Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 19, 2014 (revised) -- Córdoba, Spain

I arrived in Córdoba without incident, found the bus stop, caught the correct bus, and even got off at the correct stop. Then everything went to hell. I didn't realize that the youth hostel was located in the old Jewish neighborhood called la Judería, with little, narrow, twisting half-alleys (streets that are half the width of a normal alley). In no time, I was completely lost in the maze. All I knew was to pick my way through the streets heading generally east but bearing slightly south. Finally I figured I was somewhere in the neighborhood of the hostel, so I started asking directions. I got answers such as "Turn left on the next street, don't go up the hill, bear left, and then ask for directions again." No one could give me detailed instructions on how to make my way to that part of the maze where the hostel is located, but by stopping and asking for directions every few blocks I finally reached my destination.

Córdoba was the political center of the Western Moorish Empire and was also the largest city in Spain during the Roman occupation, so I think there is enough to see here to keep me busy during the next few days.

The hostel is very near the old mosque: The largest mosque that the Moors constructed in Spain. After the Catholics reconquered Córdoba, a cathedral was constructed within the mosque. The following picture shows the orange grove, which was the traditional entrance to a Spanish mosque, and also shows the cathedral's tower.

Here's another shot of the cathedral's bell tower. On the left is one of the walls of the mosque and on the right are some of the little shops that cram this neighborhood.

I have not yet discovered the purpose of the monument in the following photograph. When I took this and the other photographs in this blog entry, I was wandering around carrying my backpack searching for the youth hostel and not in a mood to do much investigating. On the left of the photo is one of the corners of the outside wall of the mosque.

Below is the scene that presented itself when I walked around the corner from where I took the previous photo.

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