Trip Start Sep 11, 2015
Trip End Oct 26, 2015

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Andalusia,
Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday 24 September
Arrived by AVE high speed train. 
My Airbnb apartment is crazy big and cheap! It could easily fit a family of 6 but I have it all to myself. :-) And smack in the middle of the center. Wow... 
The lady who received me barely stopped chattering in her funny Andalucian accent which is a bit harder to grasp, but she was extremely friendly. 
There is also a roof terrace but often it's too hot to sit there. But it's a convenient place for drying my laundry (there's a washing machine in the apartment too). 
I wandered around the very touristy central area in the afternoon, and the bridge. It was nice and hot. 
I went to a restaurant with free flamenco over dinner, very nice performance. The singer looked like a modern cool guy (seeing him in the street you'd never guess he's a flamenco singer), but sang like an old-fashioned, hot-tempered gypsy. 
Ran into a procession in the narrow streets, men carrying Jesus with cross and another statue of Mary. 

Friday 25 September

Stunning Mezquita: mosque / church / mosque / church
Up early to be at the Mezquita door at 8.30am when it's free and less crowded for the first hour. After seeing how many hundreds of tourists are in Córdoba I wanted to go at a quiet time.
Someone suddenly said the main door would not open and like a sheep I followed a small crowd to a side door. Which was indeed open, and when we entered it we saw the main door had now opened too :-)

The second I stepped inside and was immediately between those hundreds of columns and arches, I was awestruck and got tears in my eyes. Everyone spread out pretty fast and I think more people were awestruck like me, it kept staying surprisingly quiet.

The bizarre contrasts and mixes of catholic and islamic features, and the extremely intricate decorations by all sides, were stunning to see. If only the religions could mix so well in real life.

Having just read a novel about the Christians taking over southern Spain from the moors, with numerous scenes that took place in and around the Mezquita, made it all the more touching for me. (The Hand of Fatima - Ildefonso Falcones)

Lazy late breakfast
I was quite tired from getting up so early in my holiday, I went and had breakfast sitting on an outdoor terrace on a big plaza, but the service was a bit sketchy. I read my book there for hours, then went back to the apartment, chatted through whatsapp and facebook with a few friends.

Put on shorts as it was supposed to turn 31 degrees in the afternoon (after 18 degrees in the morning). Went out to have lunch in a beer cafe Califa which I had spotted yesterday, which has IPA beer! (a bitter type of brew that I really like.) They even offered three brands but I had their home brand Califa from draft, mmm very good. 
The food I ordered was also amazing, for example toast with avocado paste (also including other ingredients) and boquerones fishies.

After that I was so sleepy all I needed to do back at the apartment was brush my teeth, lie down and have my siesta sleep.

In the evening I did some shopping for groceries, on the way over I passed the Roman columns the city has, with lots of stray cats lying on the monuments like princes, and I visited a nice little park with a fountain and lots of locals.

At home I made a big salad because tasty as Spanish food may be, it is hard to eat enough vegetables... It's all meat, fish, cheese, breaded and deep-fried things.

Saturday 26 September

Spent more time wandering through Córdoba's old streets and enjoying tapas and nice beers. 

Sunday 27 September
Had plenty of time to pack and make my way to the train station. I took the high speed AVANT train to Málaga, a comfortable ride. 
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