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Our Trip to Spai Part 3: Attractions Cordoba and Carmona

Our Trip to Spai Part 3: Attractions Cordoba and Carmona

May 25th, 2001, 01:51 PM
  #1  
eddiemars
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Our Trip to Spai Part 3: Attractions Cordoba and Carmona

Cordoba

We arrived on the AVE, which is a wonderful way to travel. We had a nice big seating area and relaxed with café con leche from the lounge car - there is also alcohol and food. They show movies, so I watched “Gone in 60 Seconds.” in Spanish.( I can report that Nicolas Cage is no better in Spanish than he is in English.) No getting lost, no airport hassles, no late departures or arrivals, you leave from the middle of town, you arrive in the middle of town. The ride is very smooth, so there is no problem reading and you get to see some of the countryside.

The Mezquita. (Pronounced “meth-keeta.” The Spaniards are very big on “th.” Gracias is “gra-thee-a”, Jerez is “her-eth, Madrid is “Ma-dreth,” etc. Then they take a perfectly good th word like “cathedral” and make it “catedral.” Go figure.) The pictures that we had seen don’t begin to do this place justice. It was absolutely amazing, a tangled forest of red and white arches. But in spite of the Moopish design, it is a church. The alter was extraordinary ornate, as every chuch in Spain seems to be, and choir area had beautifully carved mahogany benches all around. The ceiling was perhaps the most extraordinary part. (We spent a lot of time looking up at ceilings in Andalucia. I took many pictures lying on my back on a church pew on this trip.) There was a cupola with a window glowing with sunlight high above the darkened building and angels hanging out over the edge. It’s very hard to explain, but it was my wife’s favorite sight on the trip.

The Juderia. It is a bit livelier than Toledo, but it was the same narrow, curving maze of white washed buildings. Very touristy with many kitsch stores, bars and restaurants. The best thing about it was Casa Pepe. (See food message.)

Liquor store. There was a liquor store on the street going back to the train station. This proved to be one of the best attractions in Spain. It was almost as good as the liquor stores at the Balcon Europa in Nerja (the two biggest that I saw in Spain), the liquor store in Granada and of course the liquor stores in Seville and Madrid. If you try driving in Spain, you’ll see what we mean. NOTE: Liquor is very cheap in Spain. We expected that duty free would therefore be really good on the way back. In fact, it is far cheaper in the local stores than it was at duty free. Don’t save your liquor (or anything else) buying for duty free.

We were in Cordoba on a Monday, so the Alcazar and everything else major was closed. The hardest part of planning a trip to Spain is out figure out where to be on Mondays and Sunday afternoon when most attractions are closed. We found the Green Guide the best book for planning.

Ejica

We had so much time getting lost on our way out of Cordoba that we skipped out plan to visit Ejica. You can see the towers from the freeway, though. That was enough.

Carmona

We loved Carmona, but maybe that was because there were signs to guide you at every major choice-point from the freeway in to town. There are no major attractions, but it’s pleasant little town and a good place for a “Rick Steves experience,” eating the locals and such. The city gate has a very good tourist office, with maps for all of Andalucia. And then there’s the marvelous Parador. It is a worth a visit, just to walk around.

We also took one of our favorite pictures, an old man with his twin grandaughters. One stepped right up to be photographed while the other stood beside here grandfather with her face down, shyly looking up at the camera. Ah, one of those unexpected pleasures of travel.

Next Sevilla and Jerez

 
May 27th, 2001, 03:43 PM
  #2  
celeste
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Eddie, I have been following your trip reports and I thought your observations were interesting and honest. However, I think you're mistaken regarding the location of the sunlight and as if angels are falling. That particular scenery is in Toledo not in Cordoba.
 
May 28th, 2001, 03:49 AM
  #3  
eddiemars
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You could be right. I'm glad that you corrected me because my wife wasn't sure that it was the Mezquita.

Thanks.
 
May 28th, 2001, 09:36 AM
  #4  
Jean Valjean
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The opening in the ceiling with the angels is called a "transparente" and it is in the Toledo Cathedral.

 
Jan 24th, 2010, 04:49 AM
  #5  
 
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I thought my old trip report might be worth reactivating. It’s probably a bit outdated, especially prices, but it still has a lot of useful, realistic, information.
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