filled with shrimp and cheese. The two drizzled sauces were unbelievable ... and I couldn't really figure out what.







After dinner we wandered around a little. Lots of people around. It was a very mild lovely summer evening with a light warm breeze. So perfect.

We went to the cathedral because we wanted to see when there might be a service the next day.



There were horse drawn carriages. He just offered his horse a bucket of water. We are fascinated with the horses too. They are special. The way they walk and move seems so different, so elegant.





Saint Peter has the key.



We stood here for just a moment. VIDEO!



Then we find our way through the narrow streets back to our hotel. Have I mentioned that it is in a great location?

Ah, aaahhh. Night night.


1 comment:

  1. “We are not supposed to be concerned about the relationship others have with God but be concerned about our own relationship with him.” True words. Something that everyone should live by.