Fucked Over in Cordova

Trip Start Sep 15, 2006
Trip End Oct 10, 2006

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Monday, October 2, 2006

MOOD: Pissed
TIME/PLACE: Oct 2, 10pm, Cordova Train Station Cafeteria
SONG STUCK IN MY HEAD: Nothing at the moment. Just the sound of rusty gears grating away in my brain.
LAST FOOD CONSUMED: A glass of cerveza and a croissant dusted with powdered sugar.

And it was such a good day. I suppose it could still be if I forgive myself for being such a conjo (fuckhead).

I got out of the hotel in Ciudad Real at about 11:30 and made it to the bus station before 12, hoping that there'd be a bus to Cordova around then. Turned out the last one left at 11. Which sucked. So I took the local bus to the train station and found out that the last train to Cordova left at 11:50, but the next one was at 1:30. Very well, I needed to edit my trip photos, anyway.

I sat across from a woman who was one of those people whose legs bounce while they're sitting. Now, I'm not talking about the up and down. I do that, and that I could ignore. But she was kicking her leg out, over and over and over. I moved to the side of her, but I was still facing her and it drove me crazy. But I didn't want to move again so I didn't. I guess that was an omen of some sort.

The train was the fastest I think I've been on, which explained why it was 25 Euros. I was told that the train to Sevilla later that afternoon would be 13 if I left at 9:30, but that later ones would be more. This would come to haunt me.

On the train I met a New Yorker named Jake who I gave my Spain cell number to. He said he'd call tonight about drinks. He hasn't. Doesn't matter, I won't get to Sevilla until 11.

At the Cordoba station I put my bag in a locker and found the bus to the center of town. It was then that I realized I'd left my guide book in the locker. What good is lugging around a guide book if you're not going to use it? Oh well, I thought. I used it in Toledo and all it did was get me lost and frusrated. In Cordoba I'd try going back to just getting lost on purpose.

I got off on Calle de Fernando and saw a sign pointing towards tourist info. So, even though I had just decided to wing it, I went back to needing to know why I was in Cordoba. I succeeded in not finding the info booth, and instead I wandered.

I really loved wandering through Cordoba. This is a real town. Not like Toledo, which appears to be a dying place full of service professionals. Cordoba has school kids and old people and teens and everyone.

At first I was in the old part of town, slowly making my way towards the big attraction, La Mezquita, the mosque that had a cathedral plopped into it after the Catholics reconquered Cordoba. I walked along the river, filming a crane, then went through more of the streets, and then I came upon it -- a huge, imposing wall. Around the side I found a lovely statue on a pedestal, and the birds were being very cooperative in terms of their timing for my shots.

At the door of La Mezquita there were tons of tour groups, but it appeared that they were leaving as inside the courtyard there was relative peace. A man was sketching the belltower, the pigeons (which were predominantly white, which is odd) were buzzing about, and there were babbling fountains. I sat down to ate my leftover Tortilla Espanola from the night before and soaked up the scene. It was hot, but not so hot that it wasn't comfortable in the shade.

The cost to go into the mosque was 9 Euros, which isn't cheap. But it was so worth it. Right when I stepped in I loved it. It was dark and nice and cool and, what with the lines of archways, the picture taking opportunities were endless.

The guidebook laments the fact that the Cathedral was added, but I really liked it. If La Mezquita didn't share both Muslim and Catholic elements, it wouldn't be nearly as cool.

Afterwards, I got lost again, loving every corner I turned and doorway I looked through. All of the homes seem to have courtyards with fountains, and I was taking pictures right and left. I was trying to make my way to the only other thing I remembered from the guide book, Plaza de Tempranillo. And lo and behold, I accidentally found it. And it was beautiful. There's a big fountain and statues and the buildings there are gorgeous and the lighting was fantastic as it was getting late in the day and there were kids running around and lovers sitting close and bicycles buzzing through and mopeds and horse-drawn carriages.... Wow.

It was getting close to the time that I was hoping a prospective employer would call me, and I tried in vain to find a call shop so I wouldn't have to conduct the interview on the cell phone for fear of a bad connection or outrageous charges. I sat at the plaza for some time, but when she didn't call I went wandering some more.

I ended up finding an Internet shop, so I emailed her, and while I was updating my TravelPod page and learning that the Dodgers still didn't win the NL West even though they ended their season with a seven game win streak when she called. It sucked that I couldn't log out of my session and that the Internet shop was really hot, but I was glad to get the interview over with and I think it well. Of course, I always think these things go well.

Before finding the Internet shop I found a bar with a friendly guy who helped me find the Internet shop, so I went for a beer. They had a really good Belgian dark beer by the bottle (called like Effel?), and while drinking it and mouthing along to The Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls," the video for which was on a flatscreen TV, I realized I better get back to the station.

By the time I found the bus stop, I missed the bus to the station and by looking at the bus stop schedule learned that the next one might come in 20 minutes. So I took a cab to the station, which cost 4.25, then bought my ticket for the train, which was coming in 12 minutes, then thought that I lost my code to retrieve my bag from the locker. I went to go ask security to help me and they were going to charge me 9 Euros for the privilege, but then I finally found the code, about a minute after the train left. Fuck.

When I went to go change my ticket, the agent spoke no English and gestured that I needed a stamp or something. So I went to the information booth where they do speak English and I was told that I wouldn't get a refund. Motherfuckers.

I walked across the street to the bus station, but all the windows were closed, so I begrudgingly went and bought a 21.43 ticket on top of the 13 Euros one I already bought.

This rushing about business is getting to be too much. I think I'll take my time in Sevilla. Or not.

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