Cordoba is small, beautiful and has a relaxed atmosphere. No wonder my friend Artur has been raving about this city ever since I remember! I could tell that he certainly fell for its charm, welcoming people and fantastic food. I am not surprised and I feel the same way about it, especially if you add inspiring architecture and famous Mosque-Cathedral into the mix.
It was already very warm and enjoyable at the beginning of April but as much as I love the heat I am not sure if I could visit Andalusia during the summer. It must be sizzling and apparently Cordoba is one of the hottest spots.
I took a bus from Seville, which was very convenient as the bus station was round the corner from where I stayed and more or less two hours later I was wandering around narrow streets of the Jewish quarter and trying to find my hostel. Although this part of town could be viewed as a bit of a tourist trap, with many shops and restaurants, I was fine with that and always able to take a break from walking and read a book in one of its peaceful squares.
The old town has a wealth of monuments that act as reminders of not only the Roman past but also Arabic times and Christian influences. Cordoba used to be an important port on the Guadalquivir River used for shipping olive oil, wine, wheat and other goods back to Ancient Rome. The 8th century was the time of the Moorish conquest. The city became the capital of the Islamic Emirate and later the Caliphate of Córdoba including in fact most of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba with its looming tower is an architectural hybrid that joins together many different styles and influences. It is possible to enter the courtyard for free and enjoy a shadow of well-preserved orange trees. Visiting Mezquita and admiring its arched interior and impressive size is an experience so make sure you have it on your travel list.
Cordoba is full of fantastic bars and restaurants but it was a thick slice of tortilla de patatas from Bar Santos, just outside the cathedral, that was my culinary highlight. They also serve salmorejo if you want to taste a soup that is very traditional and typical to Spain and Cordoba. Sorry, no pictures of food – my fingers were too greasy!