Today kicked off with a day trip to the ruins of the once-great city of Medina Azahara, constructed in the early 900s just west of Córdoba and utterly destroyed by civil war less than a century later. The ruins were picked over for building material over the next thousand years with excavation and restoration not beginning until the 20th century.
¿En España? ¿En serio?
A portion of the ruins viewed from on high.
Two restored arches flank one (mostly) original arch.
What's left of one of the original arches on the ground (left) and a restored arch in place (right).
Remnants of one of the original arches on the ground.
After the outdoors tour we went through the museum and saw a short film that showed what the city looked like in that brief period between construction and destruction. It was fairly obvious that the film was using one of the new game engines to render the scenes, but it worked quite well. It's amazing what you can do with that technology.
Back in town Danielle and Southern Man ditched the others to find food and geocaches. We were not so lucky with food but went four for four on caches.
Danielle at El Cristo de los Desagravios y Misericordia (Christ of Atonement and Mercy, also called Christ of the Lanterns). The monument was surrounded by candles, and the cache was a magnetic container hidden behind one of the pillars.
We then met up with some of the group in a plaza where Southern Man had some delicious chocolate cake (he'd seen the sign and the platter of cake in the window two days earlier and had been stalking it ever since) and here's how it worked:
Chocolate cake is better in Córdoba!
- Southern Man enters the store and indicates to the lovely hostess that he wanted a piece of the chocolate cake in the window.
- The lovely hostess takes the platter from the display window and takes it to the host behind the counter.
- The host gets his slice, adds a side of whipped cream, and drizzles the entire thing with chocolate.
- The lovely hostess refuses to let Southern Man carry his own food but puts the plate on a tray and takes it outside where his friends are waiting, insists that he be seated, and then serves him.
- The host then brings Southern Man his change on a plate.
Danielle split off with the other girls and Southern Man actually got a little lost making his way back to the hostal (which is funny because Christian had already said that his goal was for all of us to get lost at least once in these narrow calles) but he eventually stumbled across the immense cathedral and was soon in the shower and had his laundry started and was online (the hostal has WiFi) to redeem the free sandwich coupon on the back of yesterday's Burger King receipt. Then the girls showed up and Danielle decided that she'd like a Whopper too so we made the short walk to the BK but (amazingly) missed a turn (there were only two) and came in from a different direction but stumbled across a place that advertised mojitos which got Southern Man excited as it was the first sign of an actual mixed drink he'd seen in all of Spain. We got our sandwiches and went back to the hostal and ate and chilled for a while.
Since we had eaten late Southern Man didn't go with the others to dinner but once it got dark Southern Man and Danielle decided to find that mojito place again but we (again) got lost and stumbled across three of the girls at a cafe.
Danielle, Jamie, Kim, Sarah. And pizza!
Southern Man and Kim split a pizza and then he and Danielle found our mojito place and had delicious fruity not-too-strong mojitos for a perfect end to a perfect day. Tomorrow we get up (not too early) and bid a fond farewell to Córdoba and our gracious hostess there and hop on the bus to Granada!