28.10.2008 26 °C
Next in Spain it was onto the Former Muslim centre of Europe, first stop was Cordoba one of the most important citys of Western Europe in the 10th Century. The main building left here is the Mesquita (Mosque) which was converted by the Christians when the city was recaptured in 1236. At the time of the Muslim rule this mosque was the second largest in the world.
Parts of the original walls also remained
But the Mequita was the real highlight
The Christians basically just modified the existing building, and built a number of cathedrals inside the original mosque
It was amazing just walking through the arches, and seeing how the light changed
Other than the Mosque there wasnt much left of the Muslim city, but the street layout was definatly based on the original Muslim city.
Cordoba felt as though it was really based around the tourists, but there were still some great local places to be found. This Fino bar specialised in Montilla-Moriles a type of Fino, a glass out of the chilled barrel was only about €1.20 not the best tasting stuff though!
The food here was a little dissapointing after Seville, but we did find a great Tortilla place (which is basically a potato frittata) and when its good its great!
We stayed just outside the old town in Cordoba, and just on the corner was this bar on top of a new multi-storey carpark, this must be were all the locals go because it was pretty busy for a Monday night, and had a great view of the old Roman Bridge
Next was onto Granada, home to the Moops(according to George or Moors, according to the Bubble boy in Seinfeld)
With the obvious highlight here being the Alhambra
A good solid day was required to see the Alhambra, and even in low season the pre-book tickets were sold out 24 hours before the day, so that meant we had to get there for the on the day sale tickets at 8am with entry at 9am. The entire day felt like cattle through the saleyards, but it really is one of the most amazing places in the world
The famous Lions courtyard was under maintenance, and all the Lions had been taken away for remodelling (just imagine a series of 7 giant lions squirting water into a central fountain)
But the main courtyard more than made up for it.
The view back over the Albycin was impressive as well (this is the old muslim medina)
Then there was the Generalife (the Architects Gardern) where the average tourist seemed to go crazy, I had to take a photo of this Brady bunch Family who decided to get a photo of them all jumping out from behind the columns and you will notice that the last two people are not even part of the family they just decided to join in
It was a long enjoyable day
After some great Tapas in Seville, and some good finds in Cordoba, we had high hopes for Granada. But this stop seemed to be the end of our Tapas meals. Every place we found seemed to adopt the more of less is better angle, and it was about getting free stuff, which the American tourists seemed to love
But we still found some intresting places, this place was suposed to be mexican but they served huge Montaditos (which were free)
And I am definatly not sure how the knights fitted into the theme
Another day we setout to explore the Albycin, We had read some bad stories about this area. And there have been quite a few violent muggings so we really had our wits about us, and quite a few times we walked down a narrow street to see some very dodgy characters just hanging around trying to look like they were meant to be there, and after a few hours walking around we booth had the heeby jeebys, but it felt very Arabic and we could have easily been back in Morroco
Until we found these guys at one of the lookouts, very Spanish!