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Andalucía Tour 2005 (2)

For part 1 click here

Córdoba

After just 24 hours in Granada, we were back on the road again, driving north, in the darkness, on surprisingly good Spanish motorways, to our next destination: Córdoba. Seat of the old Caliphate of Córdoba, the city is home to the world-famous Mezquita, which was high on my list of “architectural wonders I want to see before I die”. Córdoba is also known for holding records for highest temperature in Europe and, as someone who despises hot weather, I was nervous it’d be an uncomfortable experience.

On arriving late at night – once again, plenty of fun and games finding our hotel and suitable parking too – we went to bed ASAP as we wanted to rise early and make the most of our limited time in the city. First order of the morning though was locating a nice café for breakfast and then getting our bearings by wandering around the old town.

The Mezquita, or Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, was originally built in the 8th century as a mosque. It was later converted to a Catholic cathedral in the 13th century after the Reconquista (“reconquest”) of Spain. It’s now one of the most impressive remnants of Moorish architecture still surviving, and is the must-see destination if you’re visiting Córdoba. As before, my camera and photography skills continue to disappoint…

Sevilla

Just 24 hours after we arrived in Cordoba, we were on the move again. This time we were heading west to Seville where we planned to spend a couple of days exploring the capital of Andalusia and its most populous city. As we normally did, our first priority was to start early and find ourselves some food. Soon after we were on our way to see the Plaza de España, Alcazar, Torre del Oro and take a boat ride down the Guadalquivir River and under the Triana Bridge.

Yes, the temperature really was an inhuman 42 degrees Celsius. July is absolutely the wrong time to visit Southern Spain. But we soldiered on and made the best of it. I’m much more of a “tourist” than Taz and insisted, above his objections, that we take a river cruise. We were the only people on it, so it was almost like we’d hired a whole boat just for us!

Beaten down by the unforgiving sun for a whole day, we had no trouble getting to sleep that night. Unfortunately, my camera ran out of room by the end of this day and we couldn’t document any more of our holiday, which saw us return once again to Ronda and Malaga for a few more days before we flew back home. The whole trip did feel a little bit rushed. However, this certainly wouldn’t be the last time I visited the region and there’d be plenty more opportunities for me to enjoy the cultural, architectural, gastronomic and historic delights of Andalusia in future.

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