After a leisurely breakfast we met our two guides, Auxi (short for María Auxiliadora) and her father Vicente, who (as we would learn) knows everyone in Córdoba. He gave (and she translated) a fine lecture on the history of the aforementioned Great Cathedral, and then we made the short walk for a visit.
The walled courtyard on the north side of the complex is filled with trees and fountains...
Travel Bugs "Norma" and "Little Roswell" pay a visit.
The tower at the northeast corner of the cathedral, viewed through a 120-year-old olive tree.
...and then we went inside. Southern Man didn't bother trying to take pictures; there is no way they could convey a fraction of the magnificence and beauty of this cathedral, which was a mosque built over the remains of a 6th-century church (named for St. Vicente, no less) and was then recaptured, expanded, and reconsecrated into a cathedral. We spent a good three hours inside. Southern Man's entry free was gratis because he is a professor and because Vicente knows everyone.
Stunning arches from the mosque. Photo from Wikipedia.
Three views of the cathedral proper. Photo from Google Images.
We then went across the street for a snack and then dropped by to pay a visit to the courtyard of the private residence of the Bishop of Cordoba (because Vicente knows everyone) where we spent a very pleasant forty minutes and then down the block to the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Castle of the Christian Kings) which is an enormous castle-slash-fortress on a site that served that purpose for the Visigoths, the Moors, and finally the Catholics; Alfonso XI began building the present-day structure in 1328. We spent another couple of hours there and didn't come close to seeing everything.
This is another place where photos just don't do it justice, but here is a snap of some of the pools in the magnificent garden-park west of the fortress.
Then Southern Man slipped away to pick up a geocache that was large enough to accept a few of his travel bugs...
One was a "GeoKrety" bug and this popped up when he logged it.
...and where he was able to retrieve a couple himself to take back to the States and then grabbed lunch (at a Burger King, no less, but he ordered from the Especcials de España menu) and took it back to the hostel for a late but leisurely meal.
Southern Man bummed around the hostal for a few hours and updated the blog and the geocache logs and such and eventually a group of a dozen or so decided to go out for tapas. The food was delicious and the wine was flowing...
Carrin, Danielle, Sarah. Don't ask how many they've had at this point.
...and Southern Man (who was drinking beers) probably went a tapas too far and was fairly tipsy by the time we were ready to go (and it didn't help that we were so much fun that the bar owner sent us a round of shots at the end of the evening) and then we decided that we wanted ice cream. And it went something like this...
Yeah, run that through Google Translate. I'll wait.
Southern Man (wanting to order a chocolate cone with his chocolate ice cream): Hey, Christian, what's the word for "cone?" Christian: Ah, teta. Southern Man (to the lovely ladies behind the counter): Me gustaría helado chocolate en una teta chocolate, por favor.
Southern Man will have his vengeance at some point, after we stop laughing about it. But he did get his
Tomorrow we take the bus to some ruins outside of town so Southern Man must now check to see if there are any geocaches in that vicinity...