Saturday, October 30, 2010

Visiting Cordoba - more than just the Mezquita - The Bhatia/Heinrichs Tour -day 4

Lola, another guide who loves her job and her city. Not sure what to expect, the group were all more than pleasantly surprised at the wonders of Cordoba. The tour began as we walked through the Puerta de Sevilla  and a visit to one of the picturesque Patios of Cordoba, then Lola met us in front of the monstrous outer facade of the Mezquita Cathedral at noon.  Like much of the city itself, the facade hides much of the beauty of the city. From the outside, it looks more like a medieval fortress than the highlight of the 11th century western world, but upon closer inspection the Mezquita, and Cordoba itself, offer much more to the discerning eye. Lola's visit was very well received, her sense of humor and her passion - just like Alvaro yesterday -  made her a special companion on the visit.

After a lunch of a mixture of traditional Cordobese food and fried fish, we returned to Seville. The wind picked up and the rain clouds blew in as we made our way through the Maria Luisa Park. Luckily, the wind was strong enough to blow the rain clouds through without any real rain, and we had the chance to visit the Festival de las Naciones before visiting the grandiose Plaza EspaƱa. A brief discussion about what kind of trees we saw ensued (the London-plane tree, a mix between the Oriental Plane and the American Sycamore), and we wandered back to the hotel. Dinner at the restaurant included our first paella (we ordered two - the Marisco and the Mixta - and a couple of appetizers before heading to bed for an early night. Tomorrow we head firs tthing to Granada, and a private guided tour of the best example of Moorish rule in all of Spain.  

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