Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cordoba day 2

Still wholly unsuccessful at locating some kind of breakfast in Spain that does not consist of bread, toasted bread or sweet bread. Today we had toasted bread with some kind of meat spread which, to the horror of a person in posession of a long-expired foodhandler's card (me), was served right out of the container at our table.


We stopped by the grocery store for apples to eat on the way to the Mezquita (mosque)/Catedral de Cordoba that makes the city famous. It was built, conquered and re-conquered, resulting in a large array of architectural styles all under one roof.





After, we went to a restaurant we'd seen yesterday where the lady who stands outside to try to make people come in was really nice to us and the menu had photos, which is a huge plus when you really want more than meat paste on toast. As it turns out they also have a gorgeous patio. And the food was delicious!




The soup is Gazpacho, which I had no idea could be anything but a glorified version of Pico de Gallo. This was like a salty cream of almond - it was delicious! The garnish was chopped apples and currants.

On the way home we had to flatten ourselves against the wall as you do in the narrow windy streets of Cordoba when you don't want to get brained by the mirrors on the sides of buses.


Finally timing our meals correctly, we're in the second half of our siesta back at the hotel room. Tomorrow morning we take the high speed train to Madrid, the last stop on our high speed tour of Spain.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cordoba

We were treated to vast olive groves and whitewashed towns on our bus ride from Granada to Cordoba today.



We stopped at the train station across the street from the bus station to buy tickets on the AVE (high speed train) to Madrid on Sunday.

Our hotel is right across the street from what appears to be a nightclub (one word on the sign outside: GLAM) so we are a little scared of what the evening holds, sleep-wise.

Once again, we got hungry at 4pm, just as all the restaurants closed. Luckily we caught the grocery store before closing and had a little tapa party in the hotel room (for 9 euro total!) with tuna pate, aged cheese, salami and wee toasts with oranges for dessert.


There is a fair going on the entire month of May to celebrate the weather (apparently after this month it gets ridiculously hot). We headed down to check it out. It was basically a makeshift town full of bars. Each had their own different music turned up to eleven and was full of swirling dancing people of all ages. It seems like this fair is enjoyed by every single person in Cordoba.



We had just enough time to check out the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos before it closed. It was a bit rushed but on the other hand so nice to explore with next to no other people around.



Afterwards, exhausted by hours of walking in the sun, we collapsed at a table at the first restaurant we saw and had some lovely tapas.



Tomorrow we explore the great Mezquita (mosque) which is now apparently a Cathedral.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Granada

Here are some things Granada has a lot of:
Dogs
Graffiti
Swifts
Bohemians
MC Hammer pants






The city is much larger than I expected. There is a lot of this:


But there is also a busy downtown area with all the modern urban shops you would expect.

But then there are groups of dreadlocked pot smoking hippie types playing spontaneous music in the park.

Granada is really interesting.

I kind of wish we had one more day here.

We spent the morning at the Alhambra, which was of course, stunning.


After a nap and some food, we wandered around town some more. Tomorrow we are on a bus to Cordoba

Sevilla




Sevilla was the first stop on our "Best of Southern Spain" whirlwind tour. The two top sights are the Cathedral and the Real Alcazar, both of which were completely breathtaking. It was no surprse that the city is crawling with tourists of all nationalities. We were mistaken for German more than once. This could possibly be related to the fact that I've spent so much time in Germany lately that I can't stop speaking my small arsenal of niceties in German rather than Spanish, which I've spent months trying to break myself of the habit of speaking while in Germany.

We managed to continually be hungry at the wrong times, wandering around in ever-widening circles to find restaurant after restaurant closed for this strange nightly dead time between four and eight or so. But you can pretty much always get ice cream, which is great since the weather was in the 80s and you know...ice cream!


Dag found a terrific hotel right in the heart of everything with a kitchen so we could cook breakfast.

It was only a couple of blocks away from the tram station that took us to the bus stop on Wednesday morning as we headed for Granada.