Spain 2 – Cordoba and Seville….. 2011

Cordoba…full of tourist tapas but the big number is the Mesquita where Catholic Spain popped its Cathedral bang in the middle of the 8th plus Century grand mosque. A wonderous building. Row after row of serene double arched colonnades with the Gothic church dropped in the middle. “Cop that you heathens; we’re in charge”.

Row upon row of arches

It’s 9.30 and the priests are gathering…twenty of them…dressed in purple and red. …. great male theatre. So what does a recovering Catholic who hasn’t believed for 40 years do? Go to Mass of course. Male theatre at its best with wonderful music thrown in. But, goddess, please note, I am still in the recovering mode. I wouldn’t dream of taking communion.

Tourists trail around the remains of the great mosque peering over the red cord, wondering what they are missing but hey, I am on the inside today.

The Mesquita from outside the town. The dome of the inserted church can be seen

Ticked off the other must sees in the town but best of all were the gardens and courtyards. Bursts of red and purple in cool green corners behind whitewashed corridors of houses and imposing palaces.

The gardens of the Alcazar

It is good that Cordoba has won the Spanish nomination for the next European City of Culture . There are obviously a number of street artists in hiding outise the walls of the old town.


Tapas wearing thin but wary of the salads…they’re off the menu in Europe today because of the mystery deaths in Germany. Spanish cucumbers were under suspicion. I sometimes worry about new forms of germ warfare that future societies might unleash on each other or about strange viruses that might seep through the world. But I don’t think about it often. There are too many wonderful things to wonder at.

People at play

Outside the walls of the old town, there are senior citizens’ playgrounds where the elders take their exercise and from our brief moments there, a number of them did!

Talk. Cycle. Observe.

Inside the walls, the tourists take lots of breaks from the early summer heat.

The tourists rest in a row


My cold is worse but we hit Seville on Saturday. Seen the palace so far…oh, how intent I am on educating myself with all this history. Right now I ‘ve had to order a marguerita to get over all this learning. More tapas soon.

It was so bloody hot today that at 5 we took to a river cruise. Columbus left the same way a few hundred years ago….same river, same place. Magellan even earlier. Sad, sad , sad, a middle aged Japanese man in a wheelchair pushed by a wisp of a woman. He’s had a stroke but is groomed to a fault and seemingly used to being in charge. She dozes on the boat.. as the Japanese can……exhausted. He nearly falls from his chair, impotent. What is the backstory? Someone says they are with a German speaking group. How lucky I am!!!

One of my traveling companions is not reticent about her strongly held opinions that are mostly diametrically opposed to my own strongly held opinions. What a  learning experience for me to keep calm and go to bed early so I don’t let go with my once cutting tongue. Perhaps I am growing up or growing kinder or just too tired to engage.

Anyway…tomorrow the Cathedral  (after more average tapas).

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