Córdoba is about 120 kilometres from Sevilla. We decided that it was in striking distance of a charabanc trip. A lovely day out with sandwiches, crisps of two flavours and a beer for Pa. So off we went. What joys there were when we arrived at Córdoba. Skinny streets, water and ponds and a thematic blue, backgrounded by whitewashed walls.
Córdoba is a walled city and most famous for its Mezquita. Michael Portillo came here on a great European train journey and his programme had whetted our appetite to visit. The mosque is an incredible building and covers a large area.
The area it covers is so large that this is the third largest mosque in the World. When the Christians drove the Moors out of Córdoba they decided it would be a good idea to build a cathedral to show that a new God was running things. They didn’t raze the mosque, which was a positive. They did remove parts of it and built a church right in the middle of the mosque. Most of the mosque remains; surrounding the newer church and abutted hard against it. This creates a juxtaposition of architectural styles that don’t so much merge, as collide.
The man below is holding our lunch. Actually the lunch he is holding is 50 years old. Ours was created on the day of our visit (I hope).
It’s a tortilla that looks like a big cheese. The man behind the counter will cut you a slice for a small price and hand it to you on a small plastic plate with small plastic fork. Casa Santos is a small restaurant with one table and two chairs, which I think defines a small restaurant. People rested food and drinks on the bar and ate there, standing. Others stood at the one high table (that was us), others just stood and the overflow sat outside on the footsteps of the mosque. It was the best tortilla we had in Spain. We also each ordered Salmorejo, which we subsequently both agreed we didn’t like. I don’t like Gazpacho, so it was likely I wouldn’t like Salmorejo. Salmorejo is also a cold soup made from tomatoes and bread and invented in Córdoba, which is why it was necessary to try it here.
Michael Portillo arrived in Córdoba by train, he was obliged to do so as his programme was called Great European Train Journeys. I said that our trip was to be by charabanc. We selected a very modern version of the sharra in honour of Michael Portillo. It was a sharra that was an integral part of the adventure and called the Alta Velocidad train (AVE) which is able to travel at over 300k’s per hour. The 121 kilometres from Sevilla to Córdoba was accomplished in 42 minutes. The journey is so smooth. No diddly dum, diddly dum, diddly dum noises that accompanied old style track joins. It was an exceedingly pleasant train trip at Euros 50 return. This is our train, not a similar train, it is the train we travelled on. We enjoyed it so much we could not represent its likeness with a better washed stablemate.
The walk from Córdoba train station to walled city is mostly through gardens like the ones below. At this time of year they have a tripping/ slipping hazard we had not previously encountered. The oranges are ripe and tumbling. Where they have been stomped there is a lovely citrus smell that makes the walk a more positive experience.