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Live...from spain!!! Cordoba, costa de da luz (vejer de la frontera area, madrid

Live...from spain!!! Cordoba, costa de da luz (vejer de la frontera area, madrid

Old Mar 2nd, 2024, 10:55 PM
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Live...from spain!!! Cordoba, costa de da luz (vejer de la frontera area, madrid

Live from Madrid....it's Sunday morning live!! (sorry about that!!)

I'm a very short time into my stay and am already SO happy! Yes, American Airlines has misplaced my suitcase, so was withering with cold in a long-sleeved t-shirt but all is great now that I am seated in the nearly empty Car One of the splashy new Scarlet IRYO train, bound for Cordoba. After all the red tape about the suitcase that did not make the flight, the discussion with the Lost Baggage agent turned, of course, to food. I had told him I was bound for Cordoba, where he had been last year and he proceeded to detail all the places he ate there, and in Vejer and in Barbate (he had been disappointed with EL CAMPERO's high prices and small portions although we agreed that the tuna was phenomenal.

So even though the flight on AA from MIA arrived early, about 5:45am, I did not get out of the airport until 7:30. From there, a quick taxi ride (33 euro) with much discussion of how to cook Rabo de Toro, the famous bull's tail stew of Madrid, took me to the Hotel ONLY YOU ATOCHA where I had planned to wait in the IRYO Lounge. But alas, the lounge opens at 9am, so I walked under the street, into the Atocha Metro stop, and into the station where I found the IRYO office and was able to change my ticket to an earlier train, departing (we just now left the station)-- at 8:51am. No charge to change the ticket as I had an INFINITA BISTRO ticket that gave me a seat in Car One, and I think, some sort of snack. I've now moved into a window seat and will stop now to look out the window!!!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2024, 11:11 PM
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I look forward to reading your TR.

Sit back and enjoy the ride for now.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 12:43 AM
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Welcome to Spain, ekscrunchy! It´s really cold here in my neck-of-the-woods, and we had snow, sleet and hail yesterday, but hope you arrive in Córdoba and find warm, sunny skies.

That´s a bummer that the IRYO lounge at the Only You Atocha doesn't open until 9 am (very impractical) but glad you were able to exchange your ticket for an earlier train!
Enjoy your ride!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 04:43 AM
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Looking forward to your report!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 08:27 AM
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Oh fun, looking forward to more!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 12:58 PM
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eks..I follow and often envy your adventures..🇪🇸
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 06:31 PM
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Gracias a todos!

I'm afraid there is not much to tell so far, but I'm sure this will change very soon:

Upon arriving in Cordoba Central Station at 10:39am, I was met INSIDE THE TRAIN CAR, by an IRYO representative; I had forgotten that, in booking my ticket, I had requested "assistance."
And this assistance proved to be a delightful welcome to Cordoba. The young man helped me with my bags (not necessary as the one large suitcase had been misplaced by American.
But it was lovely to be met and helped with the backpack and small bag, and walked to the taxi. When I realized how cold it was, and that I had no clothing except the long-sleeved t-shirt I was wearing (I think it was about 50F), I asked the IRYO man where I could buy some warm clothing but, sadly, he told me that all shops in Cordoba are closed on Sunday.

Quick and inexpensive (maybe 4 euro?) to the hotel from the station; we drove through a neat, new area of the city near the station but were quickly immersed in the glory of historic Cordoban architecture: Narrow, winding cobbled streets, oranges dripping from trees, many facades white with muted yellow trim, iron detailing---it almost brought tears to my eyes to be here!!

Hotel entrance is inside a courtyard and I quickly saw that the location is excellent, between the Centro Commercial and the historic core.
While I was waiting for by room to be readied (I arrived at the hotel at 11am;

Arrived at the Hospes but since the room was not ready, I made myself comfortable on one of several very deep, comfy sofas surrounding a second courtyard which encloses the breakfast tables, and my, all looked very tempting (for the next 5 mornings!). But it was FREEZING sitting on that sofa. I asked reception if I could borrow one of the wooly vests worn by the bellmen but sadly, the was not to be. But I was offered an "albornoz". WOW..that must be a type of poncho and the will be perfect for exploring during the day!!

Sorry, ek, an "albornoz" is a ROBE (I always called a robe a "bata"!). So I had to laugh when the man presented me with a long white cotton Terry robe!! I was warm and cozy now, but how could I walk to the restaurant planned for lunch, TABERNA DEL ALMODOVAR, in a long white oversized terrycloth robe???? Even for me, this seemed an embarrassing idea.

By the time I got to my (warm and cozy) room, #12, I was very tired, as I had not slept on the flight. (American Airlines, you should be embarrassed at the film selection you present on an international flight. Just saying! Truly the worst film selection I've encountered on any long flight in recent memory)

So I was very tired, and annoyed at myself for not packing warmer clothes in a carry on. Very annoyed, as I must have misunderstood how cold it could get in early March in Andalucia.

So: After moving the comida reservation at ALMODOVAR to Tuesday dinner (I'm happy because two friends of mine will cross paths with me on that day in Cordoba and they've never been to Spain so we will have fun at dinner, I'm sure)and moving my thermal bath booking to later in the week, I curled up in my large, handsome room (large sofa, streamlined modern grey-tiled bathroom, big desk) where I spent the remainder of there day reading (so happy I brought 4 paperbacks with me (iPad is breaking down) ). So Day One in Cordoba consisted of ekscrunchy lounging in her (well-heated) room, nice and cozy and excited for the days ahead! (I'm writing this at 4:15am so hope there will be a good part of the day ahead when I am alert and eager to explore cause now I feel bright and chipper but hope to get in some more sleep time. Hope to get up early: I won't miss breakfast for anything!
And tomorrow's lunch will be at CUCHARA DE SAN LORENZO but first: SHOPPING FOR WARM CLOTHES!!! Happily, there is a Zara not so far from here, and also El Corte Ingles.

Buenas noches, all!!!!

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Mar 3rd, 2024 at 06:35 PM.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 07:45 PM
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Oh, I want to see you going to lunch in the robe! 😀
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 10:54 PM
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Hi eks,
You made me laugh with the albornoz story. It really isn't usually that cold in Córdoba in March but we're going through a cold wave this week. But it's supposed to reach a high in Córdoba of 18C, 65F, today, so I hope it will warm up later on this week for you.
I think you missed the "tractorada" protest yesterday in the city, while happily resting at your lovely hotel.
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 04:16 AM
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Maribel, I did miss the protest, although while I was ensconced in my comfy sofa near the reception. I did hear a lot off back-and-forth about how there was an issue about streets being closed and that might mean difficulty for people who were leaving the city by car... I saw two couples (Northern Europeans??) who were leaving the city by bicycle!

After breakfast in the lovely hotel courtyard about 10am this morning (the usual suspects plus Pastel Cordobes, a flaky, multi-layered, light cake, and my beloved Tarta del Santiago (mediocre rendition). plus some lovely drained yogurt and a savory salad of sliced oranges with olive oil (I've begun making this at home in winter when our lettuces are sparse), and some indifferent jamon....(they also offered American-style dried cereals and French toast), I decided that tomorrow I would see about more interesting breakfast foods, perhaps eggs that the kitchen might agree to prepare. (Last night's before-bed treat was a double chunk of wonderful brownie!!!!@).

The hotel restaurant, which has Michelin designation, has a nice brief list that I hope to sample, as my booking through Virtuoso allows me a complimentary "tapas" dinner with some tempting courses that include not only Salmorejo but main courses of Arroz de Rabo de Toro and artichokes....both of those sound excellent; I hope I have3 time on the clock and room in my stomach, to fit in a short meal in house; the name is ARBEQUINA. The same restaurant offers a "Michelin Tasting Menu of three courses (two choices for each course) (all, sound tempting) for 58euro at dinner time, from 8:30 until 11pm AND a Sunday through Thursday Lunch "Soul Menu," for three courses with coffee. The setting is lovely and calm.

So, this morning after breakfast, I set out, for a cluster of one of a few commercial streets leading off the Plaza de las Tendilas, the hub of modern shopping in the city.
My first (and only) stop was Zara and, in less than an hour, I selected not only a nice black blazer and a short zippered jacket with a padded body and sleek, stretchy arms, also black. So those will do well for the weather colder that I had expected. For good measure, I also snagged a black linen long-sleeved blouse and a long-sleeved white cotton blouse; these blouses are one of Zara's fortes and prices are far below what I would spend for them in the US. So part of this hoard should be reimbursed by American Airlines, according to their instructions about reclamation of spending for necessities when luggage has been lost of misplaced. (I am skeptical about this but there is hope, and I was careful not to buy more than I thought would be necessary in case I never received my large suitcase). (As it stand now, I got a text just now that my bag had been located and would be driven to my hotel sometime tonight).

Today is warmer!!!! Cloudy but lovely, and perfect for wandering, especially now that the albornoz will be able to enjoy a rest inside my room instead of having to work keeping both warm and endure being the object of probably not-flattering attention had I been forced to don it for my wanderings. So now I am resting in the hotel and will shortly get ready for my first meal in Cordoba outside the hotel, dressed in my spiffy new black blazer!! (A cute little doggy wandered into there hotel and caused much delight for the staff and certain guests...I hope he is allowed to wander around the many connected outdoor courtyards!

3pm Comida at LA CUCHARA DE SAN LORENZO!!!

Just ready to leave for lunch when there was a light knock on the door of my Room #12: And a smiling hotel person had in hand my suitcase!!!! So relieved (it arrived earlier than promised so the foray to Zara proved almost unnecessary!!). It's' begin to drizzle, so I will now don my $12 white Costco rain jacket and my dark jeans, and prepare to set off for CUCHARA DE SAN LORENZO, said to be a close walk from the hotel Hospes..



Last edited by ekscrunchy; Mar 4th, 2024 at 04:31 AM.
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 04:45 AM
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Yay for the arrival of your suitcase!

I had to smile when reading about the "colder" temperatures, everything is relative I suppose I wish we had 10 deg C over where I live, that would be positively balmy for me right now. I have been in Spain many times in March, some years are slightly warmer than others but rarely had temps above 20-23 deg C (one day at 27 in Sevilla once) and usually in the 15-20 range but sunny almost every day!!! That too is a novelty for me.

Also, I just realized that you are coming from Florida so yes I understand that could be a shock. I do get the impression that most people do not realize that even southern Spain is not actually that far south, and certainly nothing like Florida. Just for example, consider that Cordoba is only as far south as a little below Washington DC; that may help put things in perspective.

Anyways I am still envious ekscrunchy, enjoy your continuation!
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 07:06 AM
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The Arbequina restaurant in your hotel is lovely; we've been there and are envious now of your stay as ours in still 2 weeks away!
BTW, they will make eggs fresh for you in the kitchen; just ask.

Yeah to your bag having been delivered! And yeah to your Zara shopping spree! Tomorrow´s high is supposed to reach 20C but it´s really good that you were able to purchase some new, warmer clothes.

Enjoy your lunch at La Cuchara de San Lorenzo! It's on our Córdoba dining line up as well. We're going for dinner.

Last edited by Maribel; Mar 4th, 2024 at 07:22 AM.
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 08:09 AM
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Comida (lunch) 3pm at CUCHARA DE SAN LORENZO.

About a 15-minutes, mostly flat walk from the Hospes Palacio del Bailio Hotel in the newer part of Cordoba, this is an intimate restaurant (I saw only the front room which has about 10 tables; there may be other spaces behind the but I did not see evidence of any other dining areas while I was there). The design is modern, wooden tables undraped by cloths, lights colors throughout, airy and open feeling. I felt welcomed and watched over during my lunch by the male owner and his (female) staff. Asked how I liked the dishes, how I was enjoying my meal, etc.

Before ordering (printed menu is in Spanish but there is a QR menu in English which I did not take a look at I do not like those things, which seem to be becoming more common as the years go on; I thought they were just a convenience for COVID but I guess not.

I was told that there were four off-menu (fuera del Carta) specials. I would advise always inquiring about these, as I read many reviewers complain that diners were not offered dishes that others appeared to be enjoying at nearby tables (not in this restaurant, but its a common theme on certain popular review sites.) Anyway, when presented with the written, Spanish-only menu, I was immediately advised that there were four off-menu specials. I began my lunch with one of those, the first of three dishes that I ordered:

1. Long, squared cylinder of buttered pan brioche topped with a variety of mushrooms, in season. I identified chanterelles but there were three or four other types as well. Excellent. Light.

2. Gambas al Ajillo. I've not had much opportunity to try this iconic shrimp with garlic dish, popular in restaurants throughout Spain. This version was excellent...the small shrimp were mostly without the heads, but a few were served heads on, which I prefer. In addition to the copious garlic slices and good oil, I think the sauce contained pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika) and parsley, but surely there were other flavors that I did not identify. This was very good, especially the sauce which was enhanced by a hunk of very good dark bread served to be torn and its hunks dunked in the oil-based sauce.

3. Manitas Deshuesadas (pork feet with bones removed). I'd never had this dish which is a signature in not only Spain, but parts of the US and Mexico as well. This version had the feet
stuffed with bits of jamon Iberico and, according to the menu, foie, which I did not taste. I am glad I sampled this dish but the ratio of meat to fat was very small and I ended up leaving about half the dish on my plate after ferreting our the meat from the fat and the skin which had not been crisped so that also went into the "discard" half of the plate. Again, I was happy to have a chance to try this dish for the first time, after so many restaurant visits in this country, but I was disappointed and I don't know if this particular restaurant fails to render much off the fat while cooking, or ifs this is the way it should be cooked.

With water and a glass of Montilla wine, my bill came to: 52.90 euro including one wine, water and excellent bread.

I liked this restaurant perhaps more than my review seems to indicate. Part of the negativity comes from my desire to experiment with dishes that I knew were iconic but that I had no real experience with. If I had chosen for my stomach rather than for my mind, I'm sure I would have been more gushing about the meal. In the end, I think this is a lovely restaurant, happily out of the tourist fray but not remote in the least, and its certainly worth another try by me, or a foray by someone else who is LESS adventurous than I am and would order based on dishes that sound personally appealing. All in all, this is lovely restaurant and may deserve more positive commentary than that I wrote here. One plus is that they take online bookings:


https://www.lacucharadesanlorenzo.es/carta-web/


.
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 08:13 AM
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gambas al ajillo----always with good bread to scoop up the sauce! Nice report!
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kanadajin
Yay for the arrival of your suitcase!

I had to smile when reading about the "colder" temperatures, everything is relative I suppose I wish we had 10 deg C over where I live, that would be positively balmy for me right now. I have been in Spain many times in March, some years are slightly warmer than others but rarely had temps above 20-23 deg C (one day at 27 in Sevilla once) and usually in the 15-20 range but sunny almost every day!!! That too is a novelty for me.

Also, I just realized that you are coming from Florida so yes I understand that could be a shock. I do get the impression that most people do not realize that even southern Spain is not actually that far south, and certainly nothing like Florida. Just for example, consider that Cordoba is only as far south as a little below Washington DC; that may help put things in perspective.

Anyways I am still envious ekscrunchy, enjoy your continuation!
A fellow Canadian from TO here,
it is 11C today (50F) and sunny. We are so pleased although aware it will not last.
Some years ago we were skiing north of the city. - in April.
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 09:02 AM
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eks,
Good for you for your eagerness to try new to you dishes!
In all these years, I've actually never ordered manitas (knowingly)---just not a fan. But in Spain, "el cerdo, hasta los andares".
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Maribel
gambas al ajillo----always with good bread to scoop up the sauce! Nice report!
Due to one health issue, I have to limit my food choices ( which is a “ punishment “ when in Spain.)
Fortunately I can have gambas al ajillo , just the way you said!

Last edited by danon; Mar 4th, 2024 at 09:11 AM.
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 09:08 AM
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As long as you can have gambas, danon, you're golden!
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by maribel
as long as you can have gambas, danon, you're golden!
🙂
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 11:42 AM
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I love your trip reports - looking forward to more!
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