Thursday, March 05, 2015

Joint Teacher Training Event - Day 3. Córdoba

Lejana y sola.

Jaca negra, luna grande,
y aceitunas en mi alforja.        
Aunque sepa los caminos
yo nunca llegaré a Córdoba.
Away and alone

Pitchblack pony, risen moon.
A sack of olives at my saddle.
Though I know the roads I travel
I shall never get to Córdoba.

But we did get to Cordoba on March the 3rd 2015, almost a hundred years after the poem  by Federico García Lorca was published. Luckily we were taken there by a local bus driver who knew the way.  We can partly agree with the “Lejana” part but  we are confident in saying it was worth it!

We stopped for a coffee on the half-way and the Slovenians bought a big saco de naranjas, the sweet Andalucian ones and it will always remain the association of Cordoba to me. There were plenty  orange trees on the side ways and parks, but only for decorative purposes.

The bus stopped really close to the Calahorra Tower that opened our tour around the old part of Cordoba.  We crossed the The Roman bridge of Cordoba to get to the most magnificent monument of times Muslims ruled Al-Andalus. At the time Córdoba was the largest, most prosperous cities of Europe, outshining Byzantium and Baghdad in science, culture and the arts. What amazed me the most was a great mixture of Islamic and catholic architecture as the evidence of interesting cultural and religious activity throughout the history. Today it is still in use for religious ceremonies.

Impressed by the sight we were taken for a traditional Spanish snack – an omelette ( tortilla de patatas). It was delicious!

Later the sun came out and we followed lovely narrow Cordobian streets full of red pelargoniums and colourful souvenirs exposed for the tourists. We walked the Callejas de las Flores which gave us an opportunity to observe beautiful patios within the old houses.  
Lunch time. In one of those remarkable buildings, Casa Rubio, where we had the most delicious local traditional meal. My favourite was Salmorejo, a kind of  purée consisting of tomato and bread seasoned  with olive oil and garlic. Some others preferred oxtail in tomato sauce.

The last sightseeing stop after lunch was an old Jewish Synagogue and then we ended up in the modern  part of Cordoba -Nueva Cordoba, where we spent some time shopping presents for our families. It was a very pleasant day. The smells, the colours, the shapes and most of all the feeling of Cordoba will remain in our hearts.