Castanets in Cordoba…
We bid a fond farewell to beautiful Seville then take the short 1 hour train trip to Cordoba…the taxi delivers us through the rubik’s cube of streets and laneways to our apartment in a quiet area a short walk away from the mayem around the Mesquita…
The apartment is very modern and comfy with it’s own set of ruins in the middle of the complex. We have a tiny spiral staircase that leads up to a terrace on the roof that may be handy for pre dinner drinks when the sun goes down if Rosie can brave the little stairs, she says they look scary…
First impressions Cordoba lacks the instant appeal of Seville, but we will explore the ‘must sees’ and see if the rest of the city can redeem itself and will reserve judgement for now…a handy little supermarket is across the street and we stock up on supplies before setting off for the main area of the Juderia near the Mesquita.
Apparently we have hit the jackpot as the ‘Feria’ is on, a massive event on the Cordoba calendar held a distance away over 2 bridges. As we walk the windy streets, there is a lack of open air cafes and we soon sort out that they are hidden away behind doors in shady patios inside all decked out with greenery and dozens of pots of bright geraniums. As we walk towards the Mesquita the sun beats down and I realise that foolishly I have left my hat behind and Rosie is also naked without her visor…We are told at the tourist information centre that there is a flamenco demonstration on at 230pm at the fieta so set off for the fairgrounds. We cross the wide and muddy river over a roman bridge. It’s a long trek and there are people arriving but we realise that the party is just getting started…all the women are out in their finery, the typical flamenco costumes in every colour and pattern and adorned with yards and yards of frills. There’s clearly a competition as to who wears the biggest rose At this point our heads are baking and we are sold cheap panama hats for only 1 euro, great investment…As we start to walk up through the city of massive marquees a couple of blokes decked out in yellow are handing out free lemon flavoured beer…and Rosie decides this is her new favourite midday drink. There are obviously parties of people congregating to eat in the tents and are lubricated enough to start some Spanish grooving. Amongst them are even large groups of menopausal nonnas poured into the fancy costumes and some of them all matching.. We make the long dusty walk to the end of the grounds to find the location of the flamenco demonstration. At least the area facing the stage is well shaded and cool. Rosie tries to order a glass of the delicious lemon-beer but the waiter doesn’t understand her Spanish or the picture she took on her phone and she ends up gagging over a pint of the local lager…she’s not a convert to the pale ale…
Groups of beautifully dressed kids in costume are running about everywhere preparing to put on a display…looks like it’s a presentation from a flamenco dancing school. There are even a couple of babies dressed up in frills, their outfits complete with mini heels and earrings. The kids put on a great show from the kinder age to the seniors who dance with the teacher…the seniors are wearing dresses with a heavy train of frills, so heavy they carry the train over their shoulder…As they dance they expertly kick out the train and flick it around sending up great clouds of dust as they do. Their expressive hands and sensuous movements tell the story. It’s a fun thing to see. It’s a bit of a shame we are here so early, the place will be all lit up late in the evening but the ‘feria’ is on all week so we can pay another visit if we want…time is moving on, it’s after 4 and we still haven’t eaten. We would rather choose a nice place to eat in the Juderia so we take the long walk back to relax over a late lunch only to find as we finally locate our restaurant of choice, that it’s closing time!! Crap…we walk the plaza near home and end up at small ‘bocadillo’ (sandwich) place that is open all day and the mini baguettes at this stage taste like gourmet food all washed down with a pint of the lemon beer so we are calling that lunch at 5pm…just as well as we won’t be eating dinner before 830pm when the restaurants reopen..
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Chapter 5 Dos Hermanas on a train in Spain - Castanets in Cordoba
Castanets in Cordoba…