Wide angle of interior of the Mezquita

and I even had a plan for writing a post for Tuesday. But here it is, Wednesday morning, and nothing got written yesterday. As often happens, my plan ran into the real world and practicality.

Breakfast at Posadero

We began the day with a wonderful breakfast at Patio del Posadero. Everything we were served was well thought out and everything was explained. And, each time we thought we were done, another serving would be placed on the table. There was even cheesecake for dessert. [I now believe there should always be dessert at breakfast.] We were in no rush because we had tickets for entrance to the mosque-cathedral (Mezquita) at 11:00.

One result of the pandemic here, and other places, is an attempt to reduce crowding by setting up timed entrances for exhibits and tourist locations. It is probably not a bad idea, but when executed the way it was at the Mezquita, people end up in a crowd waiting to enter, so it may not have the intended effect. But we did get in and spent about an hour and a half being amazed, once again, at this triumph of art and beauty. Every time we visit, I tell myself not to take the same pictures again, but probably half are images I have taken before. For example, the forest of arches and pillars demands that one try to capture the geometric and design perfection but after four visits I still haven’t figured out how to do that. It is difficult to get a sense of just how vast the interior space is because there are lots of people and with all of the light I think it tricks the eye into believing that the space is comprehensible. [More about this later.]

The courtyard at the Mezquita

We could only spend a relatively short time at the Mezquita because we had to get back to Posadero by 12:45. Our hostess, Lisa, had arranged for us to spend a few minutes with professor and author Manuel Rodriquez Ramos. He is an authority on, among other things, the archaeology of flamenco and has written a book called “Flamenco Arqueología de lo jondo” about the roots of flamenco. Lisa knows about our connection to flamenco and thought it would be good to get us together. We had a short but useful conversation. His English and my Spanish often collided so Lisa acted as translator.

And here is where my plan ran into reality. I thought that since we had nothing scheduled after our conversation with Manuel, I could get a start on processing pictures and writing the day’s post. But I forgot about that thing called “shopping.” Patricia wanted to head back towards the area around the Mezquita to look at leather goods and to scout out places to eat. I, of course, went along. Shopping was done and we even had some nice conversations in the shops. We walked around areas we have been in several times and everything felt familiar. It should be explained that there are a LOT of tourists in Cordoba and lots of tourists means LOTS of restaurants. LOTS of restaurants means LOTS of menus to peruse. We (that means me) almost gave up but we narrowed the choices down to about 5 and celebrated with gelato. [NB: Patricia says I have to clarify the business about menus. She wants to be clear that I was the one rejecting the choices because I didn’t want to have the same tapas as we had the night before.]

We walked back to Posadero–it is about 15 minutes from the Mezquita–and I thought I would work on the post until it was time to go out for an evening event at the Mezquita starting at 8:00. But reality struck again. I thought I would just lie down for a few minutes since I was a little tired–we had walked about 12,000 steps already–at 5:30 and the next thing I knew, it was just after 7:00 and I still had not written a word.

The Mezquita has developed a night “tour” of the Mezquita. It begins with a video which shows the various iterations of building at the site from the Visigoths to the Renaissance. The site has been a church, a mosque, a church, and is now a World Heritage site which is still a church. Then the group of about 100 people is escorted to the main entrance. Those doors are not usually open during the day. I mentioned the group of 100 because at one time as many as 40,000 Muslims could worship inside so you can see how camparatively few we were. When we went inside, all the lights were off. At each stop on the tour we would get a little information and then, magically, lights would start coming on. It was completely different than being there in the day. The small number of people and the vast dark spaces we could hardly sense made it clear just how large the scale was. At one point we watched as lights came up on one row at a time of the horseshoe arches and supporting pillars. To see the rows, one after another, appear out of the complete darkness was something we will never forget. The tour lasted only an hour, but it was sensational. Photos were not allowed on the tour, but I’m not sure that photos could convey even the least bit of what we saw. Besides, I probably would not have been able to take more than two steps without trying to take the perfect photo so I would have needed hours to complete the tour.

On the way back to Posadero we stopped at one of the restaurants we had scouted earlier. It was cool, but we decided to eat outside. We had a good meal–with different tapas–and lingered over our food. You can see where this is going. By the time we got back to Posadero it was just about 11:00 and I was not going to start writing and moving images and all the other things which go into each post.

Thus, here it is, Wednesday morning and I am sitting in the sunlit common room trying to finish this post before we start accumulating more things to write about. 

There are now some pictures on the pictures page.

Below is a track of where we walked on Tuesday.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Claire loved the picture of the cheeses!

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